Reader Question: What Do I Do About Fake Damage Charges From Israeli Car Rental Agencies?

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I love traveling to Israel, but there are certainly some pain points besides the long flight.

One is Kashrus. I’ve been to Israel 6 times and will soon go for a 7th time, but I still have no idea how the myriad of hechshers and politics behind each one compare to the fairly straightforward situation when eating out in the US. No need to rehash this here, I wrote about it at length here.

Another major pain point is the awful car rental situation at TLV.

Now many people don’t rent cars in Israel, but I prefer having the freedom to drive to anywhere on a whim.

But the situation in Israel is just horrible. Something goes wrong just about every time. The major rental car companies don’t actually own the locations, they franchise them to local operators.

Not long ago, most credit cards excluded CDW insurance coverage in Israel because of the games the rental agencies play there. Now AMEX and Chase cover car rentals in Israel, but rental agencies require a letter stating that your card covers you in Israel or else they won’t accept it.  I’ve never experienced that anywhere besides Israel.

You can use a card like Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve to earn 2 or 3 points per dollar, pay no foreign transaction fees, and get primary CDW rental coverage. Even if you buy the CDW from the car rental agency you’ll still have to pay for scratches as they have a high deductible on their own CDW coverage. Be sure to decline the car rental agency’s CDW coverage and you’ll have zero deductible from your credit card. If you do not decline the car rental’s CDW coverage then your credit card will not cover your rental.

Foy Feierman posts on DDFB that he was billed $1,470 from Budget for damages. However when he returned the car there was no damage and the checkin agent told her that the car was fine. He asked for advice on what to do about the bill.

On my first trip as an adult to Israel some 12 years ago I rented a car from Budget using Orbitz. When I got there I was told that the advertised all-in rate excluded mandatory liability insurance and airport taxes, which significantly increased my rate. After I returned the car I also got a bill alleging a scratch on the car.

I filed for my Chase credit card insurance to cover it, but Budget refused to provide the requested documents to the insurer. That’s likely because they never bothered to fix the scratch. If they fixed the scratch they wouldn’t be able to keep charging everyone for the same scratch as they are notorious for doing. In the end I disputed the charge on the basis of their non-cooperation with the insurance company and I won the dispute. Case closed.

The next time I tried Avis, except this time I rented through an agency that provides a clear all-in price including mandatory liability insurance so that there were no surprises. DansDeals advertisers such as Rechev Rentals do a great job with all-in rates and good customer service. They also provide discounts on rental that include Shabbos and Yom Tov. You won’t get that kind of service or accurate pricing from online travel agencies like Orbitz.

On this trip, the off-site car rental facility opened, making it a real shlep to get back to the terminal. Plus Avis pointed out a tiny little mark and said they would have to charge me $250 for it. Once again I filed for credit card insurance, Avis couldn’t prove they ever fixed it so they didn’t complete the claim, and I won a dispute for the charges.

I heard from many people who just paid and didn’t even try disputing the charge, which is likely how the rental car companies can keep getting away with it.

After that I became vigilant in taking pictures and getting agents to mark every scratch before I took the car off the lot. It’s often hard to get an agent to do a proper walk-around and mark off every scratch, but it’s worth saving the headache. The agent will claim that some scratches are too small to matter, but when you return it another agent will disagree, so you’ll want lots of photo evidence.

I switched to Hertz as they allow returns directly to Terminal 3 and they seem to be much better than the other companies. But I still arm myself with evidence of every existing scratch.

Nonetheless they still manage to overcharge me every time, sometimes because I returned the car an hour early, other times because they charged me for a free upgrade. Luckily when you rent through local agencies like Rechev Rentals they will have your back and sort out any overcharges.

It’s a shame that the first and last experience in Israel for many tourists is dealing with the awful rental car companies there. I’ve seen too many tourists break down into tears when returning their cars.

It doesn’t have to be this way and hopefully one day someone will clean up the mess there.

But until then:

  • Go prepared with a letter of insurance coverage from your credit card for your travel dates.
  • Take lots of pictures of any scratches and dents on the car as well as the odometer to show the pictures were taken before using the car.
  • Take video of scratches, the car odometer, and the car rental lot space number.
  • Get the agent to mark every scratch.
  • Have the agent look up damage charges made to previous renters before agreeing to sign a damage report.
  • Allow plenty of time before your flight to return your car in case of shenanigans.
  • Be prepared for a fight getting the credit card insurance to coordinate with the rental car agency.
  • Make sure that you keep all documentation, including the initial contract, final invoice, receipt, and an incident report if damage is claimed to be found at the return.
  • You can file a claim with AMEX here and with Chase here.
  • Be ready to dispute the charges within 60 days of the statement close date.

