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    Beware - Goldcar Car Rentals Spain
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 10, 5:02 PM
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    Beware - Goldcar Car Rentals Spain 22nd Sep 10 at 5:02 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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  • Tom246
    Avoid Goldcar and complaints service was a total waste of time
    Agree with all written already.

    I was assigned a car from Goldcar via
    2 hour wait to collect car at airport. 1 member of staff - friendly but overwhelmed. They reported that they hated working for for the company because they were ripping customers off and that every customer became angry with them.

    Various hidden and small print charges that amounted to more than what I had paid online. Full tank of petrol for a fiesta charged at 100 euro. It cost me 45 euro at the pump.

    Made me purchase expensive fully comprensive insurance because I had paid with a debit card and they reported that they could not take a deposit from a debit card.

    The car was awful. Had already been in an acident and the front was damaged. It was old and the air con did not work (very unpleasant in mid-summer Spain).

    The drop off point was not at Barcelona airport, rather it was some way up the motorway and required a bus back.

    Avoid and Goldcar.
  • Bellshillbaker
    Gold Car rental in Spain.
    I recently arrived back from holiday in Spain, flying to and from Reus Airport. I booked a hire car with Auto Europe in the UK to use in Spain. Gold Car was the providing company. When I arrived I was charged 182 euros for fuel and insurance but did not know that until after they handed me my papers. I asked what these charges were for and they told me fuel and insurance. I asked how much was for fuel and they said 100 euros.

    You cannot get 100 euros of fuel into a diesel golf, which holds 50 litres! That meant that I was paying around 80 euros for insurance that I had already paid for in the UK. I inspected the car and found serious damage to it. The A pillar was badly damaged, the roof buckled and the front end had paint contact traces on it from a nasty collision.

    I went back to complain and they said they knew about the damage, it was OK! I argued that this damage was not safe on a car and they said it was nothing. I demanded a replacement car but there was none available. I rejected the car and ended up leaving the airport in a taxi after I got my money refunded. Now I am fighting for my original hire payment from the company in the UK. Intelligently, I paid for all of this on credit card. Initially speaking to my card provider, I was told that there would be no charge back and they could do nothing for me.

    After some research on your site I went back and talked section 75 and got better advice about what to do with a claim should things not work out. Even credit card companies are using sharp practice. Avoid Gold Car in Spain. They are ripping people off and on some occasions it may even be your life they are playing these games with.

    We took photographs and video of the damage-just in case.
  • taztarrant
    Firefly car hire - Goldstar de ja vu
    I am not surprised to read all the horror stories about Goldcar at Alicante but I would like to warn everyone that you could delete the name Goldcar and insert the name Firefly for identical stories.

    When I got near to the front of the queue I realised that 3 out of 4 people in front of me (in from Manchester with Monarch?) believed that they had got a "zero excess" deal and spent some time waving highlighted bits of contract etc like many of the Goldcar customers. The sales reps stuck to their guns and insisted that there was only basic cover. Several people left vowing never to use Firefly again - me included.

    I am in ALC working for the summer and when my family came over on holiday a few weeks ago I needed 2 childrens car seats for 1 week only. Firefly said that their policy meant that they would amend my contract from that day (22 July) to the end of my deal (31st Aug) or nothing. I had to point out their maximum hire charge for child seats (= to about 9 days hire) in the small print, otherwise they would have charged me pro rata to the end of Aug!!

    I offered my local bank account debit card so that I could pay in Euros but was told that they had already debited my UK £ credit card!

