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Rhodium/Goldcar Hire Car Review - DO NOT USE THEM!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I made the mistake of using Rhodium/Goldcar for car hire from Toulouse last week. On returning the car, I was charged €195 for 'damage' to the car that was there already when I picked the car up. It turns out that these crooks are actually well known for their rip-off tactics, so much that they have their own dedicated Facebook page for 'victims':
https://www.facebook.com/GoldcarReviews

Just don't use them, there's a reason they are cheaper than other companies - it's because they up their margin after the hire. DO NOT USE!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Some interesting scams on the FB link
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Agreed, they tried it on with me at Palma, Majorca 2-3 years ago, thankfully i'd taken a video on collection/ drop off. I always do this, suggest others do same whoever you hire from. I've come to realise that all hire cars are in pristine as new condition when you collect them in the dark dingy carparks, and trashed when you return them into their shiny well-lit drop off bays, strange that.....
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One of the reasons I always take numerous photos and a walk around video when I pick up a car, even if it looks like new.

Don’t be afraid of going OTT either, I take photos of the smallest marks and stone chips, inside the door jambs, wheels etc.

Thankfully I’ve not had a problem but it’s nice to have evidence for if an issue arises.

Incidentally it’s not just the crappy stuff that has poor condition, we hired a ‘premium’ car in Norway (it was about £3 more than the cheapest option) and got a nearly new Merc that must have had most fragile paint ever, covered in little chips.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
This is the exact reason I stopped booking through third party platforms and now only book direct with one of the big three companies. The cost difference is so small it really makes no difference to book direct anyway. The third party platforms all take a cut of the rental fee which makes the car hire operator keen to try and claw back some profit either through that "drop it off empty" scam, or unnecessary overpriced insurance (you'd need to be awful at maths to think that's ever worthwhile), or through the scratch repairs. In the years since i quit the third party platforms, I've never had a problem with any rentals.
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It is actually quite difficult to know who is who as a lot of the companies have different trading names eg golfcar rhodium europcar and ?buchbinder may well be part of the same group.
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@countryman, Buchbinder is not part of Europcar. Buchbinder (which used to be owned by Sixt but not any more) is the same as Megadrive and Global. Avis owns Budget and Payless. Hertz has Dollar and Thrifty. Enterprise has National and Alamo - Europcar used to run National and Alamo under license but not any more.

Europcar does own Goldcar. I would have no problem hiring from Europcar even if Goldcar are crap.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Hertz has Dollar and Thrifty and Firefly. Firefly is the Hertz equivalent to GC
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No car rental companies can be fully trusted but you can sort the complete shysters from the credible.

When I did my research for a non-skiing Italian trip last year it was clear the real budget operators like Goldcar should not be touched with a barge pole.

And even though they are owned by Europcar the operations seem entirely distinct. Even the big names don't all come out smelling of roses. And in fact I had a big experience with Sixt many moons ago and have avoided them since. In the end we used Europcar and everything was fine.
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Nothing worse than feeling you've been stolen from by these companies, I've actually used Goldcar/Rhodium tons of times in Spain and never been charged for anything extra.
One thing worth doing as others have suggested is document every single tiny chip, scratch, dent etc on pick up and send them to the rental company there and then by email, if it's dark then do it when it's light the next day. Takes 5 mins but it gives me peace of mind if they try anything they won't get away with it.
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It’s interesting to see how things have changed since I worked in the car rental industry many years ago. It used to be that the rental companies charged a sensible fee for the rental itself and then the insurance was also ‘sensible’. This meant that everyone took out the insurance and there was zero quibble about tiny scratches. IME the car rental companies didn’t remotely try and rip off the customers, but we did spend a fair amount of time battling customers trying to rip us off!

Now, the model has changed. Car hire rates are stupidly low much of the time. Often about £100 a week. Then the companies charge silly money for the insurance as it is a ‘hidden’ cost, customers often don’t want it so you end up with all the fuss about tiny scratches.

A lot of car rental companies are complete shysters nowadays but in turn I suspect most customers will try and cover up any minor damage they might have caused.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@iainm, This isn't the rental company's fault, it is your fault for taking the car without querying and/or photographing the damage.

You happily signed that you accepted a £25,000 car with no damage, so why would you not check it before driving off, especially if you knew damage to be present?

