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Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

Perth, Australia
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36 posts
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Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

Hired a car for a week from Budget Car Rental at Melbourne airport. Picked up the car and noticed the trip meter was showing about 500+ km range but the fuel gauge showing full. Didn't take much notice and thought that the car has only 500+ range on a full tank of fuel.

At the of the hired period and before returning the car i fill up the car and droved to the airport which is about 5 - 6 kms away. Everything was fine and so we left Melbourne and headed home.

A couple of weeks later i realised they had charged me an extra $22 for fuel top up (about 16 litres). 16 litres of fuel would have took me to travel about 160km not the 5 -6 kms.

i'm suspecting someone in the company might have fill up their own private car and charged me for it.

This a warning for everyone who hires a car from a rental company is to be aware and maybe better to pay them cash instead of by credit card.

Broadford, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
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1. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

Hi, JMC> I would like a few more facts before I dismiss Budget from my future travel plans.

When you queried the extra charges and what did they tell you about it? How did you know the charge was for the fuel top up, which would have included a surcharge for the "service" not just the retail cost of fuel in Melbourne at the time.

I have never been able to rent a hire car without a credit card imprint because I don't carry $3000 cash to cover the possible insurance excess. I understood they wouldn't even let one use a debit card. Can one pay cash?

Just because the trip meter said 500km is no indication it was the range of the fuel tank, just the mileage done since the last time the trip meter was zeroed.

Would an employee have filled their car up with only 16 litres of fuel?

Thanks for your post,

Fay

Kuala Lumpur...
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for Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Hong Kong
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2. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

one is the trip meter,and the other is the odometer.

What is your terms and conditions of rental- did it come with unlimited mileage or a capped free mileage,thereafer chargeable.

Melbourne, Australia
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384 posts
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3. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

Are you sure it was for fuel and not Tolls for Citylink or Eastlink?

Cradle...
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for Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
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4. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

When you filled the car, did you note the level of the fuel guage, maybe when you were filling up the auto stop pump kicked in, and may be you didn't quite fill the car up???

I assume your credit card statement said the charge was for fuel, not extra mileage as mKiara said??

I have never had troubles with Budget, Avis or Hertz when in Melbourne. My last journey from Ballarat I went through the Deer Park area, filled up there before hitting the ring road, travelled to the airport, 14klms, never received an extra charge.

If you had unlimited mileage, then 500+km had nothing to do with your rental, unless it was absolutely brand spanking new.

I have been hiring vehicles for a very very long time, and It's been a very long time since I haven't had to use a credit card.

Try renting a campervan, make sure you have a lot of credit on your card.

Don't suspect someone is ripping you off, call them and work it out. If we have ever had some issue with a rental company, we have called them, worked it out and we always end up in favour. Give them a call before it's too late.

I would put my money on a toll fee.

Safe travels - Robert

Edited: 14 September 2011, 04:43
Perth, Australia
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36 posts
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5. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

i've got an invoice 2 days after with the "fuel recharge" on it and that's how i know it's for the extra fuel and not the citylink. The contract is for unlimited kms. If you fill up bit by bit, it would avoid suspicion and it's harder to argue by the unsuspecting customer.

This is a lesson learnt for me. Apart from checking dent on the car, check your fuel gauge and your range trip meter before you start. Tell them straight away if there's any discrepancies. This way when you fill up on the last day, you'll know you've filled up the same amount as you picked it up. Do this for all hired cars especially "Budget" in Melbourne airport.

As for cash, i think it's illegal for a company not to accept cash which is a legal tender. Check with your lawyer if you need to be sure.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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6. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

These days, all major rental companies require a credit card imprint, even if you pay the rental fee in cash. They put a "hold" on the card so that they have payment guaranteed if the renter returns the car late, or damaged, or without a full tank.

Wangaratta...
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7. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

Checking the range on the trip computer is an absurdity. The range varies with the rate of fuel consumption, Your fuel consumption will be higher for city driving than open road driving and it will vary depending on the driving style of the driver. For example, my car's trip computer it, with around town driving will show a range of around 450km and with country driving, particuarly on freeways, the range increase up to 680km. Once on a long trip, as we progressed a friend, jokingly, asked me does you tank fill with petrol when you drive, as for the first 1/2 hour or so as fuel economy improved, the range was increasing the further we travelled.

I filled up this moring as all the driving I have been doing in the last few weeks was around town the range shown was 486km. If i filled up after say 2 hours of freeway driving I would expect the range to be up aroud 650km.

Edited: 14 September 2011, 08:34
Kuala Lumpur...
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8. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

@JMCLPerth, thanks for coming back and shedding more light into your matter.

I guess at the end of the day..regardless of how reputable or reliable a car rental company,or practically any establishments these days- caveat emptor comes into play...sad..though--we have progress to live in a society where trust and transparency are no longer of common practices..but like in your case..." look this customer did not give a full tank to the brim of fuel cap...now our chance to charge for a fuel recharge..without even a kind cross reference to their customer"

If establishment continues to adopt such business practices..they may find not competition killing them..but the very customers that they had and had lose killing them even before competitors came into the picture.

Who knows..maybe the bloody fuel gauge is not working properly- fuel float only at close to full then gauge goes to full ..and it is always never a good practise to fill until the brim or even fuel touching fuel cap--it needs a breather space...otherwise especially in colder weather, the heat of fuel at its properties combined with ambient and when combustion takes place.and when engine is not in use--water evaporation results--then the soichiometric mixture fraction is compromised-very sad to learnt of your incident.

I just recently hired a Mini Cooper S from Avis..so far all is good-for close to four weeks already...returning it this Fri..then getting a premium car for my sixth loop of GOR.

Broadford, Australia
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for Melbourne
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1,980 posts
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9. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

I am not quite sure how checking a trip range finder helps at all. You just go to the petrol station, fill the car up to the top and that's it. Not put 43.877 litres in because some computer chip under the bonnet tell you to.

Most hire car companies stipulate full tank to full tank.

Many companies do not take cash. Internet companies spring immediately to mind.

I think I will keep budget on my list of companies for now.

Sydney
14 posts
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10. Re: Beware of Budget Car Rental in Melbourne airport

Car rental companies will automatically attempt to refuel the vehicle if the fuel indicator is showing below FULL. Our company policy (and I cant comment for Budget) is that if more than 5Litres of fuel is able to be added into the tank after the car has been returned than we charge the customer for refuelling.

We do this precaution as some vehicles can read below F when in fact its completely full.

Saying all that, the customer should always ask for a closing reciept, so that there is no further charges. This means that you may wait 5 more minutes after returning your car while the service agent checks the car thoroughly, but in the end saves you any unwanted charges.