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Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

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Santiago
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7 posts
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Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

I don´t think it is reasonable to have a renter waste precious vacation time in a foreign city to change the oil on the car he has rented. Something very similar is what happened to us. After renting a car from Europcar in Berlin and driving to Budapest, a warning sign came on the dashboard saying that the car ignition would be disabled unless we added AdBlue to the car before a certain amount of kilometers. We wasted significant time from our vacation looking for a place to get the additive, and finally had to take the car into an Audi service shop (Smoliner) in Vienna at the recommendation of the Vienna Europcar agency, a process for which we had to wait two hours.

This in addition to time figuring out what the heck AdBlue was, and significant time wasted searching for a location that sells it in Hungary with no luck, where after being told by the Europcar agency in Budapest that it was readily available, the service stations had no idea what we were talking about when we asked them if they sold AdBlue. We did our part as the contract says, and contacted the Europcar agency in Budapest and Vienna first. This is something that Europcar should check and refill before allowing the car on the road and not pass the burden along to the customer, especially without any advance warning. In addition, the rental personnel at the Heidelberg office where we returned the car were very rude about this when we pointed it out to them, and a supervisor in Berlin, Mr. Kuhne, said by telephone that we we were "way out of line" for complaining. I would have expected them to offer a partial refund for the time taken from our vacation to compensate for the trouble. Quite the contrary, they treated us badly on top of everything!

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Berlin
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5,557 posts
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1. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

I have never heard of a car's ignition being disabled because an additive wasn't present in the oil...

Santiago
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7 posts
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2. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

It is not in the oil... it is in a separate canister that feeds into the engine ignition system. Basically it is a chemical called urea that reduces NOX emmissions in high performance Diesel engines (in our case, a new Volswagen Sharan, otherwise a great car). I had to learn about all this but I had no idea about it just a month ago. Check out www.adblue.com if you are interested...

My basic gripe is that just a simple comment from Europcar at the time of renting would have made our life easy. Instead of that, all we received was abuse.

Frankfurt
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535 posts
116 reviews
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3. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

I would suggest that you write to Europcar and explain what happened.

Santiago
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7 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

Yes, of course, that is what I did. I also researched Europcar customer service, and sent several emails. They have not replied, so I decided to post here so that it does not happen to others.

London, United...
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16,257 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

Your post will disappear as soon as people stop responding to it. You should do a TA review, which will be permanent.

Germany
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for Train Travel
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6. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_exhaust_fluid

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdBlue

A more appropriate title would be "Diesel cars needing AdBlue - watch out!". As I'm sure this could happen with other rental companies as well as this technology is also for the rental car companies new. They should indeed either don't let such cars at all or inform the customers. And refill the AdBlue in time. A full AdBlue tank in a VW Sharan lasts 15.000 km. It is however something the car "consumes" like the Diesel fuel itself. Thus from a legal point of view not comparable with a break down or missed inspection or so. Did Europcar pay (refunded you) for the AdBlue filling?

Berlin/Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
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7. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

I guess I would have returned it to the nearest Europcar agency and let them deal with it, and insisted on a replacement car. At least that's what I've done every time I've ever had a mechanical issue with a rental car. It's one of the reasons you pay extra to rent from an international company as opposed to the local Rent-a-Wreck.

8. Re: Europcar in Berlin - watch out!

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