The rental companies may be sharp, but a few simple steps can protect you against any hassle.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Our experience with Firefly (edited) (Treviso) earlier this month was fine. It wasn't the best car we've been given but certainly acceptable for the price (well under £100 for a week).

Several chips and dents on the car when we were given it, all except one which were already mentioned on the sign-out sheet. We queried the extra one and had it noted before leaving.

Car had quite a few miles on it for a hire car but everything in working order, except for the washer fluid which didn't seem to work despite being full (and temps mostly above zero).

As always, ensured that the car was checked by a staff member upon drop off at the end of the week. No quibbles and deposit returned in full.

Over the last 5 years we've hired about 20 cars from Europcar, Enterprise, Sixt, Budget, Firefly and a few others I can't remember the names of, and never had any hassle (yet!).

Edit: apologies, it was actually Firefly (another budget wing of one of the main brands) we rented from, not Goldcar Edit: apologies, it was actually Firefly (another budget wing of one of the main brands) we rented from, not Goldcar Embarassed


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Fri 29-03-19 15:41; edited 2 times in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Doesn't taking out separate excess insurance as is often discussed on here avoid some of these issues and stress?

@denfinella, if you ever rent a car at Munich Airport, good luck getting it checked by a member of staff on return!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
sugarmoma666 wrote:
... if you ever rent a car at Munich Airport, good luck getting it checked by a member of staff on return!

<shrug> I've never had a problem there. Perhaps it depends when you take it back or something,
but it's usually the standard line up, all quick and efficient in my experience (and I self insure).

I didn't have any problems with Goldcar, although I think they may have taken a huge deposit - I don't really care as I would have charged it back
if they'd tried fraud. Clearly people do have trouble and Goldcar are particularly bad - individual anecdotes don't change that.

Really I'd be happiest if I could just hire a car which had a dent in every panel, so I don't need to video the whole thing twice and all that stuff.
I know it's not the business model, but really I don't care what the car is or how it looks: it's a rental.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@philwig, we one rented a car in Iceland from SAD Cars....very well used cars!
More than one dent on every panel!

The guy could not have been nicer..."just bring it back with all its wheels, all its glass, and all its panels and that is good enough"

He laughed when I started doing a condition report...it would have taken hours.

He was true to his word, didn't even give it a cursory once over when we returned.

Highly recommended.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
OP, my sympathy is largely with Goldcar, not you, sorry. You signed a form confirming the condition of the car that excluded the damage with which you returned the car. It is perfectly possible that they had not known of the existence of this damage which you refer to as having existed at the time you collected it.

You had your opportunity to address this at the time the hire commenced.

I hired from Goldcar once, in Spain (there was no alternative, despite the scare stories on the 'net), and they were charming, helpful and straightforward.

Like rungsp I once hired a Luton van where every panel had damage. The chap said so long as I didn't drive it under a low bridge it would be difficult to damage it much more. Perfect!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@sugarmoma666, yes, I've heard that. I guess if you can't get someone to check it then there's a greater chance of being unfairly charged for something.

As for excess insurance, we used to take the risk and not have any, but this year, for the first time, we've taken out an annual excess insurance policy which has made me more confident about booking with cheaper hire companies.
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I’ve only ever used Europcar and Enterprise. Always booked direct.

Never had a problem. Pay peanuts. Get monkies. That being said, neither Europcar or Enterprise are overly expensive.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
foxtrotzulu wrote:


...... I suspect most customers will try and cover up any minor damage they might have caused.


Understandable really, given the excessive charges levied, and sharp practices
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Quote:

I suspect most customers will try and cover up any minor damage they might have caused.


I always wonder about the excess deposit and damage. In 9 out of 10 cases if there is a minor scratch or damage the rental company will never get this fixed (going by some of the cars I have had previously) and just leave it - so why charge you for it...its general wear and tear to some extent. Do the companies always take the full deposit for "any" damage caused or does it vary on severity? I have never had a problem, so I don't honestly know.
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BMG wrote:
Quote:

I suspect most customers will try and cover up any minor damage they might have caused.


I always wonder about the excess deposit and damage. In 9 out of 10 cases if there is a minor scratch or damage the rental company will never get this fixed (going by some of the cars I have had previously) and just leave it - so why charge you for it...its general wear and tear to some extent. Do the companies always take the full deposit for "any" damage caused or does it vary on severity? I have never had a problem, so I don't honestly know.


