We prepaid the rental car through Europcar's website. We reserved a Fiat Grand Punto 1.4 Manual Trans with Navigation, and space for two suitcases.
Seeing as it was the only car listed with no other similar cars we expected the Fiat. When we arrived at the Salisbury train station we couldn't find the Europcar office, we asked the station workers, which told us there wasn't a Europcar office there. At that point we were confused because our printed off reservations had us picking up the car at Salisburty Trainstation. We called the Europcar number which got us a person who told us the location of the office which was about 3 miles away.
We hung up and called again after asking another station worker who told us normally Europcar picks you up and takes you to the office. We once again called Europcar and that time we got them to come pick us up. Once we got to the office they told us the Volkswagen Polo 5dr 1.2 we rode in would be our car, which did not have navigation. They washed the car as we did the paperwork.
We reminded the man behind the counter of the Navigation issue and he handed us a ancient TomTom, that was at least 5 years behind on its updates, and had enough scratches on the screen the touch feature barely worked. Unhappy but now with transportation we decided to leave. The Europcar agent walked us outside and showed me how to turn the headlights on and how to work the radio but never asked if i had ever driven on the opposite side of the car and road, and if i was familiar with the road signs. Luckily i come from a automotive background and didn't have much trouble adapting from American roads to Europe.
Now on our way literally 15mins down the road the tire pressure monitor light came on. We checked the pressures and they were all fine, so we kept driving. After a few days we finally found the TPMS reset switch inside the glove box. The Fiat we booked had a 77PS engine, the Polo had 60PS which doesn't sound like much but in such a little car 17PS makes a good bit of difference, the Polo needed to be put into 4th gear when climbing hills to be able to maintain speed.
The Volkswagen also wouldn't fit both of our suitcases in the back, the rear seats had to be folded flat and one suit case kept on top of them. The biggest problem was the ancient TomTom, because it was so backdated it wouldn't accept the 6-7 digit post codes, which apparently everybody goes by in the UK.
It only wanted Street Name and House numbers which hardly are posted. It also kept warning us of speed zones that were non-existent.
Product or Service Mentioned: Europcar Car Rental.