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    Beware - Goldcar Car Rentals Spain
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 10, 6:02 PM
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    Beware - Goldcar Car Rentals Spain 22nd Sep 10 at 6:02 PM
    I booked a trip to Alicante airport for myself and my girlfriend. We wanted to hire a rental car and ended up booking with a hire company called Goldcar.

    They seemed quite cheap and already have "all-inclusive" insurance included so it sounded good.

    I will make sure I never go near this company again.

    Firstly, when we arrived we had to queue for just over an hour before getting to the front of the desk. Being peak-season we weren't too suprised and, although inconvenient, we could bare this.

    When we reached the desk the rep was very abrupt and bordered of rudeness. This didn't really bother me (at the end of the day this guy was working and had a lot of holiday-makers to get through).

    When we had finished with the details the rep asked if I wanted "full CDW insurance" or just "basic" cover for tyres and glass. Now, as I have hired cars several times in the past I am fully aware of exclusions (tyres/glass/keys etc) and so replied that I did not require any extra insurance and my credit card covers for the tyre/glass etc charge - but did query the "full CDW insurance" he was offering. The man looked at me and said "if you are involved in a crash then we will need to charge you for all repairs". I told him that this was already included in the cost I had paid for the hire and highlighted the wording on my voucher which backed up my understanding. "it is not correct. if you have a crash you only have 3rd party and we will take a 5000.00EUR excess-deposit until the repairs are worked out" - using these words exactly. The rep was basically telling me I had zero cover whereas the paperwork I had and the website tells me I was all-inclusive.

    After several more minutes of this I agreed to take the extra cover so I could enjoy the rest of my holiday stress-free and had to pay up a further 60.00EUR.

    The rep just handed me an electronic paid to sign which had no indication of what I was paying for or agreeing to exactly. A few days later I inspected the contract to see that the total price and been converted to GBP with a 2% mark-up, the cost of fuel was priced at 82.00EUR and I was charged for some kind of diesel-upgrade on top without my consent (I had booked a petrol!).
    The vehicle itself had some problems but it is rare to be given a perfect rental car, especially in Spain, so this was OK.

    When I got home I sent an email to my broker ("Carjet") who confirmed my understanding of the insurance (all-inclusive except for the tyres/glass etc). They could not really disagree as I was going by the wording on their's/Goldcar's website.

    Carjet then contacted Goldcar with my complaint to get to the bottom of it. After a few weeks, Goldcar replied to say that their rates were all-inclusive except for a few minor items and they did not take any deposit in case of a crash. Goldcar said that I must have misunderstood due to the language barrier and the cover I had taken was only cover for punctures/loss of keys etc and their rates included in more just 3rd party.

    After a few more emails back and forth Goldcar closed the case stating "we can't refund when the client has signed the contract".
    This email probably makes me sound like newbie who doesn't read the small print but I really am not (it gives me something to do during the flight!). My partner also backs up entirely what I have said and encouraged my to write this.

    That's my review. Stay away from Goldcar if it can be helped. The salesmen at the desk will lie to you outright in order to make an extra few Euros commission.

