The Car Rental

After a troublesome evening, but great night at the Eindhoven Airport hotel, the next day I was ready to pick-up my car that I reserved at one of the rental companies. This time almost everything went smoothly and I was on the highway to my destination in no time.
Citroen C4
I wrote almost, because there was still an issue with the car rental: they do no accept VISA Electron cards. The truth is, I have never tried to book a car using that card, but after using it everywhere when I had to travel (in Europe and in the U.S.) it did not even cross my mind, that they may not accept it. Anyway, when I showed them a MasterCard they were more than happy (although there were no big differences, because both are debit cards and both have chips integrated…). Anyway, this was a lesson that I quickly learned and used all the time while I was in the Netherlands: they like MasterCards more than VISA Electrons, so be prepared 😉 .

Maybe a few words about the car I was driving: a Citroen C4. I must say I was a bit worried about the usability of the controls, because, we have to admit, we are talking about an artistic little French piece of equipment here… To my surprise everything was in order (just like a VW or any other car I am used to), with just a touch of French art (just enough 🙂 ). Another great surprise was the built in GPS (although it took a while until I switched it to speak in English 🙂 ) which helped a lot during my quest to find my destination among the potato fields 😛 . The car looked and felt great… until the moment people started to pass me by real easily… Yes, yes it was an economy car I know, but still… why won’t it accelerate?? Bottom line, no matter how fancy equipment it has, I would not trade my 11 year old car for it. Period.

The next most important thing with the entire rental was the invoice: I really needed the VAT number of the company I work at to be present on the invoice. This is a cumbersome operation each time we ask for invoices in work related business, but we are used to it, so I tried to explain the agent, that maybe she can put it to comments or somewhere. Maybe I was a bit pushy, maybe not, she instantly replied, that she know how to fill in an invoice… “Well,… OK…”, I thought and left her to fill out the company data. I was assured that the invoice will be ready the next day and that it will be mailed to me. Guess what, it was not e-mailed. Instead, I had to search for it using my reservation number and download it. Guess what again: the VAT number was missing 🙂 . So, as one can imagine, I have sent them a request to correct this mistake, but, you guessed, no reply since then 😉 , although “Here at Ssst we value your opinion” as the questionnaire title (which I received instantly via e-mail obviously) says…

So, the car rental started up quite well, I had some minor issues, but the end seems a bit disappointing… I never had such problems with other companies… Lessons learned:

  1. Use MasterCards in the Netherlands
  2. An economy car IS an ECONOMY car, do not expect miracles here
  3. Make sure you see the invoice filled with your own eyes if possible, otherwise there might be problems…

Update: The invoice arrived after a few days. Everything was OK. They have won back a few points… 😉 .


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