If you do all that then at least then you won’t be a victim.

Share your Israel car rental experiences in the comments!

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217 Comments On "Reader Question: What Do I Do About Fake Damage Charges From Israeli Car Rental Agencies?"

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Dear Israeli brother

A dib is a dib and will always be a dib

sholom

I rented from “770Car” in Kfar Chabad (they are close enough to BG airport to pick you up), and the experience was easy and fairly priced – no surprise billing.

Ruth Wenig

Eldan. The worst. They gave us a car with a tire that had a slow leak. No road service. We went to their offices in Jerusalem and Eilat where they told us they had no spare tires. We had to keep filling it up. We paid for a full repair that they refused to cover. At the end of three weeks of this I called American Express and filed a complaint. We ended up not paying a dime for our car rental.

Ejb

To be fair, I’ve rented 10 times and have had none of the above issues. But I always come prepared due to the horror stories we’ve all heard.

Josh

Prepared? How?

Ejb

Pictures, letter, double checking bill, look at statement a month later. Never have needed

Barry

Bring a tire with you

Yoni

@Barry This is probably the best comment I ever read.

Cubs Fan

Agreed. Last Succos upon returning the guy took a magnifying glass to inspect a dust spot on the hood. He tried saying it was a scratch but I told him to use his hand to wipe the dirt off. In a country surrounded by desert you obviously will have dirt accumulate on the car.

Anyways, Enterprise just tried this with me in the USA so they are nit much better. Im cures in a dispute with them over an alleged 2” scratch they claim was caused while in my possession. All these companies deserve a big lawsuit.

MeirS

Enterprise usually absolves you of any scratches less than the size of a dollar bill and any dents less than the size of a golf ball.

MK

Rent from Europecar! I never had any issues with them, no need for letter, scratches that I indeed made weren’t noticed, brand new cars, shuttle to airport is always available, no need to add more than 15-20 minutes because of this.

Julie Kusnetz

I had a very bad rental experience with Europcar. As far as I’m concerned they’re all suspect.

sam

I had an awful experience with Europecar. Would never use them again.

NTorch

I had an interesting experience with them. When I picked the car up at TLV I could not get an agent to walk the car and look for damage because she did not want to leave her desk. She told me to take pictures which I did, but it was night, so not every mark was visible. When I returned the car in Jerusalem the Europcar agent pointed out the scratches and I got concerned, but then he found older rental agreements which were scanned in their computer which already had the scratches. Two lessons – when you pick up the car, take pictures of every square inch and when you drop it off ask to see the old rental agreements.

Chaim

Having just gone thru the process, it’s very difficult for all dents and scratches to be seen in the dark garage they have

Shaya

I had to provide the same letter to Sixt when renting a car in Dublin. I believe there are a few countries that require this and all of them because of having “dangerous/militant” parts of the country.

m berger

there ae about 6 countries without CDW charge card coverage- Australia, NZ, because its always included in the rate, so CDW is not applic. The others (Israel, Italy, Jamaica and forgot the other ) are high claim areas.

Dav

Dan if you had CDW insurance how did budget and avis charged your card to begin with instead of asking your CC to cover it ?

levi

that’s how it works everywhere, the rental company has no business with your CC’s insurance, they charge you and you can claim from your CC, but they need to provide you with paperwork which the CC insurance will ask you for, if the rental company won’t provide it, then dispute.
I’m a TA and deal directly with all the Israeli rental companies, and I’ve told them about this issue, of the companies charging without sending paperwork, they know there is a problem, but they are just Israeli….

Bbe

I am traveling at least once a year to Israel and every time i am renting a car there
I didnt have this experience bh so far
But what i do have is i am comi g with the letter from the credit card about coverage and every time i have to fight with them to decline cdw as they clam its mandatory some times i win by asking for a manager and sone times i am giving in as the air condition there is very bad and after waiting there in line sone times for a half hour or more you just wanna get out of there and o to your car with ac

Hunch

Abe at Rechev rentals is awesome. He really knows the business and has great connections in the Israeli car rental arena.

He’s also very competitively priced and offers great customer service!

