Europcar Refund Fiasco: A Customer’s Battle for Reimbursement

Sally Hamilton delves into a reader’s frustrating experience with Europcar, highlighting the challenges faced when a car hire takes an unexpected turn.

The story revolves around a car breakdown, a replaced battery, and the subsequent refund struggle with Europcar.

Car Breakdown and Replacement:

The tale begins with the reader hiring a car from Europcar at Pisa airport in Italy. Despite the vehicle being new, it refused to start the day before their journey home.

After a jumpstart and an attempt to recharge the battery during lunch, the car again failed to start. Faced with limited options, a new battery was purchased for over 100 euros, and the car finally roared to life.

Refund Request and Miscommunication:

Upon returning the car, the reader explained the situation to Europcar, providing the receipt for the new battery.

To their surprise, Europcar asked for bank details, citing a refund process taking seven working days. However, the refund never arrived, leading to frustration and numerous attempts to follow up. Europcar eventually responded via email, asserting the amount was ‘not refundable’ due to the reader’s independent initiative in replacing the battery.

Sally’s Intervention and Resolution:

Seeking resolution, the reader turned to Sally Hamilton, outlining the ordeal. Sally intervened, prompting a swift response from Europcar.

A spokesperson acknowledged a miscommunication, expressing regret for the customer’s negative experience. The refund of €104.95 (£91) was promptly processed.

Europcar’s Commitment to Improvement:

Europcar emphasized its commitment to ensuring a smooth journey for all customers. Feedback from this incident has been conveyed to relevant departments to prevent similar issues in the future. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of effective communication and customer-centric approaches in the service industry.


The Europcar refund saga, as recounted by Sally Hamilton, sheds light on the challenges customers may face in seeking reimbursement.

The miscommunication and delay underscore the need for transparent and efficient customer service practices in the car hire industry. Sally’s intervention played a pivotal role in resolving the matter and serves as a testament to the power of consumer advocacy.

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