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The car hire firms to avoid this summer

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Holidaymakers should stay clear of car hire firm Goldcar, consumer group Which? has warned.

The Spanish firm came bottom of Which?’s annual car hire survey with customers complaining about pressure-selling, rude staff and shock charges.

Goldcar has ranked last in five of the six last years.

While Goldcar’s headline prices remain cheap at £13 a day, on average, two in five (40%) customers reported a problem with the company, most often related to terrible customer service or spurious credit card charges.

Goldcar was bought out by car hire giant Europcar in 2017, but any hopes the deal would lead to improvements “have been dashed”, the consumer group said.

In fact, the research shows the firm’s overall score has actually got worse.

Europcar – which has offices in 140 countries around the world – claims the dubious distinction of owning the two budget brands at the bottom of the table – InterRent and Goldcar.

It’s also the worst performing of the major brands, with an average rating of three stars across most categories.

There is an ongoing Trading Standards investigation against Europcar in the UK for charging artificially inflated prices to repair minor chips and scrapes.

At the other end of the table, Canary Islands specialists Cicar and Auto Riesen took first and second position.

Enterprise and Alamo were the top performers among the major brands

Rory Boland, travel editor at Which?, said: “One wrong turn at airport arrivals could easily make or break your holiday. In an industry dogged by unscrupulous practices and interminable add-ons, making the right choice is paramount, so it is good that customers can rely on companies like Cicar and Enterprise to deliver a quality service.

“Our advice is don’t fall for headline prices, vet your car hire firm and whatever you do, avoid Goldcar – it could end up not being a bargain at all and leave you wishing you’d stayed at home.”