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AVIS Frankfurt

Dave Dice
Senior Research Scientist
I recently rented a car from AVIS at Frankfurt for travel to Dagstuhl. We drove to Dagstuhl, left it parked for 5 days, and returned without incident. On return, the attendant -- very pleasant, btw -- found 'damage' to the front driver's side rim and wanted to know details about the 'accident' . There was no accident while the car was in my hands. I related such to the attendant, but didn't make any progress. AVIS tacked an additional 147€ change on my corporate credit card. This was immediately after the Paris Hebdo incident, so we knew security lines would be long and slow, so even though we arrived 3 hours before the flight, we didn't have any spare time to argue the point.
Interestingly, there was no outbound inspection by AVIS when I rented the car. Below is a picture of the rim after the attendant pointed out the issue. There's certainly something on the rim at about the 6:00 and 3:30 positions, but it didn't happen while I had the car. The photographic quality is bad, as the return area was very poorly lit. I took a quick look around the car when I rented it, but didn't spot the supposedly damaged area.
Hopefully this isn't systemic behavior or practice on the part of AVIS.
I suppose the lesson is (a) take a walk-around video when your rent the car -- hopefully there's enough light -- or (b) perhaps use a different vendor.
A subsequent letter from AVIS detailing the damage charge ended as follows :
If you would like to exclude this risk in your next rental, you can purchase an excess-waiver for a small additional charge.


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Comments ( 3 )
  • guest Tuesday, January 27, 2015

    I had to pick up a black car from another rental company maybe starting with 'H' in an unlit carpark at night at the other Frankfurt airport and had a similar experience upon returning it after having always driven and parked it very carefully.

    In the end I escalated a complaint all the way up to senior EU-wide management saying that if they persisted with the unwarranted fee then I would take action against them for me almost spraining my ankle in their massively unsafe car park, and against the clear bad faith on the part of local staff, and that I'd kick up a huge stink in the press, and make the whole thing massively painful and expensive for them since I didn't see that a local bully should be able to actually extort money this way and hide behind the good name of the brand.

    I didn't end up out of pocket!



  • guest Thursday, January 29, 2015

    It's a profit center for Avis. If you don't sign up for the damage waiver they'll can extract even more from you when you return the cars.

  • guest Thursday, January 29, 2015

    Wonder how many times they've charged customers for that particular bit of wheel damage? (:>)

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