    Thanks Firefly, that's 1 more customer you've lost!
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 4th Aug 13, 8:11 PM
    • 1,998 Posts
    • 873 Thanks
    It would be nice to find a car rental company that didn't try to rip off their customers, I realise that all their agents operate on commission but surely not all of them are rip off merchants. Would be good if some sort of a member survey could be started listing the most popular destinations with the various rental companies shown together with members satisfaction or otherwise.
    • StuieUK34
    • By StuieUK34 5th Aug 13, 8:13 AM
    • 1,848 Posts
    • 932 Thanks
    easy answer, just avoid GoldCar, and that's you done! easy peasy
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 5th Aug 13, 8:44 AM
    • 1,998 Posts
    • 873 Thanks
    If only it were just Goldcar, or just one country. As long as agents work on commission with a low basic wage things will never change.
  • michael-m
    I rented a car via the Opodo website in April, in Edinburgh where we live, in order to accommodate more people than would fit in our car (a Vauxhall Astra) for a family occasion. The size of car I booked had a photo of an Astra as a sample car - I know this is just an example, but given the number of people and their luggage, this is what I wanted.

    When I picked up the car from Budget, they gave me a Mitsubishi Colt, which is much smaller (I subsequently checked - 60cms shorter, and correspondingly little space). I protested, but they told me this was the car I had booked. I felt I had no choice but to take it, but signed under protest. Our guests had to travel with their bags on their knees as the boot was so small.

    I contacted Opodo afterwards and said I was unhappy and could they do anything - I wasn't necessarily expecting money back, but a £10 voucher off a future Opodo booking would have been a sufficient gesture. They ignored my email. I wrote again. Twice. Eventually they explained their customer department was very busy(!), and passed it on to They eventually got in touch to say that I had been given an upgrade, and that I was not entitled to anything. I wrote back and asked for a manager to call me. A week later - today - I received an email saying the case was closed, the car given me was an upgrade, and they were not prepared to engage further with the matter since I did not call them when I was at the car rental location.

    I called them today and asked to speak to a manager. They were curt and unfriendly, but then put me on hold. The line went dead after about 5 minutes of music. I called back. The new person was equally curt after I gave her my booking number and she saw the correspondence. I asked for a manager to call me. The person who wrote me today's email called back, was rude and unpleasant, and told me he was not prepared to do anything more since I should have called when I went to pick up the car. I was one of the last customers on the day, and the Budget staff person was hurrying me along so she could go home, and I did not think to call under these circumstances.

    As I said, I wasn't, at first, too worried about getting real money back - a goodwill gesture of a voucher would have been sufficient. But whilst Opodo were not particularly efficient, were downright rude, and said they were not prepared to enter a discussion about whether a smaller car could be an upgrade. There is clearly no sense of customer service or even friendliness in dealing with them.