(no, I’m not related to Abe)

Viko

Send contact info

Dave

I have rented with Rechev rentals many times. Always a pleasant experience well recommended!

Keith

I must say that I’ve rented cars in Israel dozens of times from Sixt, Eldan, Europcar, Herz, etc. And I have never had these horror stories (bli ayin hara). In fact, I have experienced quite the opposite, I have been undercharged more than once and have had agents look the other way when I really did scratch up the car. I don’t think this post accurately portrays the reality here..or else they only do this to tourists in TLV? (I rented from non airport locations)

MeirS

I recently rented from YeRent (whom you’ve recently advertised for) and they communicated very well by email and confirmed that if my credit card covers me for collision the rate they provided me covers all other necessary insurances.
They were at an off-site facility but they were very pleased and very reasonably priced. I didn’t even need to show them the letter from my credit card company that I’m covered.

Jn

You stated with kashrut in Israel. Here is a fully comprehensive article on this topic that clears up the entire Israeli kashrut issue
Look at volume 6.1 page 161 of the nitzachon journal

https://www.adastorah.org/nitzachon

It is the 10th one down in the color red.

Ben Waxman

https://www.kosharot.co.il/index2.php?id=81&lang=HEB
If you trust Koshrot, they provide recommendations.

Other than that, the whole complaint is simply “why don’t you do things like we do in America?”.

Sam

How do I get the letter from the credit card company? I call them up beforehand and they mail it out to me, or is this something I can print from online etc?

Sharon

As the local Hertz Israel account manager I can assure you , that if you purchase directly from a travel agent who supply you a clear voucher and full information , you won’t be charged any extra , however , it is always the customer responsibility to check the voucher and read the rental agreement and compare that all details are correct before he sign and leave the counter.
Hertz is a premium company who cares for her reputation.

Derek

My really first positive experience in renting a car in TLV was with Hertz this past May. The service was good, the car was great, the transaction was smooth. Going back next month I will definitely rent from Hertz again and hope to get on a winning streak.

I could write a book about how things have gone wrong in the past. All previous rentals (approximately 4 times a year) with many of the companies already mentioned have had many of the issues discussed here. Every time I think I’ve seen it all, along comes a new twist.

One thing about Hertz price quote: if you select your country of residence as Israel on the main (English) website, it will add in all the true fees (including VAT) and allow you to add optional coverage if needed.

I don’t know how to get a true price if you don’t need to pay VAT.

Etan G

I rented from Hertz. I prepaid via the website (lower rate) that pre payment breakdown included airport charge. They tried to hit me with it on the return. I disputed with Chase and won. They also charged me for daily “mandatory” insurance that they say the letter from Chase didn’t cover. I disputed with Chase and lost. They also tried to charge me for gas not being full. I had receipt showing I filled up just 10 minutes before the return. The prob was the receipt just showed the cost of the gas not how many litres were purchased and I couldnt get info on how big the tank was. Upon return the rep SAID the tank was full (8/8) the e-receipt said 7/8 which I didn’t see till I was already on the plane. I lost that one. Get a printout. The big ticket was the “mandatory” insurance. They won’t let you take the car unless you sign that you accept it. Even with the Chase letter. It’s a hassle.

RGV

Chasdei Hashem, I don’t remember any experience remotely close to yours and the other dd’s commenter. Again, bH the last few times I rented I had great experiences – it was from yerent.com (info@yerent.com). I’m not sure but I believe that Rechev Rentals used to work with yerent and then opened his own. So I still had his cell number and called him about my reservation with yerent and although it had nothing to do with him and he wasn’t going to make a shekel on it, he spent a significant amount of time with me and even when I offered to go with his company because he put in so much time and effort, he said no thank you because it wasn’t his and he didn’t want to take away from the other company! What a true mensch!!

But I truly thank you for all this information – thanks so very much for all your time and effort for the klal!

Rechev Rentals

Thanks for the compliment! We do try to help every customer and treat everyone like a Mentch. We’re always available to help and share our knowledge about renting in Israel with anyone needing assistance.

