Beware - Goldcar Car Rentals Spain

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.


  • melbmelb Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    we hired through carjet and were allocated goldcar at alicante. we had paid carjet before we went for the insurance for tyres/lost keys etc which came to £17 which seemed good value compared to the £60 goldcar charge but, there again, if you run into problems you have to pay and then reclaim from carjet when you return home which is not ideal. Anyway, my OH has a Nationwide credit card which we always use to pay for things in euros as it's the cheapest way (I think),I said to the lady we wanted to pay in euros from the start then when he was handed the contract to sign and I said you are charging him in Euros aren't you and she said yes. He then gave her his credit card and asked the same question and she said yes - em I think so. of course we should have checked but didn't. When I looked at the contract, of course we too had been charged in GBP with the 2% mark-up. really annoying! However when i checked it out with the exchange rate of the day we were only about £8 down but, I agree with you, it's the principal of the matter. I think solmar may be one of the few that do a full/full fuel policy which will be good for you (don't take my word for it though)
  • I checked with Carjet and Solmar do indeed do Full/Full so this should save me some on the fuel charge.
    I just didn't appreciate the way Goldcar went about their business. I can take the losses but I was not happy that I was lied to and it made me wonder what else they were capable of...
  • melbmelb Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    there's plenty of horror stories on this forum along about a whole host of car hire companies and their dubious practices - however in our case were blatantly lied to. We asked the question and were told a lie.
  • I've heard horror stories about Goldcar and as a regular car hirer in Spain slightly smirk as I breeze past the queue for Goldcar in AGP heading towards to National desk. The guys there are so friendly, the cars always in perfect condition, run full to full (no fuel pre purchase), they only take 100euro deposit and very rarely check the car or even question the condition when returning. The little extra is well worth it for a brand name you can trust, and also a decent fuel policy.
    I'm going for my QuidCo £million!
    Total So Far: £9923.58
  • Hi all,
    Never thought to search on GoldCar until now. Similar happened to me this August with GoldCar at Alicante.

    On Carjet's advice, I specifically asked to pay in Euros. The Goldcar's assistant was English, so there was no missunderstanding. I too had to sign on an electronic machine, and they pass you the invoice folded so you can't see what the total price is.

    Anyway, the area on the Invoice where the MasterCard rate info is placed has two types of message on it. The first says I accept the MasterCard rate, and the second says I have refused the MasterCard currency conversion. Both the Euro and £ values are printed.

    I had to assume it was going to pass to Santander as a Euro transaction. But you've guess it, it hasn't and it's clearly in £.

    So I paid £329 via Goldcar and MasterCard, whereas via Santander Zero card it would have been £316.

    As you may know the Santander Zero CC is a no foreign commission card, and the rate on the 28th Aug was .8232 (or 1.21) which was pretty close to the spot rate for the day.

    So, clearly GoldCar have entered into an arrangement with MasterCard and changed their invoice software to accomodate it. What I am wondering is whether that applies to Visa as well.

    Anyway, it was clearly against my wishes, and I have an Invoice to prove it. So I'm going to complain to Goldstar in writing.

    And find another company - alas I aways like to hire an automatic, and Goldcar is the company that aways seems to have them.

  • I'm glad I am not the only one to have problems with this company. Hopefully enough people see enough of these warnings they will know to avoid!!

    There are a lot of rent-a-car companies just off the airport just 2 mins away (and they usually pick you up in their mini bus) who do the automatic transmissions.
  • Where do I start .... I'm a regular visitor to spain (5 times a year) and an experienced car renter having used most of the companies. Never using goldcar again. This summer they charged me 95 Euros for a tank of diesel in a berlingo. No option to bring back full, that was the deal. RIP-OFF.
    Then I was asked if I wanted extra insurance as it was only third party. I told them they were wrong as I booked via Carjet and all their rates are inclusive of fully comprehensive insurance. I queried this twice and was told it was third party only. As I knew I was correct I declined their "offer". A quick email to Carjet the next day confirmed I was covered. I have complained about both points to Goldcar and seven weeks later no answers. I have chased them at least twice a week for a response.
    I have been told that their sales team are on direct commission for selling insurance that isn't needed and get sacked if they don't meet their targets. I've also been told that Carjet (who I apportion no blame to whatsoever and have always found to be extremely helpful and straightforward) will be dropping Goldcar shortly due to all the complaints they've had. The sooner the better I say to get rid of what amounts to legalised thievery.
    If you book with Carjet and get a rental voucher for Goldcar I seriously suggest you contact Carjet immediately and they will gladly change you to a different company (may be a different cost but believe me its worth it).
    I've just come back from a visit and this time used Auriga Crown - had a quarter of tank in and took it back with a quarter of a tank and no fuel charges, no insurance scams either so I'll be using them from now on.
    Finally - if you do go to spain a lot then consider taking out annual car insurance excess in the UK - covers you for all insurances excesses including wheels, tyres and glass etc and you can get it for about £40 a year (which is about what you get charged for 2 weeks rental when in spain).
  • I have just returned from Spain where I hired a car through Goldcar at Jerez Airport (through Auto Europe).
    I had the standard CDW provided through Goldcar.
    I had an accident, which was not my fault but the other party did not stop. The car was a write off. When I got to the airport to make an accident report at the Goldcar desk 2 days later, (after getting out of hospital) they had already taken 4000 euros from my credit card.
    Having spoken to MBNA upon arriving home I am told that they can carry on taking money out of my account to fund "repairs" even though the car has been written off. MBNA will get their fraud department involved if the firm cannot provide a breakdown of the figures.
    The last email from the hire company states that the "repairs" will cost 12000 euros and that I am not covered for these damages by their insurance! HELP! Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do?
  • Hired car for a week in September 2010 via Traveljigsaw (UK) from Goldcar-Alicante Airport.Ripped off for full tank of fuel and upgrade to diesel(petrol requested)at the airport. On returning to UK found that another 120 euros were taken by Goldcar from my credit card on my day of departure.It took 2 months for Travel jigsaw to find out that this was taken for the compressor missing from the car.Goldcar would not inspect the car on collection or return as they were too busy.We had no need to use a pump and did not know if we ever had one.Traveljigsaw say my contract was with Goldcar so they cannot help.My credit card company are investigating.
  • never ever rent a car from the above company it is the biggest rip-off going.

    1-when arrive in the airport will inform you that you are not insured for recovery or many other things.

    2-they give you a full tank and you have to use the lot then if you return the car with even half full you have lost it bacause they will tell you there is a charge of €15 for refueling the car.

    I have been renting cars in tenerife over the last 20 years this is the worst company I have ever rented from I ended up paying twice the original payments its your money and dont waste it in such a way go and spend it for your holiday.
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