Problems with Sixt - Asking me to pay for scratches

28 posts in this topic

Hi all,


In April I rented a car from Sixt for 4-5 days... One or two weeks after having returned it, they sent me an email that the car had damages (two scratches). I should answer and fill in an application online. I wrote in that application I did not do any scratch at all and I was very careful in my driving.

 

Also their employee in sixt in my returning told me that I can go and they will check the car and everything is ok, and unfortunately I did not go to check it with him at that moment. This was my mistake.

 

After one month in May, they sent me another email that I should pay 1150 euros, including a fee of 7 euros for every month delay.

 

I called them two days ago and they told me to send them an email in English that I deny all these allegations. 

 

I feel like, since there is much saturation in this field that sixt has found an indirect devious and sneaky way to earn some money by accusing pure people that they have caused damages in the car they rented. I have rented many cars in 6 countries - 2 continents and never happened something similar. And after googling I found out that it is kind of usual for sixt to do so (in Germany more specifically). Somehow they should be in blacklist and I should be more careful before renting. 

 

So I want to ask you what I have to do and how to deal with this. What are my next steps? 

In Germany and European Union, is there a kind of protection for pure people if they have these problems with large international companies like sixt or these individuals are completely alone and defenceless? There should be a kind of help without any personal contact with private lawyer, that it would be very expensive.

 

Do you think it would be useful to turn to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection or something similar of European Union? Or is there another more direct way people having this kind of problems to ask for help?

 

After googling and asking some friends knowing a little about laws, I came to the conclusion that I should have the following 4 accusations for them:

 

1) Unfair Treatment

2) False Claims

3) They caused me Mental Anguish (since all my life and especially the last period I have been living in a quiet, relax and harmonic way with inner peace that disturbed by their false allegations)

4) Loss of Earnings since all this time I have spent - will spend for this issue I could work and earn some money.

 

Please advise me and thanks in advance.

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You best bet is to clearly state that you handed the car back, it was checked by an employee at the time and no damage was found.  Therefore, any damage found subsequently to that is the responsibility of Sixt and you are not responsible.  Then produce the documents you received during the return which should state the vehicle was returned OK.

 

You could complain to the consumer protection office in Germany if this is not sufficient.

 

In regards to the other points, you can basically forget that in Germany.

 

I also suggest that you look into getting supplemental insurance.  There are companies who will cover the excess of car rental companies for around 50 - 70 Euros per year (depending on exactly what you want).  

 

 

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Let's start with the very basics,

 

1) Did you read the rental companies terms and conditions?

2) Did you add any additional insurance to your rental in the form of excess insurance or did you add a policy to reduce your liability, normally worded as Vollkasko.

3) Did you inspect the car on collection and check that any damage was recorded on the rental agreement given to you at time of collection?

4) Upon returning the vehicle was the vehicle inspected? (I believe not going by your statement)

5) Did you or do you have any proof, ie; photo's that the vehicle you returned was in the same condition as when you picked it up?

6) Why did you ignore their first email, you were informed that for every month you will be charged but you only responded to their email 2 days ago.

 

1 hour ago, kkantcr said:

In Germany and European Union, is there a kind of protection for pure people if they have these problems with large international companies like sixt or these individuals are completely alone and defenceless? There should be a kind of help without any personal contact with private lawyer, that it would be very expensive.

 

No, it is your responsibility to read their terms and conditions and fully understand what you are agreeing to.

What do you mean by 'Pure'?  holier than others or do you mean 'Poor'?

 

1 hour ago, kkantcr said:

After googling and asking some friends knowing a little about laws, I came to the conclusion that I should have the following 4 accusations for them:

 

1) Unfair Treatment / You did not read the T&C so how can it be unfair.

2) False Claims / where is your proof?

3) They caused me Mental Anguish (since all my life and especially the last period I have been living in a quiet, relax and harmonic way with inner peace that disturbed by their false allegations) Sorry, 'Pure/poor You'

 

4) Loss of Earnings since all this time I have spent - will spend for this issue I could work and earn some money. You should of read the T&C's and taken the additional insurance.

 

Please advise me and thanks in advance.

 

25 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

You best bet is to clearly state that you handed the car back, it was checked by an employee at the time and no damage was found.  Therefore, any damage found subsequently to that is the responsibility of Sixt and you are not responsible.  Then produce the documents you received during the return which should state the vehicle was returned OK.

 

It really isn't going to be as simple as that, without any supporting documentation it might be a struggle.

 

25 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 also suggest that you look into getting supplemental insurance.  There are companies who will cover the excess of car rental companies for around 50 - 70 Euros per year (depending on exactly what you want).  

