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tried this in a different subsection but no repsonses so maybe someone can advise on here? thx


hi all long-time lurker here, but finally need some of my own help - not sure if this is the place to post so please move if not:




We hired a car from AVIS via a third party for our recent holiday in sardinia


We picked up the car from Olbia airport on 9th May and was scheduled to return it on the morning of 16th May given our flight back to UK was circa 9:40am on the 16th May.


We had problems starting the car all week - this included taking a couple of attempts to start when we picked the car up from the airport. We didn't use the car much during the week, generally just the 15min drive to local beach and back, the main reason we got one was for convenience due to us having our one year old daughter with us.


On the morning of the Sat 16th May we could not start the car at all. At circa 7:15am I eventually called the breakdown assist number labelled on the car dashboard but just got a recorded mesage in italian i did not understand. Given our flight was due to take-off at 9:40am my main concern was to get to the airport - I finally managed to flag down a passing motorist and convince him to take us to the airport (for a fee of EUR 100), leaving the hire car outside our holiday accomodation.


Given we were getting into a car with a complete stranger with all our luggage and a 1yr old baby this was obviously an extremely stressful experience. Upon arriving at the airport when i went to the avis desk to complain they insinuated it was my fault that the car had broken down and that i should have stayed with the car and waited until i got hold of the avis company/breakdown company to recover the car, however given that I had a flight to catch this was not an option to us. I was also informed that given they believed it was my fault that the car had broken down then i would be charged for the pick-up and tow fee. I refused to accept this and verbally agreed with the avis staff that they would call to discuss before charging anything to my credit card. Unfortuneately this was not the case and i have since discovered Avis have made a charge to my credit card of circa EUR 170


I find it outrageous that AVIS have not only provided a car to a family with a 1yr old baby that is defective but then have the temerity to charge me to have it picked up when i had to abandon it due to having a flight to catch. We are circa EUR 270 out of pocket due to the errors of AVIS not to mention the stress of having to get into a strangers car to get to the airport with a 1yr old baby.


My actions so far:


1. we booked the car though a 3rd party - i intend to send off the above suitably edited to them asking for them to help reimburse the money. Should i contact avis direct? if so i assume uk head office as any correspondance with the italian branch will no doubt be beset with language problems


2. i have spoke to credit card company and they are sending me a form to fill in as i dispute the charges.


anything anyone has to add?


many thanks in advance,



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You state you had problems all week with the car, did you contact Avis during this period to complain or ask for a more reliable car? Did you call out the breakdown people during the week when you were experiencing these problems?



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If you had complained whilst on holiday then it would have strengthened your case. Unless you can prove there was a fault with the car then I think Avis will argue that they incurred these costs as a result of your actions.



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I wouldn't agree with that. The reliability of the car is their responsibility and as such, you should contact your cc co and tell them there has been unauthorised charge on your card and you want it back.


You can also let Avis know if you want, but don't be afraid to let them know that you will use the legal system to get a refund if required.


I wouldn't do anything on the phone - recorded delivery letter only.

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I wouldn't agree with that. The reliability of the car is their responsibility and as such, you should contact your cc co and tell them there has been unauthorised charge on your card and you want it back.


You can also let Avis know if you want, but don't be afraid to let them know that you will use the legal system to get a refund if required.


I wouldn't do anything on the phone - recorded delivery letter only.


I'd agree with that Conniff about the reliability issue, but I think the OP would have had a stronger case if they had complained during the holiday, and could show that there had been faults with the car.


I'm not so sure that the CC Co will view it as an unauthorised charge because I suspect the OP signed an agreement at the time of collecting the hire car which gave permission for any additional costs (as detailed in the terms and conditions) to be charged to them.



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  • 4 weeks later...

update on this if anyone has any interest:


After the initial email as per roughly orig post avis agreed to refund part of the charge (£29) for excess petrol as a gesture of goodwill, however we were not satisfied with this and a couple of firm but fair emails later the 3rd party who i booked the car through has refunded the remainder of the extra charge they put through.


pleasantly surprised at such a quick resolution!


thx for advise.

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