P.s. We never worked for any other agencies, you must’ve mistakenly entered our number under the wrong contact.

chff

not so easy to dispute with Chase (I tried to dispute my rental with Avis and Chase/Visa told me that I can’t dispute an international charge – was a CSP)

cs

Why can’t you cancel your card the minute you drive out of their lot like this they can’t charge you with bogus charges?

fjdo

for many reasons… 1 being that you’ll be responsible for the charge even if you close the card a few seconds later

Ejb

If you leave the country and move to the Maldives they prob won’t be able to go after you

Happy customer

I used Europecar many times and had a great experience. Very friendly. My rental agent once made a mistake when he made the reservation and put in the wrong date. When I came there they didn’t see my reservation because of that but when I showed them the email from the agent I used they honored it right away and matched the price. Never had to show a letter of the credit card. They don’t make any issues with scratches.

Once they saw damage that wasn’t on the paper and I told him I have a video that shows it was there before and he believed me and he didn’t even look on the video.

Tom

This has been my experience almost every time I’ve rented. The car rental companies in Israel are like the Israelis in the mall, very dishonest.
It’s sad, but they turn Jews into anti semites.

Yf

I purchase the extra bitul insurance from them for $15 a day. So I can leave the car there with out worry’s.

Hvaces42

Rented through DDFer from Jerusalem location. Took Nesher to Jerusalem and picked up car in Rechavia. Other than high deposit ($1500) it went smoothly. Even extended rental with no issues.

Alexander

I booked through one of your sponsor ads a car in Israel through Hertz. I am a Platinum member of Hertz but it didn’t show up when I rented. I picked up the car at Terminal 3. I noticed damage to the side and back and took pictures. I pointed it out and was told not to worry. The “damage sheet” wasn’t in the car. I originally signed it on the screen when I got my keys. When I returned the car, I told Hertz that the damage was from before and was told “don’t worry”. In Israel when they say don’t worry, worry! A few weeks later my AMEX was charged approximately $250 for damages. The following month I was again in Israel. This time I rented directly from Hertz. When I told the person behind the counter what happened and showed pics from when I picked up the car in the stall, he looked up my prior reservation, saw that it didn’t show Platinum and told me to email the manager and advise I was Platinum. A few weeks later, the charge was reversed!

Yef

When we dropped off the car, we told them we had bitul they didn’t even look at the car. They took the keys and said we can go. They were checking everyone else’s

fjdo

Thanks for the post. Appreciate the info as renting in Israel has always been a disaster for me. Didn’t get overcharged in the end but took lots and lots of (wasted) time. It’s mind boggling how in the US it tks less than a couple minutes to rent/return a car (I’m executive Elite w/National) w/no issues and in Israel it’s nightmare.

Sam

I took a major car rental company to small claims court over the unclear pricing on my Israeli rental (didn’t explicitly mention the mandatory coverages) and I won. So there’s that option too

ExGingi

Budget is notorious with these fake damages. I’ve rented a few times from Avis and as far as I can recall, had no issues. Ever since Hertz bought the exclusive on Terminal 3 drop-offs, I’ve switched to them. Last time I had a small issue, but I knew to insist on declining CDW, so Citi Premier reimbursement me.
I almost hope for damages, so I can get some free 3x Citi Thankyou points (I ask them to reimburse by check).
The “all-in” price usually involves a high deductible, and to get a lower deductible you need to pay through your nose.
Also booking Hertz through A3 is a decent way to get some of those miles, which are only given if booked through them (at least that’s what they say).

Harry

ExGingi: thanks for the tip. Didn’t know they would reimburse by check. [I almost hope for damages, so I can get some free 3x Citi Thankyou points (I ask them to reimburse by check).]

marko

luckily after about 7 or 8 car rentals in tel aviv airport over the years ive never been charged an extra penny. heard so many times about people getting overcharged on Israeli car rentals for miscellaneous reasons and the infamous insurance upgrades and then the scratches but its never happened to me Due to the stories I am always ultra prepared with paper work and pictures and all… …

Yisroel

I recently had an issue where I actually scratched the car, and despite reaching out to them multiple times for the damage report, they kept ignoring. I disputed with Chase, hoping that they would provide the report to counteract the dispute, but to no avail. I won the dispute. (And now I’m stuck with a problem of ‘gezel yisroel’ being that I actually did the damage)

As a note, Chase gave me a hard time to dispute due to non-compliance of the agency. I needed to call back and say that I didn’t recognize the charge.

Emes

Rented many many times through sixt over the last 12 years. I’ve never had any false charges from them. I’ve ba”h never caused any damage either. In the last 12 months they stopped asking for the letter from Chase as well.