 

You mean Excess Insurance Policy which currently (to my knowledge) is only available from UK Insurance Companies and not all will insure non UK citizens.

 

Only problem is, it's a bit late for the op.

 

The only other option the op might have is to take the matter up with ECRS but I'm not 100% that will help as this was not a cross border rental. 

 

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@Sir Percy B

 

I of course assumed that he went through the process of checking the car before, getting any scratches etc. noted.  The OP said on return that it was stated as OK, so normally this should be noted also on the return documentation.  Of course if the OP didn't do this, then yes it is difficult.  

 

I don't know if such insurance is only from UK companies, but at least mine insure more than just UK citizens/residents.  (Although I am wondering what happens after Brexit)

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From what I read or understood, whe the vehicle was returned, the guys just said " leave it over there" and that was it...

 

The OP actually agreed they made a big mistake... so they know they made the mistake.. but think we can get them out of it... 

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2 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

The OP said on return that it was stated as OK, so normally this should be noted also on the return documentation. 

 

But the car was not checked in with the renter present so how was this ok? Read the post again.

 

In many situations like this it is normally the op/renter that is at fault either because the additional insurance is too expensive, he/she thought nothing would happen to them or they are too good a driver.

 

By coincidence, something happens and the first thing they always do is blame the rental company and make out how bad they are being treated, well sorry I don't buy that and to be honest it sounds like the op is at fault and for all we know the car was damaged whilst in his/her possession.

Can he/she prove otherwise is the question?

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On 6/21/2019, 4:51:24, SpiderPig said:

From what I read or understood, whe the vehicle was returned, the guys just said " leave it over there" and that was it...

...

 

On 6/21/2019, 5:12:08, Sir Percy B said:

 

But the car was not checked in with the renter present so how was this ok? Read the post again.

 

...

Can he/she prove otherwise is the question?

 

Yes you are both right, I misread the post the first time!

 

 

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Bottom line first: I don’t think you have a leg to stand on (read other responses), but you can try. In any case start saving to pay up. 

 

Depending on when and where you bring back the rental, you can leave it in good faith all the time. There is no need for the renter to be present, and sometimes you can even drop the car after the office is closed. Of course if you don’t have insurance, you should make sure to check out together with a Sixt employee, or take tons of pictures that the car is OK. 

 

I have rented with Sixt 20-30x in the course of 1.5 yrs, sometimes even without excess insurance (I know, not a smart way to save a penny), and never had any issues. 

 

Last tip: if you want to rely on the insurance of your credit card, that does not apply for all vehicle classes, and certainly not for small trucks. 

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On 6/21/2019, 6:12:08, Sir Percy B said:

Can he/she prove otherwise is the question?

Not necessarily. Unless the rental agreement says otherwise the burden of proof that the damage was done while the car was in his possession is on the rental company. After all, it could be that the damage was done after the car was returned.

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I wonder if the OP has Rechtschutzversicherung? Might be useful here...

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50 minutes ago, jeba said:

Not necessarily. Unless the rental agreement says otherwise the burden of proof that the damage was done while the car was in his possession is on the rental company.

This is not necessarily correct. The courts are devided about this.

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

Not necessarily. Unless the rental agreement says otherwise the burden of proof that the damage was done while the car was in his possession is on the rental company. After all, it could be that the damage was done after the car was returned.

 

Shortest explanation I can give you jeba, sometimes you're more of a hindrance than a help.

 

If I am wrong I'll apologise in advance but given that the op has not responded to anyone's replies or questions, I'd say it's fairly obvious it's another one of those posts where someone is looking for a get out clause which is quite often the case in these scenario's.

 

10 hours ago, Dubya said:

I have rented with Sixt 20-30x in the course of 1.5 yrs, sometimes even without excess insurance (I know, not a smart way to save a penny), and never had any issues. 

 

Last tip: if you want to rely on the insurance of your credit card, that does not apply for all vehicle classes, and certainly not for small trucks.

 

If you're renting that much I'd suggest you purchase an annual excess policy from the UK to save you having to pay the excess on your rentals when you take it.

Rather than recommend any one company I always suggest people make a comparison using this comparison site but whatever company anyone decides to go with, always read the small print (T&C) as these policies vary considerably and not everything is covered as one might expect.

 

As you mentioned about credit card insurance and small trucks it is also not possible to purchase an independent excess policy for trucks either.

 

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Hi,

 

Not sure if that would help, but at least you might feel better if you would know that it's not you to blame. 

This really seems to be SIXT way of stay alive in this overcrowded market. 

Not sure how this would help them in a long run, but due to it they are already not listed in major car hire websites and their rating on google is close to "2".