    I have prebooked my next trip and Carjet were able to arrange the car hire through "Solmar" this time for the same price.
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    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 18th Apr 17, 2:27 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
    • 4,378 Thanks
    I’ve been hiring cars in Alicante for the last year, maybe 7/8 times so far. Some thoughts on the process in general and Goldcar in particular.
    What we all have to understand, despite all the advertised internet prices, no company can afford to rent you a car for €5 / 6 a day. It would be financial suicide and is an unsustainable business model. The reality is that it they need to charge around €150 a week or so, which is more like the true cost. The problem is that none of the hire car companies want to be the first to admit this and thus appear very expensive on an internet search and attract no bookings. Accordingly, the model that everyone uses is this: Advertise the car at a ridiculous cheap price and then make this up to a realistic price by adding extras. The extras are generally a payment to buy insurance to cover the “excess” on the insurance policy and charging more money for fuel / Sat Navs / child seats etc. The car hire companies thus need to pressure you into buying extra insurance or they are losing money on the deal. You can get around this by buying a UK policy to protect this excess for around £35 a year. In order to deter you from doing this, they will all ask for a deposit to be held on your credit card of around €1500. Of course, not everyone can afford this and thus have to buy the excess. In reality though, if this applies to you, console yourself with the thought that all you are doing is paying the true rate of hiring a car for a week. One tip though, don’t book the insurance when you book the car, pay for it when you collect the car or you will end up paying twice. Make sure you take your own sat nav and baby seat if you can too. In addition, make sure you book the “full to full” fuel policy and fill it up just before you bring the car back, to avoid paying €100 or so for a tank of fuel.
    So back to Goldcar. Their latest scam, if you didn’t take their insurance, is to falsely claim you have damaged the car and levy a €200 charge against you. They have done this twice to me now and needless to say I don’t use them anymore. In addition, strange other charges were put on my credit card by Goldcar “central”. The credit card companies are very good at dealing with them when you lodge a dispute, they have a bad reputation there too, it just takes a long time. So whoever you hire with, be aware of the extra charges coming your way, take lots of photos when picking up and dropping off the car, pick a “full to full” fuel policy. Oh and avoid Goldcar!
    Originally posted by RtG
    Not all hire car companies behave in that manner. Mostly the ones that have ridiculously low headline prices
    • jassboyuk
    • By jassboyuk 20th Apr 17, 4:40 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Avoid this company
    We were first of all forced to wait with about 30 other people for Goldcar Malaga, who Holidays Autos sub-contracted our car hire with. Almost all of the people waiting, ended up sitting or lying on the floor - something I've never had to do before. When we reached the desk, there was no apology for the wait, instead, I actually thought the agent was so arrogant and rude to start with. We were then forced to pay a deposit insurance on credit card direct to Goldcar. Even though we were told by Holiday Autos that this was covered in what we'd paid them in the UK. We were also forced to pay a 40 euro "after hours" collection despite it saying in our contract that we would need to pay 0.00 euros after hours. We pointed this out to the agent, who totally ignored us and demanded the payment. The Dutch member of staff at the Goldcar desk, who was assisting us, was the worst mannered person I've come across yet in customer service - "if you keep disputing this I will cancel the car" - "you are in the Kingdom of Spain, not in England now" - what a disgusting way to treat anyone, let alone a paying customer. The form they gave me to sign for the car only had a couple of marks to show previous damage on the car - when we got to the car, we saw that there was at least another 20 marks which they had failed to include, so went back to the desk with the marks pointed out along with photos we had taken. On bringing the car back to the drop off point, I asked four different members of Goldcar staff to come and check the car but all refused and said they did not check cars coming in after 10pm (despite their staff walking around taking photos of other incoming cars) and now I see that they are still holding £1200+ on my credit card which they said would be released when the car was returned - appalling way to run a business. All recommended by Holiday Autos too.......really do not use Goldcar, nor Holidays Auto. I've hired cars all over the world and this last hire was nothing like any of the others I've had over the last 25years.
    Last edited by jassboyuk; 20-04-2017 at 4:43 PM.
    • By TONY WOOD 8th May 17, 4:06 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Tony wood
    Do not use this dishonest company, they are thieves and robbers so hire from them at your peril.
    • abacab
    • By abacab 12th May 17, 8:42 AM
    • 411 Posts
    • 487 Thanks
    Watched this firm in action myself at Lanzerote airport on Wednesday.They told a family a new scratch had appeared,and they had to go to the desk to sort out ,even though the family were adamant no damage had occured.Dropped my Autoreisen car off with nothing more than a verbal assurance that it was returned with the same fuel level.
    Yet Goldcar continue to be popular?
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 12th May 17, 8:53 AM
    • 1,663 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    Only popular because the initial cost is extremely attractive, add on all their underhand practices and soon more expensive than the likes of Avis etc.
    • Gill_Buchanan
    • By Gill_Buchanan 15th May 17, 3:02 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    I had a really bad experience with Goldcar in Spain too - Madrid Airport. It was the most stressful car hire I have ever done. They charged £45 for the car hire and an additional £120 when I got to Spain! It was outrageous. It also took over an hour to get the car. It was parked in another car park and they made us go and get it with all our luggage.
    On the way back the entrance to the car hire section was blocked so we left the car in the car park as they had done. They told us that we had to return it to them. In the end we just had to leave it or we would have missed our flight. Please everyone reading this DO NOT USE THESE PEOPLE.
    • daturaman
    • By daturaman 21st Jun 17, 9:18 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Another scam, another victim
    I hired from Goldcar Chania for the first and last earlier this month, whilst enjoying an otherwise excellent holiday in Crete.

    I always buy third party excess insurance before hiring a car abroad, knowing just how exorbitant hire firms' own insurance usually is. When I went to pick up the car from the Goldcar Chania office - which was booked via Travel Republic/Car Trawler - at no time was I offered the option to buy additional insurance. It was simply added to my bill, which was all in Greek, by they way. When I queried what the additional charge of 148 euros was for, I was told that it was the holding deposit for fuel. This was a flat out lie, plain and simple. It was in fact a charge for "super relax" insurance and Goldcar had no intention of refunding me that amount.

    I returned the car at the end of my holiday with no damage and a full tank. It all seemed too easy to hand back, in hindsight. It was only when I had been back in the UK for a week and noted that the only charge from Goldcar had not been refunded, that I checked my rental agreement again and saw that the charge on my credit card corresponded to the cost of this "super relax" cover. They'd also added "mega relax" cover too - I mean, if you're going to fleece your customers, might as well go the whole hog, eh?

    Needless to say, I did call Goldcar Chania and spoke to the very "lady" who had served me. All I got was some glib BS about how she always offered people the option of "super relax", and that I must have requested it - I didn't, thank you very much. I'm not stupid. She said that it wasn't possible to refund the £135.33 and gave me some bizarre email to contact her manager. I'm not going to have much faith in that line of enquiry either.

    I haven't given up on this, in spite of my credit card company refusing to claim back the money. What I do know is that, if I am ever at an airport and see people queuing at a Goldcar desk, I will stop and let them all know just what pirates that company is. I will do everything I can to persuade them to take their custom elsewhere, and I suggest everyone else who has been duped by these cowboys does likewise.
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