General wear and tear ? Aye, ok. If you scrape it you should pay for the damage. If you don't want to then pay the excess insurance . I don't care what anybody says, 95% of people who do minor damage to a hire car will try to get away with it. Sharp practice works both ways.
The full deposit excess is a maximum, and in practice MOST chargeable damage will approach that cost.
People still think that every rental outlet has a wee chap round the corner that'll sort a dent or scrape for £25 and have the car back tomorrow...

Rent from a proper company and you'll have few problems, rent from a small independent and take your chances.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
dont care who I rent from. I film the car inside & out & zoom in on any damage as well as take photos + mark it on the rental form & show it the representative.
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Well, as it goes the Facebook group was very useful. Has some email addresses on there for the MD and claim escalations and they have refunded the amount in full.

Points noted on photos. In my defence, picked up the car at 11pm, no one in car park, motorway being resurfaced, no chance of making it to resort, stayed in a motorway service station hotel, in the am started early and by the time I'd arrived in resort realised I'd missed the deadline for taking photos and emailing them in.

Obv won't be using them again though!
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It's really surprising to hear the amount of people on here who seem content to do their own vehicle inspection prior to renting a car. Why would anyone want to do that? Why should you have to? It's clearly the hire car company's job. It almost seems to be accepted by some people that the consumer has to do this so as to avoid getting ripped off! I don't want to spend the first half hour of my holiday doing a vehicle inspection. I want to get on the road and try to get up the mountain for a half day.

Quote:

I always wonder about the excess deposit and damage. In 9 out of 10 cases if there is a minor scratch or damage the rental company will never get this fixed (going by some of the cars I have had previously) and just leave it - so why charge you for it...its general wear and tear to some extent.


As far as I know the main companies do actually have a policy about the size of scratch they will accept as wear and tear. I can't recall exactly but it's bigger than you think - something like 10cm before they care. With the smaller companies I suspect it's much harsher.
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iainm wrote:
Obv won't be using them again though!


Sounds as though you got a good result. You returned a car with damage that the hire company was not aware of, and they didn't charge you. I'd use them again.

monkey wrote:
It's really surprising to hear the amount of people on here who seem content to do their own vehicle inspection prior to renting a car. Why would anyone want to do that?


Do you check your change when you give the barman a twenty pound note and he gives you change back? Do you check that the amount that has been entered into the credit card machine is the same as the number on the till? Do you ensure that your builder's hand-written invoice adds up? If the foreign currency exchange place (OK, a bit retro I know) gives you €1143.63 cash over the counter in exchange for your £1,000, do you count it?

And if the answer to any of these questions is "yes", why does it suddenly become less important when the item is a £20k car, rather than just a few pounds?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@James the Last, +1 to both (+2?!)

@monkey, also it doesn't usually take half an hour to check for scratches. More like 2-5 minutes depending on whether you have to report any to a staff member or not. I'm all for skiing on arrival day, but that's not going to make a significant difference to skiing time.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@monkey, it's not about expecting to be ripped of, it's about making sure that I have a reasonable argument. I take photos/video every time but have never had an issue, the hire companies I've used have always done the process. But the important thing for me is that I'm covered IF something happens. Usually I can do the photos and video while someone else is loading luggage, at most it'll add 5 minutes to the process.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
monkey wrote:
It's really surprising to hear the amount of people on here who seem content to do their own vehicle inspection prior to renting a car. ...
I hear that. Let me phrase your question the other way around: "would you trust a hire company to add up what you owe and bill it to you without you checking that they got it right?"

I think they really want you to buy the insurance, so there's little incentive on them to (for example) video their vehicles on hand-over.
I'm content to do my own vehicle inspection and save on their insurance charges wink

--
I'm about to have builders put scaffolding around my house. I shall certainly be taking images before that, in case something is broken during that process which I have to ask them to put right. It's not because I think they're thieves or bad people, I just want everything to be fair. I would not be remotely surprised if they didn't do the same thing. The electricity board (operating under various confusing subcontractor names these days) will take images of your property before touching it for the same reason.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@philwig, I work for a national contractor, before any job starts we'll do a 'Schedule of Dilapidations' which will include photos of the site, surrounding area and roads etc. as well as a written report on any existing damage. Just makes everything easier when, 12 months later, you leave site and no one can remember if that gate used to be so bent or if those kerbs were always chipped. For the most part issues don't arise because someone's trying to rip you off, they just don't have any incentive to do the schedule themselves.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I had a similar thing with Alamo last year with a minor scratch. Fitzwilliams wouldn't believe me it would polish out

