I went on holiday to Majorca and wanted to hire the car for the week so that we could explore the island. I went on a comparison website and I got a quote from Gold Car at 130.18 Euros. This was for a 5 door hatchback. I checked the reviews of the company, which, were mixed. I also checked the reviews of the other car hire companies but they were all the same. I have had experience of hire car companies in Majorca before and the biggest complaint about them from my experience and from the reviews is the pushy sale on insurance. I knew that I would be faced with the big insurance sale when I got to the hire desk so to spare me from this pain and to give me peace of mind, I took out excess waiver insurance before I went away with the aptly named icarhireinsurance underwritten by Zurich insurance. This enabled me to go to the hire desk and say no to insurance with conviction and the knowledge that it wasn’t required. As an insurance broker, I read my excess waiver policy and knew exactly what it was covering me for. It would cover any accidental damage losses that fall below the car hire companies excess. The hire company excess in this case was 1,400.00 Euros. Whilst at the hire desk I could hear the discussion going on at the desk next to me. The man, like me had purchased excess waiver insurance and said with confidence “I do not need insurance as I have excess waiver cover”, the woman at the desk argued with absolute conviction that, what he had purchased, was not good enough, and that he didn’t know what he was talking about. He went from a man confident in knowing what he had purchased, to unsure and then to passing her his credit card and paying the additional £125.00, having believed what the woman was telling him. She made him feel stupid by telling him repeatedly, “sir, what you have purchased, is not good enough, you do not know what you are talking about”. I was bracing myself for the same argument and I knew that I wasn’t going to fall for the insurance scam. In fact, whilst at the hire desk, I read my document again and there is a paragraph in the schedule that states: ‘Some Car rental companies would prefer you to buy their own policy to remove the excess when you hire a vehicle from them and may try to undermine your confidence in our policy at the rental desk. If they try to tell you that your policy is “invalid” or that they “don’t recognise” it and that you should buy theirs its worth remembering that our policy is independent from any car hire company and our promise is to reimburse you for any excess or CD”/LDW claim is not affected by who you hire your vehicle from or what they tell you”. This reaffirmed what I knew so when the man at the hire desk asked me if I wanted insurance I was pleasantly surprised that he accepted my ‘no’ and advised me that I would need to pay a deposit for the insurance of 1400 Euros. As well as the 1400 Euro Insurance deposit, I was also advised I would need to put a deposit of 160 Euros for fuel and a 26 Euro payment for Airport tax. A total of 1,586 Euro’s. I handed my debit card and they advised me that they would not accept a debit card and that I would need to hand over a credit card. That wasn’t a problem and I did so. When I checked my card, it had actually been processed at £1,459.29 at a rate of .9164 cents to the pound. I went on holiday for 7 days and brought the car back 7 days later. There was no damage and the company were satisfied with the fuel and confirmed that I would be refunded the fuel and insurance deposit shortly. I waited a few weeks before looking and when checking my bank was surprised to note that there was a significant difference between the deposit taken and the refund. I noticed that this was due to the exchange rate. When taking my deposit the hire car company took the money at a rate of .9164 cents to the pound and when refunding, refunded an amount of £1,334.96 a rate of .8590 cents to the pound. Whilst away, there was no significant change in the interest rate and was very surprised at this disparity, which, strangely worked in Gold Cars favour by approximately 7%. I expected to receive a refund of £1,435.00 having taken off the airport tax so was surprised to receive a refund of £100 less. I called Gold Car customer services and they were not much help. They asked me to email their customer service address. Which I did. I received a response from Gold Car who advised as follows: Dear client Thank you for your email about the exchange rate relating to your recent Goldcar vehicle rental. Our records show that you paid with a debit card and there was no option but to complete the transaction at the prevailing exchange rate. We encourage customers to use a credit card for the deposit as the sum is simply blocked and unblocked without a charge actually being made. Our records show you accepted and signed for the charge so it cannot be refunded or calculated at a different exchange rate once the rental period has ended. I hope this clarifies matters but please do get back in contact if you require further information. Kind regards, Patricia H I was pleased with this response as I did pay by credit card and not debit card and I felt that they would therefore, agree that they would refund the difference. I wrote back to the company advising them that I had in fact paid by credit card and would therefore, like to receive a refund. I have emailed them a further 3 times since without a response. It would seem that Gold Car are not willing to discuss this further with me and that this is a way for them to make further money out of people who are not willing to fall for the insurance scam!
City/airport: Palma, Majorca
DanHillier's rating of their experience of Goldcar:
(1/5) on 5 November 2018