Vacation rentals: experience with hertz italy (vehicle exchange)

Car exchange Ypsilon 500

As already reported here I have chosen our one week holiday in sicily decided for the "premium rental company" hertz (from catania airport). All offers from cardelmar, sunnycars or holidayauto were more expensive, included only inferior insurance services and would have cost 8-12 EUR per day surcharge for drivers under 23 years. My second smallest class rental car EBMR I have finally chosen 169 EUR for 7 days rented, including fully comprehensive insurance, second driver, unlimited kilometers and young driver surcharge. We had found the rental car from hertz at an unbeatable price through the ADAC search. It had to be paid in advance and only by credit card. the rental at the airport catania was to my surprise without any problems. Unfortunately, the trainee at the counter first gave me a lower class than booked (fiat panda gasoline), after she was briefly explained by her colleague and me about upgrades that are given out when the booked class is no longer available, I got a class higher than booked, namely a lancia ypsilon 1.3 JTD as a four-door car with diesel engine. For a vacation rental car so a super car. The vehicle was in top condition and inside very well cleaned. Mileage: just under 7000. Some other tourists who did not ask specifically for a diesel was almost always given 1.2 petrol engines sent into the race.

Experiences with the car exchange at hertz italy

So we were really satisfied with the price/performance and went to gioiosa marea, 160 kilometers away, a small place relatively untouched by tourists, where our hotel was located. However, we did not know when we got on board that we should only spend one hour with the little italian: the road surface of the city of catania and the surrounding area is still much worse than in northern italy, but not so that it would be immediately harmful to the tires. After the first 20 kilometers, a monotonous rumbling at 100 km/h no longer sounded like potholes, but like a broken tire. Next emergency stop bay of the busy federal highway approached and lo and behold:

flat tire with the lancia ypsilon before catania with goodyear summer tires (15 inches) front right. The rim was also no longer completely round..

unfortunately there was no english speaking person available at the hertz-assitance hotline. I left my cell phone number with the lady on the other end and understood that I would be called back by an English speaking employee within the next 10 minutes. But nothing happened, so for the sake of simplicity I decided to mount the emergency wheel and drive back to the airport to exchange the vehicle. What finally had caused the punctures, I could not determine in a hurry on the tires.

The emergency wheel was mounted in a few minutes, but disturbing were countless small glass splinters on the asphalt of the emergency bay, as well as a lot of animal bones and masses of garbage dumped there, which spread an interesting scent at 35 degrees ..

also in the next hours there was no callback from hertz assistance, pretty scary when you consider that this number should also work in real emergencies and then no communication with hertz, at least in english, is possible.
But completely different was the vehicle exchange at the airportthe damage was not examined further, i left a short written description of the damage and my credit card was charged with only 4 EUR for the used diesel fuel. the nice lady at the counter even gave me the key for a citroen C3 1.6 diesel, a double upgrade and a very big car for sicilian conditions, but since I was not yet 25 years old it became a fiat 500 1.3 diesel with really decent equipment.

The driving report of the fiat 500 1.3 JTD coming in the next few days!

about the author

Matthias luft

Author matthias luft fascinated by efficient engines, modern designs and the latest driver assistance systems.


Hertz italy! Never again. It started relatively peaceful, only 2 hours at the hertz counter naples waited, I should mention that in this time two small children were to be attended to. Ok, we started with a Y 10, ok, as soon as it went slightly uphill I drove on the hard shoulder further to represent no traffic hazard. after 14 days the dilemma began. The car did not start anymore,just like that,from now on. I called the assistance number on the contract, fortunately I speak Italian, because it was Sunday evening, I agreed with them to contact me again on Monday morning, because Sunday evening anyway nothing more could be done. Thank God we wanted to go from home, otherwise I do not know what would have happened in the night. So on monday morning called again, all right, tow truck is coming. Although only after 4 hours instead of the promised one, but we are in Italy, there are time and place stretchable terms. My location was approx. 200 km from naples or even bari away and ca. 90 km from foggia. So I get an SMS from assistance with the number of hertz in foggia. After an hour of unsuccessful attempts to call there was clear that the number is wrong. In the meantime the tow truck finds out that the battery is broken and does not charge anymore. Does not matter, I should get a replacement car – I thought. Neither the assistance nor hertz wanted or could give permission to change the battery on the spot, no, the car has to go to bari! Being towed. Now I’ll make it short, on Friday we should fly back from Naples. Until then, hertz naples was so kind not to organize a car for me, I have spent over 100 € on the phone, was referred from one to another, not to waste a thought that I will be called, no, please always call yourself, after all, I have a problem and not the employees of hertz! On wednesday I was offered to get a car in bari, take a cab and get the car on thursday, the last day before my departure!! The cab costs will be reimbursed, this promise I got only verbally and never in writing! I have decided to stop calling hertz and go to the broker auto europe assistance in germany because I find it unreasonable to spend the day on the highway on the last day of my vacation just to bring the car to naples when it doesn’t matter if I go by cab to bari or naples – distance is the same. the broker then managed to organize us a cab for our departure day, thank god. Arrived in Naples I wanted the 616€. From hertz have refunded, the unpleasant long discussion I spare you. Finally I got the money. Of course I complained immediately after my arrival in writing to hertz. In the meantime 14 days have passed, reaction from hertz? Of course none. Only the broker through which the booking was made has responded. Sad and a pity from a company that has written on the flags "enjoy your vacation relaxed, we take care of you"

