Renting a car during an overseas trip can bring both pleasure and financial pain, as many expats in Thailand have learned to their cost.
While problems can arise with all rental companies, Europcar seems to have attracted an unusually large number of complaints.
One Phuket-based expat who booked a car on his arrival in the UK through Europcar was outraged to find out later back in Thailand that the company had added several hundred pounds to his Singapore credit card bill. No explanation for the additional cost was provided.
Naturally, he contacted Europcar but his emails to them were simply ignored.
“My belief is that it was a scam. They saw that I paid with HSBC Singapore credit card, and thought I wouldn’t notice.
“I think it was the threat to tell the newspapers that changed their mind.” Another expat based in Bangkok booked a car via Europcar’s website for use in the UK, paying with a Thai credit card.
On his return to Thailand, he also discovered additional charges on his credit card. “Europcar had taken it upon themselves to charge my card another hundred pounds or so – but didn’t give any explanation for the extras.
“Naturally I contacted Europcar and asked for details of the charges. The reply was infuriating. They not only told me I would have to pay a search fee to provide such information, but to make matters worse, they said I’d also have to pay if my query, or complaint, was wrong.
“So, I don’t know whether these costs were due to a traffic infringement, damage to the car that Europcar claims to have been overlooked on final inspection or because the vehicle I had pre-booked was not available so a better quality substitute car had been provided without telling me of the higher charge.
“Anyway, I won’t be using Europcar again.”