Levi

I had a terrible experience with קל אוטו – calauto at TLV.
They gave me a van with scratches on all sides marked. When I returned it “they found” one they didn’t mark in between 3 other marked scratches and blamed it on me.
Chase paid me back and said to me “it’s very common in Israel, don’t take it to heart”
I must point out, I saw this coming as I pulled up, the man was clearly going to create some problem, it was all over his face.
It was horrible.
Someone needs to take action…

Ovadia

Let’s face it. Israel is a 3rd world country in many respects, including unfortunately car rentals. In most airports around the world you can be in and out of the rental office in 5 minutes maximum. Not in Israel. Even with no line up in front of you (rare) it can take 20-30 minutes to do the paperwork. It’s insane. And they try to nickel and dime you for everything. But being fluent in Hebrew helps cut through the bs and they back off quickly.

Harry

Ovadia, you have summed it up very well. Car rental check-in is just like hotel and airline check-in. Everything takes ages, even if you have status everywhere.

izzy

In my experience of many rentals over the last 15+ years . it seems to me that it has nothing to do with the rental company they are all the same (although i should say that i had challenges with hertz trying to make up stuff) Im thinking that they make a note of that because ever since i started doing it i never had a problem even in cases where i actually did have scratches or minor damage done while i had the car. about 10 years ago i had major damage from backing up in to a poll and it took a year of fighting till avis finally gave the paperwork to the c.c. insurance so that i was able to be reimbursed.
i once parked near the mir and it wasnt really a “legal” spot. a big truck couldnt go thru and called the rental company with number on the car. i got a call from the rental telling me to go move the car. by the time i got there the truck had already squeezed thru and damaged the front panel.. i wiped of the dirt and when i returned it they said nothing. (the panel was pushed in)
another way to avoid problems is to switch the car a day before returning in a local office. they usually are not so crazy there and then in the airport you should be good. (i did this this past winter after damage to the tire rim)
Regarding your issue with kashrus. today in yerushalayim you really shouldnt have any problems as almost all the eaateries have badatz or rubin or landau. bnei brak also is good except that there arnt many places there

Emes

Almost ALL eateries have Rubin , badatz , or landau? Maybe in geulah. Not really in too many other neighborhoods…. Many aren’t even rabbanut yerushalayim mehadrin as some sort of minimum.

BBPAPA

My turn to join the fun.
Going to rent from Noach rent a car this summer.
They use Europecar. I’ve emailed them close to a dozen times just regarding the insurance.
Not only is there CDW and liability.but SUPER CDW
And Super Liabilty.
And even if yopurchase all of this, damage to tires or windshield won’t be covered.
Use the sapphire or amex, get your letter from the
CC, document and pray.

I also bring a tire gauge.
On my last trip there in 2015n I was given a car that had one tire with just 15 psi.
The agency told me just to put air.
I refused the car and had to wait for an hour for a substitute.
Buyer beware.

I

avrum

you should try renting from peri car rental they are an offsite rental and they wait for you in the parking lot with the car ready the whole thing takes about 5 minutes

Scammers

Budget is a bunch of thieves at TLV. Run, don’t walk away.

pes

so are you going to be in israel for shavous?

pes

would you be concerend with receiving parking tickets in israel?like being stopped at the border on your way in and being billed retroactively?

DZ the Telzer

Rented many times with Noach Rent a Car, great experience evry time.

@Yehudaa

Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I’ve rented in Israel 8-10 times in the past couple of years and never had a problem with Europcar, Sixt or Budget. I can’t speak for Hertz as I never rented from them. Always used an agent to get a good price. All my rentals (except a couple with Sixt) were dropped off in Jerusalem, so maybe the guys there are less picky than TLV. In Jerusalem, Budget and Sixt always seem to want a CDW letter but Europcar doesn’t need it.

united

Does Citi Premier MC cover in Israel?

BTW, the Hertz location in LA on La Brea is run by Israelis. Don’t have these issues every time we rent there

la brea renter

True story! Great bunch there! The israeli girl is always kind and funny.

Osborne Greene

BH never had any major issues. I paid for their coverage and i walk away. They never clipped me for anything after that. Most recently rented a van from Europcar. The online price plus the add-on insurance at the rental desk was still a lot cheaper than the frum quotes that I got.

Yisroel

Another issue not addressed in the post are the small local agencies who severely abuse the US cc insurance. I’ve heard too many stories where they (probably illegally) rent cars to under age bochurim, and when they return it with damages, they advise the bochurim to find a friend with a Chase cc, and offer to charge a one day rental to the Chase card and then charge the Chase card for the damage freeing the bochur from paying. The rentals can then charge Chase whatever they want, whereas they know there’s only a certain amount they would be able to squeeze out of a young boy.

