Wednesday, January 03, 2007


The sour taste of pessimism

As you know, you can tell if someone’s an optimist or a pessimist by giving them half a glass of water – the optimist will say it’s half full; the pessimist will say it’s half empty.

On this premise I have come to the conclusion that Europcar is a company of pessimists. Last year I was scurrying round Calvi on the Sunday morning of my flight back to the UK, looking for an open gas station. Fortunately, I found one open on the outskirts of the town about three kilometres from the airport, and I duly filled up with diesel until the pump switched itself off – completely full, I thought to myself, smugly. The gauge was showing full, too, as I drove towards Sta. Catalina Airport.

On returning the car to the depot, I was gob-smacked to see the Europcar representative approaching the car with a fuel line. “The car must be completely full of diesel on return” he said. “It is”, I replied. However, by inserting the hose and clicking the trigger several times, he managed to get a few more ccs into the tank and charged me 10 euros. Don’t they know what full is?

I think Europcar is letting itself down with this policy. I left Corsica with a nasty taste in my mouth for only the second time in my life (more about the first some other time). As you'll note from the post below, I usually hire my cars through Carrentals, Holiday Options or Corsica-Isula Carhire. But if I get a choice of provider next time I book a hire car here, I’ll opt for Hertz. When I apologetically returned a car to them with a slight bump on the door a couple of years ago, the Hertz rep told me not to worry about it. “Don’t worry, that was just a little present from Corsica” he said. Good for them.

This is great info to know.
Glad to help! However, I must admit I have gone through AutoEurope and Europcar a couple of times since I wrote this piece with no quibbles over the fullness of my tank!
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