And if someone will tell you that you had to do this and that to avoid their penalty - I will assure you, you don't have a chance. You can't outsmart fraud. The only way to outsmart a fraud is not to have any deal with them.

Proof is 250 page of such claims on Tripadvisor for SIXT Frankfurt Airport only - SIXT will always find a way how to outsmart you.

 

I'm PLATINUM member of SIXT and other company and used them so many times in Germany and all over the Europe and never had a problem until last month. May be because I was not the resident of Germany and would fall under ECRS protection.

 

I needed a car for a day to take me from Frankfurt to Heidelberg. I've pickup a car which had a huuuge scratch like someone was parking in a garage and rubbed the passenger side to the wall. This seems to be documented in the report. But I thought I was smart and looked around car and found 4 more undocumented scratches all over it (and I should note that it was also quite dirty). I called their employee, showed him my findings he commented as "probably it was scratched after I've inspected the car" (which obviously was not the case ). He added new scratches to his report. Once again I thought I would make a smart move and asked him to make photos of the car from different angles and add it to the report as I heard they are not accepting your photos in case of claim.

 

The same day I have returned the car and asked employee to check it. He said it totally fine.

After couple of day I have received a report with the same employee made the next day morning. 

This showed one of this huge scratches was not documented  - thus made by me.

 

I though this is a mistake and asked them to check photos done by their employee in the airport.

After two weeks their answer was basically: We will not check anything, as we don't have to as this was not documented  - thus it's your fault. Here is your bill for 600EUR- pay in three weeks.  All my other emails asking to provide a photos made by them - were ignored.

 

And seems per all the comments from others it's either you are going to court against them (unfortunately I just moved to Germany and learned about lawyer insurance just now) or you pay and the spread the World about their fraudulent activities.

 

 

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You could have refused to accept their car.. asked for one without any scratches....

 

Then when the refuse.. go to the next rental company... its not as if there arent any at the airport

 

Why do people rent from Sixt if they know about all the problems ?

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So was it a new scratch (i.e. one you hadn’t seen before), or one of the ones you had added to the accident report? I didn’t get it. If you had added it to the report, what is the current claim?

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I´ve fallen in the same trap several years ago.

Took the car from a dark garage, could not see any scratch. Left it back there and then they claimed damages.

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2 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

You could have refused to accept their car.. asked for one without any scratches...

 

Then when the refuse.. go to the next rental company... its not as if there arent any at the airport

 

Why do people rent from Sixt if they know about all the problems ?

 

There are multiple answers to your question: no other car availability from SIXT or any other company due to school holidays over, two tired kids on hands after a long flight and most important: idea that I'm Platinum, I've done this multiple times, I know how to protect myself, so will never happen to me. And honestly I've heard about small companies in Easter Europe doing such things, but unfortunately learned about SIXT only after I was scammed.

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48 minutes ago, Dubya said:

So was it a new scratch (i.e. one you hadn’t seen before), or one of the ones you had added to the accident report? I didn’t get it. If you had added it to the report, what is the current claim?

 

It was a scratch which lasted from the front wheel fenders till the rear bumper. And each part of this scratch was documented like: line on fenders, line on passenger door etc. But bumper was not documented (this was overseen by me). 

And again, yes I might have found this and be "safe" and you could call that my fault. But based on what I have read all over the internet -  they would find something else.

And I would not bother if this was made by me or I wouldn't take pictures of car before accepting it or they could just share the pictures their employee made.

But they have pictures on hands, they clearly see that this was done before me but keep it to themselves.

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On 21.6.2019, 15:23:15, kkantcr said:

Also their employee in sixt in my returning told me that I can go and they will check the car and everything is ok, and unfortunately I did not go to check it with him at that moment. This was my mistake.

 

 

 Yeah, so BIG mistake.

 

My philospophy is: never assume that a rental car company will do the right thing by you. 

 

If you rent cars more than once or twice a year it's definitely worth having some sort of extra insurance. That's what we have. It costs us about 60-80 euros per year. (There are a few companies offering this -  Google it!) Will they cough up if there's a claim? Well, when my wife had a minor prang in Greece and we were hit with a bill for over 1200 euros, they did, no problem.

 

Still my motto when dealing with all rental car companies is: be prepared to be screwed over - they will if they can. (How else can they make money in Portugal when you can rent a car for as little as 6-8 euros per day?)

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7 minutes ago, Aussiedog said:

 Yeah, so BIG mistake.

In mentioned TripAdvisor thread there are multiple cases were SIXT was sending claims even after inspecting the car with you or sending claims  after half a year after your rental, so people can't claim their credit card insurance...

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