My rental stopped running and now they want me to pay $6,523!

Ep Photo/Shutterstock
Ep Photo/Shutterstock
Everything seemed fine with the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that Vitor Soares rented from an independent rental company called Super Car Rentals in Aruba. But it wasn’t.

On the second afternoon of his two-day rental, the vehicle broke down.

“We tried to engage the reverse gear to get back to the correct path; the car simply stopped moving,” he remembers. “After that we immediately called Super Car Rentals, and they sent us a third-party towing truck to take care of the car.”

That’s when the trouble really started. The tow truck driver handed him a bill for $400, which he refused to pay, since he hadn’t dispatched the truck, and he considered it to be the car rental company’s responsibility.
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Sounds like a scam: Budget Ireland bills me for a new clutch, but I only drove a few clicks

Renting a car in Europe can take some getting used to for the average American visitor. The vehicles are smaller. Gas is more expensive. And most of the cars have manual transmissions.

And Americans, who are accustomed to driving automatic-transmission vehicles, are notorious for burning out clutches. It’s gotten to the point where any transmission problems are blamed on operator error — whether it’s true or not.

But when Ashley Pallotta contacted me back in 2009 with her burned-out transmission story from Ireland, it sounded like a possible scam.
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