Booking on a car hire company’s website and paying a substantial hire charge in advance gives no protection against car hire scams. Thrifty (aka Hertz) advertise no hidden costs on car hire on their web site. I booked a car and to pick up at Seville airport. When I got there the Hertz/Thrifty agent insisted I had to take out Premium Assistance for â¬42 plus IVA (VAT). I insisted I didn’t need it (I had my own annual excess cover) and didn’t want it. She said that if I didn’t take it out she would not release the car (for which I had already paid!). After the long queue to get to the front of the desk and much arguing it seemed Thrifty/Hertz were happy to lie to me (it turned out Premium Assistance is entirely optional) and I had an urgent appointment in Jerez to get to. Faced with the option of not being supplied with the car (in breach of the Hertz/Thrifty contract) and having to try to find another hire car elsewhere I signed under protest.
My wife noticed that other customers at the Hertz/Thrifty desk were being similarly coerced. I sent my feedback to Hertz/Thrifty and they have refused to refund the charge on the basis that I signed for it (albeit under false pretences). To add insult to injury, when I paid the extra charge, they converted the charge into Â£ sterling without asking me at a poor exchange rate when I had a Halifax Clarity card which would have given a perfect exchange rate.
It seems that if you book through Hertz/Thrifty be prepared to be refused the car unless you pay extra. Is there no end to the kind of scams that Hertz/Thrifty will try to perpetrate?