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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
New mention for Goldcar in the press:
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/may/06/goldcar-named-worst-car-hire-company-in-which-survey
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
James the Last wrote:
OP, my sympathy is largely with Goldcar, not you, sorry. You signed a form confirming the condition of the car that excluded the damage with which you returned the car. It is perfectly possible that they had not known of the existence of this damage which you refer to as having existed at the time you collected it.

You had your opportunity to address this at the time the hire commenced.

I hired from Goldcar once, in Spain (there was no alternative, despite the scare stories on the 'net), and they were charming, helpful and straightforward.

Like rungsp I once hired a Luton van where every panel had damage. The chap said so long as I didn't drive it under a low bridge it would be difficult to damage it much more. Perfect!


Always, always get every dent, bump and scratch added to the paperwork before you leave. I once rented a LWB high top Transit, I hadn't driven a van before. I inspected the van before signing it out. I looked at a small, 5p sized dent/paint chip on the side of the van which had rust on the metal. I said it wouldn't be worth noting, it had rust on it, but the girl said she'd note it on the paperwork anyway.

22 hours of incident free non-stop driving later I drove into Limerick to drop the van off. I hadn't been too that depot before and took the wrong gate to another unit. A quick three pointer and I'm back on track. As I swing in a lapse in concentration see's me miscalculate the swing of the vehicle and I swing the middle of the van into the 'gate post' - can 18' diameter steel tube 3m high filled with concrete. The noise of impact was loud enough for people to come out of the adjacent unit. I pulled the van up by the office and dropped the keys in. The assistant came out to inspect the van. 'That's a big one......' he said looking at the side of the van - creased panel top to bottom, roof line just pushed up a bit, cill line deflected, "..... but here it is on the paperwork:dented panel".

The moral of the storey, "Always, always get every dent, bump and scratch added to the paperwork before you leave".
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If anyone caught it last week, Joe lycett the comedian, heads a "tongue in cheek" consumer affairs programme on which he looked at a car rental company located at Heathrow, worth a look if you can find it.

A mix of hidden camera footage from covert employee and straight walk up to the desk car hire.

It shows a complete disregard for any moral position in business, with clear intention to wrong foot any transaction that took place. Car hire was just the platform and basis to scam anyone that came near them with various ploys to exploit anyone that thought they were dealing with a company working honestly.

You can quite see a rental company keen to protect assets in the marketplace they operate, nobody would deny that's a correct business practice, if carried out in a transparent and above board transaction.

This was so far removed from that. Question is which company do you get when hiring? Or the proportion of plain fraudulent activities the local staff have taken it apon themselves to work on any customer they sense a vulnerability in?

It's no wonder satisfaction is so low in some of these business, they clearly work very hard to achieve it in some locations Very Happy
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Seems to be his fault for not reporting pre existing damage, how negligent of him!

https://greenmotion.co.uk/news/statement-from-the-green-motion-uk-master-franchise-relating-to-recent-channel-4-broadcast
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Green Motion gave me a 4x4 for a winter trip in Scotland (I was always on road!).
Once it started raining that evening on the drive north from Edinburgh it turned into the WORST car I have ever driven.
Terrifying, swerving and squirrelling all over the road at any speed and corners...shudder!

The next morning we tried to figure out what was wrong...the tyres were bald.
I mean bald! No tread at all, like slicks on an F1.

When I returned the car a couple of days later (thankfully no more rain) I was quite blunt.
They did not give a poo-poo and somebody was waiting to take the car straight away. When I pointed out the bald tyres the office guy told me to F-off in no uncertain terms!