I have a friend who ignorantly agreed to give his cc, and was shocked when the rental charged his card for over $13k (I didn’t see the car, but the bochurim were B”H perfectly fine, so I have a hard time believing the cost of repair was to that extent). Thankfully he got reimbursed from Chase. But unfortunately, it’s abusers like these agencies that can ruin it for all.
Let’s hope the cc’s don’t get fed up and start excluding IL from CDW coverage.

Simcha

I have rented a few times in Israel. With Hertz Eldan and Antiprse. Bh was never blamed or overcharged, but I always pay for the max max insurance they offer, I find when you purchase there insurance they don’t make you so crazy. It’s worth the extra $100 or so for the trip. Also always leave extra time when returning, it NEVER takes fast.

united

Rented 4 times in the last 2 years @Hertz in TLV. The return took around 1 minute. Have Hertz gold and keep it on credit card. Hertz moved the rental returns to the terminal, so you don’t wait anymore for the van to drive you. Just park it and walk into the terminal

nathaness

I’ve rented a few times from Israel, sixth, Hertz. Avis, I make a BIG DEAL of taking lots of pictures in front of agents at pickup and return, never had a problem.

Emes

Last time I rented (earlier this year , with Sixt) there were NO agents at the pickup. You now do the paperwork in the terminal and they hand you the key and tell you where it’s parked.

Sam

Haven’t been there in 5 years. Gotta return soon. But used to buy iced cold soda and give to worker who was enslaved in the heat. Also gave him a few American cigarettes. Always did the trick…
When I was returning to the off-site location at TLV, I was running late and didn’t have chance to buy cold drinking etc… And they gave me issues. Threatened them to call the manager and they relaxed and let me go. Moral of the story is that if we treat them nicely and respectfully, they may not always work against us. Tipping always works in other industries, unclear why car rental is different…

Reuven

Two throw in my 2 cents. I just rented from budget TLV with no issues. They even recommended me to take pictures \ videos of the car (which I did). I got no extra charges and got an amazing price (109 USD for 18 days for a compact, plus 3rd party liability @ 14 per day). Overall a decent experience. As far as hechsherim go, I ask my posek (who lives in Isarel) and have a nice list (I like him also as I feel he isn’t swayed by politics). Kosherquest has some listed on their website as well. As a side note, I use Amex and their insurance is easy to deal with and is great

Jeffrey Wohlberg

No question they mess with you on your return. I was given a brand new car on my arrival in Israel. On my return they said I would have to pay for a cracked taillight. Going back to the car the worker showed me the taillight in question wich had plastic peeling off of it. This turned out to the original plastic wraping they had failed to remove from the car. If not for me going back to the car they would have charged me 200 dollars. Keep in my mind when you are returning a car your usually in a rush to get to your flight. They count on you not having time to dispute with them.
Jeff Wohlberg

Yef

For a short trip 1-5 days it is worth it to get the extra insurance and not deal with extra time videoing the car before and making sure they don’t mess with you after. For longer trip it is not worth it

Moshe Friedman

also snap pic of how much gas you got it with a pic of the “DTE” distance to empty is best bet

David

I had this issue before with Budget when returning in tlv. I insisted that the damage was there before and I wouldn’t sign. They looked up in the system and didn’t see anything from before. I continud to insist and they looked somewhere else AND DID FIND that area marked with a damage and I was left alone.

In general It must be that all damage was noted somewhere, even if it’s not showing in the system right away, it’s not possible that they erase all previous damage notes. If you insist or get some manager to look into it they will find it.

chff

Not sure if mentioned but Albar/Europcar has a service for $10 they drove you back to T3 with your rental car so you don’t need to unload and reload on the shuttle

Meir

Two bad experiences:

1) I rented from Avis at TLV. I filled the gas tank right before return at the station in the airport. It’s probably 1 Mile from the return. The clerk told me that the gas tank wasn’t full and he was going to charge me for an 1/8 of a tank. I argued with him for 10 minutes and had to call a manager and finally they caved. Bunch of ganovim.

2) Rented through Noach (who is great) from Budget on King David. Reserved 3 months in advance. Showed up on time to find out “no cars” and lots of other people waiting. Got one eventually but customer service was a disaster.

