Car hire company shenanigans… Avis

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This topic contains 151 replies, has 38 voices, and was last updated by  norbert2008 12 Dec 2017
at 12:39

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  • Anonymous


    Just had yet another car hire issue with Avis (have no idea why I keep using them), and thought its would be good to have a go at gathering everyones car hire company misdemeanour / horror stories. My 3 (all with Avis are :

    1) Being offered a lower grade of car and assured its a better deal as its got navigation, only to discover 20 miles up the road it doesn’t have NAV at all

    2) being offered special offer upgrades only to discover (when you refuse) that they have run out of cars so they then give you the upgrade for nothing

    3) you book on their new “guarantee the car type” only to be told by the branch that its utterly ludicrous and no one would ever guarantee the car type and they give you something different and they refuse to refund on the premium you paid

    Any more from anyone?

    Am I the only one to consider car rental a pretty ‘murky’ business up there with estate agents and 2nd hand car salesman?


    Superchris, 2nd hand car sales people is exactly what they are. They buy cars in bulk from the manufacturers, keep them a little while, then sell them second hand, often for more than they bought them for in the first place. They do not make money renting out cars, but they make extra by selling extras and insurance.


    Won’t mention the company I had the issue with but they come after five and before seven!! I was in Israel and had hired a sedan from them to find they had sold out and all they had on offer to give me at that time was a “van”

    Having spent 2 hours pulling what little hair I have out of my head I decided to take the van and sort it out in Tel Aviv or indeed anywhere else other than the airport the following day!

    Picked up the vehicle (it was still light) and went to friends and then started my journey up North to where my son was and noticed as it was getting dark that I couldn’t see where I was going and only then realised the vehicle had no lights whatsoever and I was in the middle of nowhere!!

    Managed to drive on using the full beam annoying everyone else coming towards me and vowed to have “words” in the morning.

    When i finally managed to get hold of this company they were apologetic and offered me a replacement car who’s brakes failed the next day and its replacements clutch went before the end of the trip….

    I will never use Sixt again they are total rubbish and I am still fighting for compensation for the original money taken from my credit card! … Avis seems like a dream in comparison!!!!


    Had a huge issue with Avis in Alicante 18 months ago. They tried the old full tank/empty tank scam. The fact it was blatant was one thing it was Amex who, my having supplied them with all the supporting paperwork , then tried to dodge and dive presumably because Avis gives them a ton of business. It was only settled when I alleged that Amex was condoning a fraud that the matter was resolved. As a result of that I returned to Hertz who to date have been fine. The problem you have is most car hire are franchisees and operate as they see fit. The ‘brand owning’ company i.e Avis, Sixt when it comes to a problem couldn’t care less.


    A poster here has hit the nail on the head, they are a franchise operation and the quality of service is often down to the quality of the franchiser. Of late I no longer deal with any of the big names having at one time or another had problems with them all. I have been building up a network of smaller independent renters in various cities who know me and what I expect and will pay for.


    Spot on Charles. Wherever possible I use a small independent and have had a decent experience.

    The majors rely on brand and the suckers who slavishly collect FF points. Low headline prices but most of them are spivs dependent on the fuel scam or finding the most minor bodywork damage to make money.


    At 500 air miles or equivalent it’s not worth the hassle. Maybe you guys could share the names of just some of your independent hirers in a few major locations so we can strike a chord for ‘good business practices”!!


    CathayLoyalist2 – 24/06/2015 03:36 BST

    Had a huge issue with Avis in Alicante 18 months ago. They tried the old full tank/empty tank scam.

    What is the Scam. booked with Avis in Alicante later in the year and want to know what to look for.


    +1 handbag, I am heading to UK tomorrow and picking up an Avis car from T5 should I expect something similar there????


    Mrs. LP hired a car from Avis for a week in Scotland. A lady accidently scratched the car whilst parking and very honestly left name and number and then supplied insurance details. There were just 2 small scratches on an already heavily scratched car.

    Despite giving all the details to Avis, they debited her credit card with an extra £1,000 but worse two men and a woman physically prevented her from leaving until she had signed a paper and refused to give her a copy.

    In addition they also pulled the fuel tank con on her but are at least refunding that. For the damage she is now dealing with their 3rd party claim handler though her credit card company said if it’s not resolved they will intervene.


    LuganoPirate – 24/06/2015 10:27 BST
    Please tell us what the fuel tank con/scam is. I have hired dozens of cars, but not sure what to look out for. Thanks


    I guess it must depend on the location at which the car is hired. I have rented more than a dozen times through Avis over the past 12-months, at Manchester, Gatwick and Malaga airports and have never had a problem with the price, the car or the service offered at these locations.

    The cost has always been good, the fuel deal has always been pick-up full, return full and as an Avis Preferred member, I have not had any real issues with the time taken to get the keys in my hand.

    I don’t take the Avis ‘all-inclusive’ insurance ‘deal’ they offer at the desk, as it’s too expensive (as is everyone elses!). Instead, I have a separate annual policy with a third-party insurer for about £42. Not had any cause to use it yet, thankfully.

    Avis cars are generally low-mileage and pretty new, plus, as a frequent user, I now qualify for an upgrade each time I hire.

    (Other than being a satisfied customer, I have no connection with Avis and other car-rental companys are available…..)


    As MrMichael notes above, car rental is essentially about the hire firms buying and selling vehicles.

    The vehicles’ residual value is all-important.

    Car rental was a gentler business in the UK when I first started hiring cars many years ago.

    But it has followed the US and become a cut-throat business over the past couple of decades.

    In the UK, the basic hire cost has hardly increased over the years. It means the firms have to balance their books by imposing all these extra charges.


    The full tank/empty tank scam is where they give you a full tank on pick up, charge you for it, and ask you to return the car empty.

    Of course they know that in many cases people won’t let the gauge drop right down, and in any case if on a short business trip you might not need a full tank. So either way you end up giving them a partial tank of fuel back for which you have already paid.

    It’s different to full tank/full tank where you basically only pay for what you use, either by self filling or they will do it. Even then there are still stories around about hire companies charging at extortionately high price per litre rates.

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