Locautodamage charges

Review updated:

At the end of Nov this year we hired a 9 seater car from Argus Hire from Milan Malpensa Airport. The car rental company was Locauto. On presenting the hire voucher to Locauto Rent at their desk I was told that the desk had trouble with computers and my credit card was swiped manually on the rental agreement. I was asked if I wanted to take out extra excess cover insurance with Locauto Rent - I declined.
Our party of six was then escorted by a Locauto employee to the garage area to collect the car. The employee appeared to be very rushed and during the car inspection was very poor in recording existing damage to the exterior of the vehicle. Both I and another member of our party pointed out areas of damage that he missed and asked him to note these on the vehicle report. The hand over procedure lasted approx 5 mins. Specifically to note -at no stage did the employee inspect with us the interior of the vehicle except to record the car mileage. It was pointed out we needed to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel.
No paperwork was presented to me at that point as the employee had no copying facility.
We found a fault with the electronic fuel gauge here by despite ensuring that the tank was full, the gauge did not reset and continued to show approx the tank 3/4 full. On our return to the airport we were met by a different employee from Locauto who started to check the car. It was noticeable that the inspection was far more thorough than the initial pre-hire one. The employee spoke reasonable English so I explained situation with the fuel gauge. I needed to be insistent that the tank was full. He did pass the comment that this did occasionally happen, he would need to disconnect the battery and this would reset the gauge. Despite our obvious concern that we would be charged for fuel none has been made to my account to date.
At this point the employee then opened a rear door and immediately pointed to a burn mark on one of the rear bench seats. Several of our party specifically commented later that the way he identified this damage gave a strong indication that he knew it was there.
I immediately denied that we had caused the damage, none of our party were smokers but my strongest argument was that no inspection of the vehicle interior was taken by the Locauto employee when the vehicle was handed over.
A vigorous argument ensued and I refused to sign any paperwork. I did however comment on a vehicle inspection sheet regarding the fuel and burn mark. Locauto were unable to give a copy of this - however we have photographed it.
Unfortunately I was unable to proceed with the argument as there were no senior Locauto managers available and we needed to transfer to another terminal for our flight back to the UK.
Subsequently we have been invoiced for over Euro 430 for damages to the seat, Locauto have failed to reply to any email or phone message. Argus Hire have refused to resolve the issue despite my persistence that they have a responsibility to me by being the company with whom I made the booking. Any request by Argus Hire to Locauto to contact me has also failed. I have now put the credit card charge into dispute with my bank and await their decision.
I would be interested to hear of any similiar cases with Locauto.

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  • Ro
      Mar 01, 2013

    I had a simmilar incident with locauto from Milan Linate airport. We hired a car on the 19th Feb 13, for a week. We didn't take out the extra excess cover insurance with Locauto Rent as they proposed it at a price higher that the total rental cost for the week!!!
    Locauto employee didn't escort us to the garage to inspect the car before rental. We inspected it and saw no problems. As we reached destination we noticed a bump on one front tire. This, of course, is not something I am expected to verify when hiring a car. I noticed it when we had to look for the tire size before bying chains for the snow.
    Obviously it is a manufacturing defect of the tire as there was no sign on the tire and on the wheel of any scratch that could point to a driver's malfunction of the car. Later when we returned the car the operator found the same problem on a second tire!!
    When we reterned the car it was noticeable that the inspection was thorough and it seemed that the employee looked for the bump in the tires as if he expects to find it. We insisted it is not our fault and we filled this comment on a form. Two days later we got invoiced for this. 270 EURO from our Credit card.
    I am looking for information from other people who were charged this way, maybe even for a tire bump on a Mercedes plate number EM525ZA.
    Thanks Ronny

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Oct 17, 2013

    Similar experience here: we returned the car undamaged (Malpensa airport), signed the form and left. Silly me for trusting them and not asking for a copy. Three weeks later: a €220 charge on my credit card. I blocked the payment and explained there was no damage when I returned it. They sent me a scan of the form I signed and it was immediately clear to me that they changed it (adding damage) AFTER I signed it. I searched for legal advise and was told the cheapest solution was to simply pay for it and swallow my anger...
    Never ever will I use this company again. What I will do is warn others, to hopefully prevent a few more victims and with a little luck some business for Locauto.

    0 Votes
  • Ls
      Nov 14, 2017

    Thank you for posting these horrible experiences with this auto rental company. I was just about to rent a car on line for pick up in Rome Fiumicino Airport, but after reading these comments, I am saying arrivederci to Locauto!!!

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