    If you want to be ripped off and treated badly, then go with - otherwise, go elsewhere...
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 5th Aug 13, 5:44 PM
    • 1,998 Posts
    • 873 Thanks
    I also booked through Rental cars last year for our Orlando holiday, the 7 seater was supplied by Dollar. After a bit of a battle we were eventually refunded for the usual con tricks, the people carrier was at least 3 years old but was adequate for our needs, blowing up both rear tyres every couple of days was a bit of a pain but at least we didn't breakdown.
    • busiscoming2
    • By busiscoming2 6th Aug 13, 10:31 PM
    • 4,336 Posts
    • 11,522 Thanks
    I see Goldcar have been fined 15.5 million euros.
    GOLDCAR is a SCAM! Stay away!
    I found on the Internet several forums and statements from more than 3.000 people that were robbed by Spanish car rental company GOLDCAR. Unfortunately not in time, as I recently got robbed too. Operating within EU laws, I would claim that GOLDCAR’s business model is illegal. Hopefully someone one day stops them from ruining people’s vacations.
    I hired a car from GOLDCAR in Lisbon airport, using CarTrawler – all basic insurances included. When picking up the key’s at GOLDCAR’s new counter in Lisbon airport, the GOLDCAR lady tried very hard, to sell me additional insurances. I’m used to this, knowing it’s a part of their commission model, so I refused. Never the less, the GOLDCAR lady continued to repeat, that she recommended an additional insurance, and after answering “no thanks” seven (7) times, she told me that this was a “big mistake”, and that I for sure would “regret the decision”. She even told it in a very odd and rude way that made me feel quite uncomfortable. Working with business and sales development myself, I’m normally quite tolerant in cases where sales people get commission on their sales, but this was too much.
    Now, after some days in Portugal, I returned the car as picked up (with some big scratches around, that I fortunately got marked during pickup). The guy at GOLDCAR drop point checked the car, didn’t find anything that wasn’t already marked, and then asked for my copy of the papers. After a few minutes he returned, went to the very dirty wind screen, wiped the dirt away on a 10 cm area in upper left corner of the wind screen and pointed out a microscopic, 0.5 by 0.5 mm tiny white dot placed at the edge of the wind screen. It was so tiny, that if you didn’t know it was there, you would never see it – even standing right in front of the screen with total clean windows.
    I immediately felt the “setup”. Why would he suddenly come back and wipe the dust of in a 10 cm area, and point out something that you would never see, if you didn’t know it was already there? I immediately claimed that this small white dot never could be categorized as damage, and that it probably already was there at pickup. I mean, we are not talking about one of those 1 – 2 mm small craters caused thrown-up pebbles. We are talking about a tiny white dot, smaller than a single, white sugar particle, and only in the absolute top surface of the glass.
    But no, GOLDCAR demanded 400 Euro for a new wind screen. They claimed that they needed to change it for “security reasons”, and I was shocked. I felt this as a really unethical way of doing business. In pure anger, I went over to the cleaned, “pickup ready” cars from GOLDCAR, and documented with my camera, that 7 out of 21 cars (30%) had even bigger “cosmetic” dots on their wind screens. How could they send all these car’s on the street, if a tiny, tiny white dot, at the very edge of the wind screen far from drivers side, made up such a big security issue, that the wind screen needed to be changed?
    It’s probably needless to say, that my arguing didn’t last at all. Despite my protest, GOLDCAR kept 400 Euro of my deposit, and we all know that this wind screen won’t be changed, and we also know, that the next customer won’t see the small white dot before it might be pointed out by a GOLDCAR employee when returning the car. Being very cheap on the search engines and then robbing people afterwards seems to be their business model.
    Shame on you GOLDCAR!
  • uphillalltheway
    Goldcar ARGGGGGHHH!!!
    I booked my car through and paid for insurance etc. I knew about the rip off additional insurance, but due to financial matters being very tight (every penny counted for this holiday) I decided not to take the risk and ordered the insurance as I could not afford not to (scared into it really). After my 90 minute queue at Alicante I paid up and asked to be charged in Euros. Stupid me signed the paperwork and was charged the extra 2% in GBP. So charged me £323.02 and Goldcar charged me an additional £166.93 on the paperwork. Don't do and don't do GOLDCAR. My advice is try to get to where your going and hire your car locally. I've done this before and got great service.
    GOLDCAR will learn by it's customers going else where. You have been warned. Car rented 170813 - 300813
  • Marc in Newcastle
    Beware Goldcar in Italy - Dreadful Company
    Goldcar found a tiny scratch on the plastic bumper which may well have been there when i took the car - they then charged 100 euros for the repair and a further 250 EUROS FOR ADMIN - which they explained was because it had to go from Italy to Spain - this is simply a money making rip off - please don't use them.
  • nospoc
    we picked up the car (3day rental) from malaga airport and was also scamed with the exhcange reate , also told we had to pay 80. euros for a full tank of fuel , but because we were only haveing it for 3 days we needed to fill it up on our return and we would be reinburse with the 80 euros QUESS WHAT ??? ITS NOW SEPTEMBER thats 4 month without a reply, or an explantion why we have not recieved our money. its the last time i ever use this comany.
  • unhappy to say the least
    Rip of Gold Car it should be called

