In addition to the basic rental fee and value added tax, there are many charges European car rental companies impose on renters: including various insurance coverages, re-fueling charges, premium station fees, road and registration taxes, eco charges, one-way charges, additional driver charges, and others.
A once rarely-encountered post-rental fee we’ve been hearing about lately is for cleaning the returned vehicle. This is justified by the rental company asserting that more than a routine vacuum and wash is required to prepare the car for the next rental customer.
Bring the car back caked with mud, looking like it’s just been driven in an African road rally, and you’re likely to be hit with a fee. Dog hair and spilled liquids on upholstery are also prime candidates for more than routine cleaning. We've seen cleanup charges that range from 15 to 100 euros.
Financial hard times for European car rental companies has caused them to seek every possible revenue source. If they can make a case that out-of-the-ordinary cleaning was required on your returned rental car you can bet you’ll be charged.
Usually, you don’t find out about a cleaning charge until you’re back home and it appears on your credit card statement. You can dispute it through your credit card but the rental company will offer photos in evidence. The usual detritus of pine needles, bits of grass and leaves, and some crumpled pieces of paper make it clear the car’s interior required cleaning. Whether that process requires more than a normal effort seems very subjective and credit card companies are likely to side with the vendor.
Avoid this charge by removing as much dirt and debris from your car as possible and then take photos…inside and out.
Book your rental car in Europe with Gemütlichkeit's travel department and get the best rates, personalized, knowledgeable service and our unique at-the-rental-counter safety net that ensures our customers get what they are promised. We book with all the major companies in more than 35 countries. If you have questions about rentals in Europe, or simply prefer to deal in-person, phone us at 800-521-6722.