Never, ever, again.
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@ster, @rungsp,
Have just come back from a weekend where I rented a car with Green Motion at Stansted. The salesman said 'it's not dodgy' about 5 times during the interaction, which kind of summed it up. At one point, while dealing with us, his manager took him out and berated him in front of all the other customers. He then presented the insurance as mandatory, and precharged us for fuel without telling us, which he assured would be refunded if we did not use it. We were in a hurry and had no choice but to take the car, but needless to say it was not refunded at return. He also tried to take a £125 charge on our debit card in case we got a speeding fine, without really explaining what he was doing. The car was 'upgraded', even though we expressly asked for a small car as we would be driving in an unknown city. It also had a warning light on, and a tyre pressure warning. When we returned the car, another member of staff was trying to charge a french couple hundreds of pounds for some unknown reason, and was very aggressive and threatening. Not in a pushy sales kind of way, but in a genuinely threatening violent thug kind of way. They had a very large, bold print sign saying 'abusive behaviour toward our staff will not be tolerated'. I wonder why they needed that.

We have reported to trading standards, for all that it's worth. Avoid at all costs. The worst customer experience I have ever had.
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I've had completely the opposite experience with Greenmotion at Stansted. I've recently hired vehicles Monday to Friday for the last five weeks whilst work is being done on my car. Now maybe its because it's obvious that I'm clued up, inspect the car and get every mark recorded; but the staff in both the office and the collection point have always been friendly and polite. Never tried to push extra insurance or fuel on to me; and having collected two cars in the dark, they said please send us pictures of any unrecorded marks you find tomorrow morning. Did that and there was a note on the sheet when I returned it. I'm no great fan of car hire companies; but they asked me to rate the service at this branch and I felt able to write 'good'.

Of course my next post may be completely different after I return the car this Friday..............
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I recently used Green Motion at Manchester and they were excellent.

Customer service was a little slow, due to a queue, but the staff were great and very helpful. I have my own insurance and they did not bat an eye lid when I told them. We always check the car thoroughly and the staff were more than happy to do this with us.

When I rang to explain that I would like to have the car for a few more hours due to a delayed flight I was told that it was no problem and to just give the employees name at the desk. I did and all was fine. I would use them again.

These are large companies and, unfortunately, you are always going to get some staff members who act inappropriately. If the company is not aware of it then they cannot do anything about it so if you have a bad experience complain and if you have a good one offer some positive feedback too.
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@ster, yes, they we're playing the "game" of informing the renter that their existing personally arranged "insurance" wasn't that at all. What's more, no match for the rental company provided policy at highly marked up cost.

Renter was asked to sign condition report before even seeing the vehicle with them stating that three faults existed. How can contract be enacted in that scenario?
On return of the vehicle, close inspection revealed the other pre-existing damage to alloy wheel (they saw it then but not on their own pre-inspection which wasn't disclosed to customer) what a surprise rolling eyes

Which prompted the next rental scenario of taking the inclusive "all risks" cover that was pushed at collection to avoid any risks. They were two different transactions and not linked at point of purchase, just another way to highlight the practices the hire desk was willing to engage in to maximise cost to the client, whether honest or not. It certainly did exactly that.

The PR guff is the std issue response when a company gets caught pulling down customer's pants. You can predict the phraseology before you even see their issued statement, isloated incident, thousands of satisfied customers, rogue employee, dismissal of said employees, re-training of branch staff, unfair practice of be caught out etc etc, arranged in whichever cascading level of importance the PR agency deams most effective. It's all the same shoite though.
It just demonstrates (by complaining about the customer) that they have no real intention of stopping such fraudulent approach to customers. It just further demonstrated complete insincere thought process in looking at what they are willing accept in their own internal decision making when contracting these franchisees to work under their umbrella branding.

What they, in circumstances when evidence is filmed, fail to take account of, is they are all the very same methods of scamming customers experienced across so many outlets. It's as if they are unaware of any discussion via social media of their premeditated actions to extract money dishonestly.

As above posts, there are honest and perfectly good experiences from hiring vehicles and positive comments for those are valid. Unfortunately, by it's very nature, it's the negative that most concern consumers. This industry seems to go out of it's way to ensure they keep that narrative alive, making people take extreme measures to ensure they are not exposed to being taken for idiots.

Here's a set of wording the various PR responders may want to first consider when facing such an investigation, scamming, falsification, obfuscation, deliberate strategy of confusion, pressurised selling, plain dishonesty, etc etc, then matching that to the stated brand values they are being paid to protect.

The evidence runs against them, and they just employ "head up their a*rse" delivery of patently bullocks statements rather than do anything practical about their shonky practices.
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