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  • Peter-B 8 posts

    Recently reserved a Tesla with Europcar, it comes with free use of the Supercharger network. I thought there might be a chance at pick up one night not he available – Indeed there wasn’t , nor any other electric vehicle available and I was given a petrol car (albeit a nice one)
    After writing to customer service they just said sorry, lessons will be learnt etc.
    Any ideas of what my reply should be because surely if you reserve an electric car then even if the model you chose isn’t available they should provide alternative electric? (When asked the guy checking the car back I said they rarely get Tesla in). Thanks!

    JDB 4,643 posts

    @Peter-B you ask what you should reply, but that depends what you are hoping to achieve. I can’t see you will get very far as the firm can’t offer you a type of car it doesn’t have and it is totally standard to be given a car different to the one booked. The reality is that hire firms have very few electric cars and are selling or reducing electric fleets.

    If it is some sort of compensation you are seeking, how has the non-availability of the Tesla been to your detriment in money terms? Obviously if the Tesla was more expensive than the car provided, then you should be refunded the different, but no doubt you would have checked that at the time before signing the rental agreement.

    Peter-B 8 posts

    Thanks JDB, I guess I’m just still annoyed by this! Had I received the Tesla, then there would have been no additional cost as I planned my trip around the free Superchargers. I paid £135 for petrol. It just seem they lured me in with the idea I could have an electric car but no recourse for them when they cannot provide one. I asked for an explanation and how can I assure I get an electric vehicle in the future – no they didnt answer. I suppose they could have at least given a discount code off a future rental, as a show of good will. Sadly seems the business model for rental companies – they just give you whatever they have when you turn up, unfortunately.

    John 1,049 posts

    If free recharging was offered with an EV rental, the customer shouldn’t have to pay for petrol when an EV could not be provided.

    I recently booked a medium SUV with SIXT and they gave me a small SUV into which it was not possible to fit all my luggage (as advertised on the booking), however the only other available vehicle was a huge diesel pickup which cost, by my calculations approximately £30 extra to refuel. While I wasn’t too bothered about this, I wrote in and they refunded me £15

    Peter-B 8 posts

    Thanks John, I may reply something similar then – that had I got the car I reserved I would not have to pay fuel costs.

    Lady London 2,141 posts

    I’d push it for the £135.
    After all, you’ve presumably got a copy of your original booking alongside clear communication that those who hired the Tesla also got free charging on an unlimited basis or whatever other basis, for the period of the rental.

    Look carefully at whatever form the free charging promise came in, for exceptions and disclaimers eg tiny asterisks that give them get-outs. These weaken your case. If the Tesla is on a category on its own or if all Teslas are in categories that don’t include non Teslas then this helps as then you’d have to look at their level of freedom to give you a different category and how reasonably with regard to their advertising or comms or contracts, they used that freedom and its impact on you.

    Unless any exception or disclaimer makes it clear there are exceptions or that they can substitute a booked Tesla with a different vehicle then minimally you would complain to the ASA about communication insufficiently drawing your attention to these. Or even “bait and switch” tactics.

    If what you have is stronger so they made a contract to give you free charging then if they refuse to refund fuel costs you could try arbitration or legal depending on your evidence and how strongly you feel.

    Obvs ask nicely in the first instance and I’d want the full £135 if I was sure the evidence meant it could only be a breach. Otherwise they’ll either fob you off, or next try to fob you off with a derisory amount.

    If I was likely to be able to use it I’d be happy to help them out if they cough up the full amount by taking it as a voucher.

    Perhaps a first exploratory call on a Tuesday Weds or Thurs in UK office hours after they’ve had their coffee? followed by an email with evidence.

    Peter-B 8 posts

    Thank you Lady London!

    Lady London 2,141 posts

    IANAL just so you know

    Radiata 1 post

    Electric supply clearly low.

    I am between cars and mooring moving on from my Boxster S to an electric car.

    Have rented three different cars from Europcar over the past month. When switching from EQE saloon to an EQC SUV was called on the final day of prior rental to say EQC not available and would I mind keeping EQE for another week… Price for the EQE for the ensuing week strangely quoted as several fold higher but insisted on continuing the original charge rate. Which was agreed.

    Also noted that Teslas now rarely seen.

    Final point is that some stations do not have charging facilities and may allow a drop off but do not advertise pick ups of electric models.

    In some cases Europcar app/website asks one to call to confirm booked model. If not done expect an alternate offer at the desk.

    RonnieB 297 posts

    Unless you had been guaranteed a specific model, as they do sometimes with Avis, then tough luck, you can’t expect to select cars on the basis of their mpg.
    I was late for a pick up at Atlanta recently and my allocated RAV4 was gone so had to take a Ford F150 truck. I got it swapped out next day but I wouldn’t dream of moaning about the fuel consumption.

    Tracey 218 posts

    Bit of a difference between booking a car with free fuelling and arguing about the difference in mpg, which depends on speed and driving style.

    I wonder if we will get to the point where someone says they only know how to drive an EV?

    memesweeper 1,296 posts

    I wonder if we will get to the point where someone says they only know how to drive an EV?

    We’re already at the point some people will see it as unacceptable to drive ICE vehicles in population centres. It’ll be like smoking indoors before long.

    HughM 76 posts

    I wouldn’t go so far as to book an electric car with Europcar but, if they offer me one at the desk, I welcome it. My last was an MG. It was £12 extra (£6 per day). Not a Tesla, so no free charging, but our recharges came to roughly the same as fossil fuel for the same journey. Bonus: you can return it with a flat battery at no extra cost, whereas you are supposed to return a fossil-fuelled car with a full tank. So the extra fee more than paid for itself. Also, knowing where the chargers are now, I would be less anxious about running out of juice next time!

    TGLoyalty 649 posts

    When using fast chargers you’re correct there’s not much difference in cost between ICE and EV.

    The cheaper method is always to use an AC charger with cheaper rates when parked for or even park in a car park with free chargers (fewer of them these days but they do exist)

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