London, England
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In August last year, I flew into Athens airport (Greece) with my wife and children for a three week holiday.

We flew with EasyJet and through EasyJet booked a hire vehicle with Europcar. At the Europcar counter at the airport the gentlemen in question refused to give me the vehicle claiming that my drivers license was not valid as it was a South African drivers license.

I have been renting cars for over 15 years in Europe including countries such as the UK, Germany, Spain and almost every year for the last 14 years, Greece. This is the first time that I have been refused a vehicle because I hold a South African drivers license.

After an hour spent arguing with this 'gentleman' behind the Europcar counter at the airport, I went across to the next Car rental agency, which in this case was 'Sixt', and in a matter of 10 minutes I had a hire vehicle.

The unfortunate thing is that it was at a substantially higher cost due to it not being pre-booked. I requested to the 'gentleman' behind the Europcar counter that he should consult his supervisor as this was the first time that this has ever happened to me, to which he answered to that he did not need to and even had the audacity to tell me that he had cancelled my reservation!

To date, I have not been refunded by Europcar for the vehicle I was wrongly denied (pre-booked for an paid for up front) nor for the additional expense incurred by going to the other rental agency.

It appears that nobody at Europcar is prepared to assist and neither are EasyJet. This issue has been dragging on for nearly six months and on two occasions have been told that s upervisor will be contacting me within 48 hours!

As things stand at the moment, I do not know who to turn to assist in getting my money back. The amount is not a lot, but its the principle! My family and I were seriously inconvenienced and even distressed for that hour as the whole holiday hinged on having a hire vehicle to get around!

Thank You SIXT!

Product or Service Mentioned: Europcar Car Rental.

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Anonymous
#80036

Do not rent from Dollar/Terstappen in Franfurt Airport, Germany. They have charged my credit card with damages I didn't cause and refused to remove the charges.

Anonymous
#58046

It is very strange that Sixt ended up helping you on this issue. I had this same problem with Sixt.

I had reserved a car through them (though not prepaid) for 2 weeks the summer during the Olympics (2004). When I arrived to pick up the car, they told me they couldn't give it to me because I only had a US drivers license. Prior to that, I had rented cars in Greece with my US license with no problem. I ended up going over to Hertz, who verified that I needed an international license, but they were willing to rent me a car provided that the license issue was at my risk (meaning if I got pulled over, I may have to deal with the consequences).

Of course it was for a lot more than what my original reservations was with Sixt, but at least I wasn't stuck dealing with getting a refund. I have avoided Sixt and only used Hertz since then.