Car Hire Rip Off – Aurigacrown and the Other Bandits!

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #53441
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I first posted this message on the Property Forum but some people took exception; said it should be on the Problems Forum. Thanks to those who responded on the Property forum. Here goes again!

    I write to advise about a scam being perpetrated by Spanish car Hire bandits in Almeria, and probably in the rest of Spain.

    When I flew into Almeria airport in early September I was taken in a minibus to the nearby Aurigacrown car hire depot to pick up my pre-booked car.

    I was unpleasantly surprised to find that whilst they were giving me a car with a full tank of petrol – for which petrol I was been charged over € 50 – I was expected to bring the car back EMPTY! When I asked the Aurigacrown reprsentative how I was supposed to drive an empty car back to Almeria airport they were unable to advise me. When I asked if they would give me a refund against any petrol remaining in the tank when I returned it, the answer was – no refund.

    Additionally, they were unable to tell me why I was being charged € 50 for a full tank when I know the cost of filling same was not more than € 35. They were unable to advise me.

    I asked if I could return the car with a full tank instead of an empty tank. Not possible.

    The obvious scam is (i) they rip you off by overcharging for the full tank of petrol, and (ii) they rip you off because when you return the car there will still be petrol in the tank – for which they do not give you a refund.

    The rip-off is more aggravated if you fly in for a short period – say 4 days, and you are only going say from Almeria to Roquetas or to Aguadulce or El Ejido. In this case you pay for a full tank and would probably return it three quarters full – with no refund!

    I have checked with other car hire firms at Almeria airport and they all seem to be operating the same scam!

    Can anyone advise if these bandits can be prevented from stealing travellers’ money in this way? Is it not an illegal practice that EU legislation can prevent?

    Is there an honest car hire company in Almeria that does not rip of travellers in this manner?

  • #75989
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Many car hire companies operate this way – and in Malaga too. In fact, I am getting the usage of petrol/diesel down to a fine art now.

    On a slightly different tack – I used the car hire company you have named. My “reward” was the cloning of my credit card ( I know it was at the car hire desk – as I didn’t use it again in Spain). The card was used to buy petrol in Spain and then to buy goods in Toyko!! Thankfully the bank refunded the money and started an investigation about the incident.

  • #76020
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have 3 times experienced exactly the same thing in Spain. On all three occasions, it has been at Reus airport, north of Tarragona. I have hired via the Internet with Carjet. At Reus airport it is arranged through SOLMAR which is the company you deal with. On each of the occasions I have hired a car there, it has been for short periods (5 – 6 days) and I have been travelling about 2 hours south to my destination. On the second occasion I was able to bring the car back on “vapour”, but it was a very close thing. On the other two occasions I left the vehicle back with the hire company and it had at least a quarter of a tank of fuel unused. I agree this is a rip-off, and I have queried the practice also, to no avail. I suppose the answer is to trawl all the companies prior to booking and try to book with one who do NOT insist you return the car with an empty tank. However I don’t think it is easy to elicit this information at the early stages. You usually have to go quite far into the booking etc. before you discover this. Maybe someone should compile a list of all the rip-off car hire companies who do this, and publish their names on the Message Board.

  • #76032
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I recently hired a car through Holiday Autos and do so regularly. The last time the supplier was Auriga Crown at Granada airport, and we too were asked to pay 50 Euros – I did this by credit card and on returning complained to Holiday Autois who advised they had not been aware of the change and refunded 25E.
    I always ask for full out and full back – if everyone does this then they will lose buisness

  • #76033
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    We fly in to Alicante, and it was explained to us that the full/empty clause depends on the car hire agency you use.
    When we use carjet we have to return the car empty and pay over the top prices for fuel. We now use Email-car-hire and we can bring the car back full. The hire is nearly always with record car hire.
    Unfortunately we haven’t been able to find a company in Valencia who will give us a full/full hire.
    Hope this helps.
    Handy Sue

  • #76035
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I normally use Goldcar. Excellent service and return as you want for short hire and they credit to your card. OK, they may charge a few extra euros for the fuel, but it is good to have a full tank waiting, rather than be concerned where you can fill up. better to just get to where you are going.

  • #77861
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Picked up a two day hire car from AurigaCrown at Girona Airport two weeks ago. Paid the €50 for a full fuel tank. I was on business, travelling only as far as Begur – no more than a 75km round trip, so my usage was neglible. I was advised to bring the car with an empty tank and told the representative that it would be impossible. At the end of the journey I had barely used €9 worth of fuel and my €50 was refunded!

  • #77662
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Picked up a two day hire car from AurigaCrown at Girona Airport two weeks ago. Paid the €50 for a full fuel tank. I was on business, travelling only as far as Begur – no more than a 75km round trip, so my usage was neglible. I was advised to bring the car with an empty tank and told the representative that it would be impossible. At the end of the journey I had barely used €9 worth of fuel and my €50 was refunded!

  • #78843
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    We usually use Centauro who have a “pick-up full, return full” for a refund policy. HOWEVER – if you book Centauro through an Internet Broker, then they WILL expect you to return empty.

    As the rep explained, it’s how the Internet Brokers can get away with charging lower rates… they make their money from the fuel. So if you’re searching the Internet for a ‘great deal’ – read the small print!!

  • #80045
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi

    Just been reading about car hire (problems regarding fuel) and I have just returned home from Spain and we flew into Murcia Airport and booked through http://www.hirecarsinspain.com using Econorent who also have a collection point at Alicante Airport. They allow you to return the car full of fuel and are extremely helpful and efficient as was the whole booking process with hirecarsinspain.com, just thought I would let you know and will definitely be using them again!

    Many thanks

    Kat

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