    I recently hired a car from Gold car in Palma, We waited 2 hours and the girl called me a ignorant brit!! because I asked why Spanish people were allowed to jump the queue, (apparently because they had a 2 year old) Once at the desk were told unless we took the ""extra insurance"" we could not have the car and would not get a full refund already paid. So we had no option but to pay the 59 euros they wanted for this. We had to pay 84 euros for fuel (bit steep in a fiesta) as well

    Once we returned the car we asked the Gold Car staff to check it and were told "no to busy" so we took photos just incase we got any unexpected charged for damage! and when I got home low and behold £52.00 had been taken WITHOUT my consent for what I did not know, Finally I have been told for Cleaning services!!! The car did have a bit of sand in but I would have cleaned it if they had told me, and I presumed you hire a car to use not to look at !!!!!

    My credit card company say because I gave Gold car my details I have to pay this and reclaim this, you have to give credit card details to hire a car!!

    I have contacted rip of Britain to hopefully do something to help, this is absolutely disgusting so please please NEVER EVER USE GOLD CAR RENTALS THEY ARE ONE BIG CON!!!!!! AND LET EVERYONE YOU KNOW WHAT THEY ARE LIKE VIA FACE BOOK ETC, THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN, We have used car hire companies for years and never ever had a problem, I am now awaiting the outcome as I have sent a email to demand the ""extra insurance"" and cleaning money back as this is not in there terms and conditions which by the way you can not down load once booked the car.
    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 18th Sep 13, 1:01 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
    • 4,379 Thanks
    Look here before deciding on from whom you should rent a vehicle in Spain. Don't always go with the cheapest quote.
  • Travelgurl
    Never EVER use Goldcar, or Holiday Autos. Here's my experience: Booked a car through Holiday Autos online for a holiday in LaManga, Spain, picking the car up at Murcia airport. Go every year and usually use and Solmar - who have always been fine and straightforward, but this time went with others as they had a cheaper quote (ha!)

    I had prepaid the car rental (£141) and knew I also had to buy a full tank of petrol (88 Euros), which they would only take on a Visa Debit card. I paid, then the hard sell for insurance started. Knowing this is just a way for them to get more money, I refused, so they said I then had to take a swipe of my credit card (not my Visa debit) against an excess of 6000 Euros!!!! I told them this was insane, but they said if I didn't give them the swipe or buy the insurance, I couldn't have the car. I reluctantly gave them my Amex credit card and they took a swipe, gave me the receipt and I got the car. A week later, I returned the car, undamaged, and all was well... Until I got my Amex statement, and saw that I had a payment of 96.40 Euros and 99 Euros, four days apart, from a company called 'La Manga Club, Los Belones Car'. Having a further look on the credit card swipe they gave me, I noticed a payment of 96.40 Euros at the bottom that I hadn't been notified of.

    I immediately rang Holiday Autos - who have been DREADFUL at helping me and dealing with this situation. When I told them what happened (after having emailed my complaint as they don't have a customer service line to call), they called back a week later to say they'd spoken with Goldcar, who said the charge hadn't come from them and that was that. Naturally I objected, claiming I had the swipe from them, but when I looked closer I noticed the address on the swipe wasn't Goldcar, Murcia airport, but La Manga Club. The people at Goldcar were telling Holiday Autos that I must have gone and hired another car there (let's not even bother asking about the logic of why I would hire another car on the same night). When I asked the Holiday Autos rep to ask them about the excess - as they must have taken one since I didn't buy their insurance - they provided a final invoice which showed I'd approved a 600 Euro swipe on my Visa Debit card. Which I hadn't. This then became an issue of my word against their fake documentation, and I have lost. Holiday Autos have told me there is nothing they can do to help me, so American Express are now following up their own investigation, which could take 8 weeks. In the meantime, I am more than £190 out of pocket on what was meant to be a cheap rental.