Thank you for your detailed comment – this really sounds like an absolute rental car horror case and that even on vacation.
I can imagine that there are such situations – as I said, with me at hertz everything went to my satisfaction. Except for the assistance – I was critical of that too. When I had a flat tire, I called them first – after a long wait, no one could speak English and a German-speaking colleague was supposed to call me back – but that didn’t happen. If I had had a serious damage or accident, the assistance could not have helped me at all.

Thank you for your experience reports. Rent almost always about the ADAC sixt/hertz rental cars and was actually always fully satisfied, which is vllt aran that I have not yet had a breakdown.
Matthias, you had rented in catania an EBMR the later fiat 500 is to be assigned to the class MXMR what would be the tiny class (smart, ka, C1 etc) and thus a downgrade or not?
I fly in a few weeks to CAT and wanted to rent a hertz rental car through ADAC EBMR/EDMR would you now advise against hertz after your experience? I find unfortunately no better alternative with such good rental conditions, comprehensive insurance without SB, free cancellation and yes glass + tires co-insured without SB what there is almost no landlord on the free market.
Best greetings

I would definitely recommend hertz at catania airport.

The downgrade would have to be true, but I had previously with the lancia the right class, would not have burst me there just the tire. Must say that I liked the 500 even better.
Instead of the fiat 500 would have me eig. Even a larger renault diesel want to give, but that failed because I was still under 23.

back from catania, booked car EDMR (small car 5-door) hertz via ADAC. Free upgrade get (apparently standard) to choose was volvo s60 (2.0 diesel) or bmw 3 series station wagon. Was actually too big for us (parking space search) have us but then decided for the volvo. Car actually completely in order, condition very good … privately I would not buy it but, too boring design, seats rather uncomfortable for the class. Consumption was 6 liters. Are on 2 days insg. drove 400km., have paid just over 40€ (TOP. )
we have booked through ADAC so fully comprehensive without deductible, in the conditions is written small in German that "glass and tires are covered" but on site this was denied by hertz, and so we have taken out an additional insurance for 10 € day + taxes

24,40€. ADAC immediately written and confirmation get the tire + glass already insured. When returning the vehicle again asked at hertz, and definitely according to hertz is not insured from the outset tire + glass. The ADAC checks this now and I hope reimburses me the amount. In the future you should go through the agbs exactly at the ADAC regarding tire + glass, not that this is taken out and you definitely have to pay on the spot. Without tire + glass insurance I would not drive, bad roads, garbage / glass splinters, potholes ..

Thanks matthias for this blog he has helped me before the rental, hence my contribution, I hope he helps other people.

That really sounds like a super upgrade! Maybe because it is not the main tourist season at the moment and therefore many good vehicles were available. The ADAC is partly obscure, that’s true. tires& glass fully comprehensive I can also only recommend, because I also got a flat tire on sicily. The many potholes have driven – has in the end then actually not cost a cent for me.

Glad I could help you and thank you for your feedback!

Hello jesus-maria,
do you have from ADAC because of the additional insurance on site already answer?
According to the contract SC supercover (disclaimer) is included. In the hertz rental conditions is, of the following exceptions, they are everywhere and covered against everything:
"excluded from this are only hertz neverlost navigation systems, broken or lost keys, misfueling, as well as damage by intent or gross negligence or violations of the rental conditions such as in the unlikely event of damage by criminal acts. "

so I have written to the ADAC and after what felt like 2 weeks (apparently there was consultation with sixt on site) get a credit for the mentioned 24 €. Later received an invoice for the credit from ADAC and sixt uk (by mail). Thus summarized volvo s60 2 days, unlimited km, fully insured without SB incl tire glass for 40 € is definitely a class thing.
That the customers on the spot any shit is talked up is known for a long time, but often you have little opportunity to defend or defend, I had only from the ADAC a German confirmation of comprehensive insurance including tires and glass is rather useless with Italians,
but advise everyone to check the conditions of ADAC whether glass + tires are still included, here in Germany has the sixt ADAC tariff now also km limitation and no more fully comprehensive, which was previously still standard.

Matthias, did you have glass+tyre additionally insured and did you also have ADAC? Because that would be double and also refundable.

We had ADAC, but the tire/glass insurance paid only once, so this does not apply to us. But thanks for the tip ;)

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