I used to use AutoUnion at Athens airport but for some reason switched to Europcar a couple of years ago. It is very cheap and they pick you up at the airport and take you to a compound in the middle of nowhere. And they let you drive away however hammered you may be so all in all it seems like a fair deal. The drawback? The compound is in the middle of nowhere so when you try to return the car you have to allow an hour for getting lost.
Natch when I picked the car up on my last trip to the Greek hovel it had a few scratches but I did not care. It was 4.15 AM and I wanted to get through Athens and off to the Mani before rush hour. Anyhow it was snowing and I was not going to hang around freezing my nuts off arguing about the odd scratch.
Wind forward 12 days and I returned the car and having duly spent an hour getting lost was getting a little flustered about checking in. The man looked at the car and detected some small new scratches in four places. Driving up to the Greek hovel you go through bushes and other fauna and so I imagined he’d get a spray can and fill in the small scratches.
That will be an extra 400 Euro said the man. I should charge you 480 Euro, 120 Euro to respray each panel but I can offer you a bulk discount. WTF!
a) Such a respray would not cost 480 Euro even in England when you have a bulk deal with your local shop as Europcar must do.
b) Was the bloke who used the car before me leaving it with various scratches also charged for a total respray? Knowing what Greece is like do they honestly respray whole panels every time they get a small scratch?
Whether it is a or b I felt ripped off but they knew and I knew that I had no time to argue. And so I paid and stated that one good turn deserved another. And on that basis might I encourage you to pass this article on to anyone heading for Athens and looking to rent a car with the clear advice that Europcar are complete and utter bastards and should be avoided at all costs.
Next time? Next time I go to Greece I am finally sorting out my residency and that means I can buy a pick-up truck, my own motorbike and a gun. Never again will I have to go anywhere near Europcar. Have I made it clear that Europcar are complete and utter bastards and should be avoided at all costs?