    I believe Goldcar (in Murcia airport at least) are running a scam. Banking on people not reading their statements properly, thus adding the odd amount on here and there and getting away with it,

    My lesson is to not go for the cheapest car hire, read reviews extensively, and share this on every forum so no one ever has the misfortune of dealing with Goldcar's thieving and Holiday Auto's inadequate and upsetting service. (Apologies if you read this elsewhere in another forum but I am going to try and post this as extensively as possible)
  • Argus
    Yes avoid Goldcar but be careful about annual excess insurance cover
    I recognise many of these Goldcar stories, and my experience in Jerez this year was similar - rude and churlish staff, unreasonable fuel policy (although it is true that Holiday Autos do set that out in their small print) and hard sell on the additional insurance cover. At least the queue was not too bad since Jerez is a small airport - there was a massive queue at Malaga the previous year.

    I declined the additional insurance because I had purchased a car hire excess annual cover policy (over the internet at home). This appears to be a money saver - you pay just £35 per annum and it covers the excess for all your rentals that year. Except that I have found that it doesn't cover everything.

    I too had to hand over a credit card and it was swiped to the tune of some €600. Unfortunately we had a mishap with the car keys and a replacement was needed. I also had to fork out €120 for a taxi to collect the new keys.

    My Questor policy is underwritten by White Horse Insurance Ireland Ltd. Whilst they have paid up for the charges related to the keys, they refuse to cover the cost of the taxi.

    So - don't think that the annual excess cover provides total peace of mind. In effect, it is not an effective substitute for the hire firm's own additional cover (which would have cost €60 in this case). So, questionable whether this is really a money saving approach.

    In future, I will be looking for a better quality rental firm, and taking out their full insurance option. In fact we did this in Spain with Hertz in 2012 and the experience was relatively problem free (yes, I dented the car then as well - don't have much luck with hire cars!)

    Back to Goldcar, I felt that they were positively crowing over the fact that things had gone wrong and - 'oh dear, you don't have the insurance'. The same offhand staff were unhelpful and unsympathetic in their handling of the situation. I felt that the reason for their annoyance on the insurance front was that they probably get some personal gain from selling it.

    I'm thinking of hiring a tank next time....
  • Jason39
    Do not use goldcar
    Used Goldcar on a recent trip to Valencia. They advertised as the cheapest company, at only 25Euros. Got there and paid for insurance which was a further 60Euros. Only when I returned to the UK did I find they had charged my card an additional £160 for the full fuel tank, only being in Valencia for 4 days I barely used any of it. They didn't mention any of this. Bunch of con men. Nothing is as good as it first seems. Avoid like the plague.
    • nickcc
    • By nickcc 24th Sep 13, 4:37 PM
    • 1,998 Posts
    • 873 Thanks
    It would be so nice to find a car rental company that you could actually trust, I'm sure they would make a fortune once the word got round. I chose Avis in Malaga and what a battle that was, guaranteed Full Full but Avis tried to charge me for Full/MT even though I had a receipt for filling up 10 minutes before return. Sorted in the end thanks to the Malaga manager but who wants all this agro at the end of your holidays.
    • NiftyDigits
    • By NiftyDigits 24th Sep 13, 5:53 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
    • 4,379 Thanks
    It would be so nice to find a car rental company that you could actually trust, I'm sure they would make a fortune once the word got round. I chose Avis in Malaga and what a battle that was, guaranteed Full Full but Avis tried to charge me for Full/MT even though I had a receipt for filling up 10 minutes before return. Sorted in the end thanks to the Malaga manager but who wants all this agro at the end of your holidays.
    Originally posted by nickcc
    Can't say that I disagree with you.

    First rental with Hertz in Malaga, I reserved a BMW Sports and they offered me a Mini when I arrived. Of course I insisted that only an upgrade was acceptable.
    They came up with something in the end.

    The next time, they closed the drop off office early and then tried to charge us for an extra day. Cheeky monkeys.

    But at least no dodgy fuel policy tricks and new cars with no scratches or faults.
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