Unfortunately the whole experience feels like they are trying to rip you off at every opportunity.

Jerry S.

So they know how to take the reservation and the just don’t know how to hold the reservation. And really the holding is the most important part!

Gary

I recently rented with Hertz through Expedia and purchased CDW insurance for $99 as well. Hertz informed me that such insurance is not accepted by them and provided me a written notice as to their policy. I attempted to decline Hertz’s CDW by using my Chase United Mileage Plus card, but this was also denied as I did not have the “letter”. (Note: I asked Chase for the “letter” when I returned and they sent me the card’s T&C, which has a section on declining CDW. Dan – is a copy of the T&C sufficient, or do you have an actual letter?). I ended up having to purchase expensive CDW through Hertz. On the plus side, I had no return issues and it is convenient to return their cars to the terminal.

Eli

Third world country sadly.

Jim

Same deal, I make sure I watch them while they mark it down and video the car and the person while doing it and while returning it. But I still get some charge later on, I dispute it. Lol they don’t even bother responding because they know they are in the wrong.

Trish

Rented from eldan in Jerusalem (right next to the Waldorf) at least 4 times with no problems and no damage fees after the fact.

Barry

AVIS claimed a dent was not there when I rented but the video I took before I started the car, with my wife in it as additional witness, killed that claim when I returned the car.

I also rent through an Israeli AVIS Agent in New Jersey who has been very helpful with any disputes.

I was not aware that Amex covered in Israel.

Charlie K

Can you use a credit card with $500 limit on it? Any charge would be declined. Any thoughts?

L

What about the charges for cleaning the car? Hertz at TLV- the car was clean (maybe a few crumbs) and they charged us for cleaning it, a fortune!

Kesher representative

L look at your final statement not final contract.

The contract they sent me when i RETURNED a car had a cleaning fee for like $150 and when i emailed them asking them to remove it they explained that i was seeing what i agreed to pay if it was dirty and was not being charged that. They then sent me a different looking statement that had a break down of actual charges that of course didn’t have the cleaning fee.

Kesher representative

I only rent from Hertz/Kesher!
They have new cars and you return to the airport.
Last time I was there i got into a minor accident (involving some concrete 🙂 and did damage to the fender. I called them right away and they helped make it very easy.
They only charged my $202 for a real dent and some deep scratches. (I even told them my credit card company was covering and they still didn’t overcharge me)

They are always very responsive via email and will get back to me within a few hours with whatever documents/request i need. Also you can add an additional driver later in the trip just by taking a picture of passport/visa.

Also no lines ever!

Hertz or nothing….

(i don’t work for them)

Jake

Hertz also moving from terminal 3 after initial contract term runs out as per an employee there

EG

Avis had the Terminal 3 exclusive up until a few years ago, when Hertz outbid them for that. It’s just a matter of who will place a higher bid for that exclusive, when the term is up.

jake

@DAN

I have Amex Blue Sky Rewards card. That comes with Secondary Rental Insurance.
You mentioned in an earlier post that my USA insurance won’t cover me in Israel so the secondary becomes primary in Israel. Did I understand that correctly? Do I need to verify with Amex first that this happens?

Thanks!

Frustrating

Had a horrible experience with hertz. They charged me for a hub that was not on the car when I rented it. I disputed the charge and won case closed. Rented with shlomo sixt twice since then and had no issues with anything. They don’t inspect the car like crazy when you return it.

Yosel

When you return the car, you tip the guy 20 shekels. And they don’t see any damages.
It’s been working for me for over 25 years.

Reuven

Had a terrible experience with Budget at TLV. Given a scratched and cigarette smoke infused Skoda. I knew enough from prior bad experience to take a lot of photos of each and every scratch when I took the car, with time and date stamps. Upon return, Budget TLV claimed that all the scratches were new. No amount of photos etc. dissuaded them from making the claim.

Fortunately I used an AmEx card, and they reversed the damage charge while they investigated. Budget TLV could not substantiate the outrageous amount they attempted to charge me. Nor could any documentation they provided trump my before and after pictures. Claim denied, thank you American Express!

That didn’t stop Budget TLV from getting some sort of collection agency based in Utah from attempting to collect. Fortunately, it seems foreign debts are not recorded by the US credit score agencies. There was nothing further they could do.

Call me naive, or perhaps just hopeful. But it is surprising to me that Israelis attempt to rip off American Jews who provide so much important foreign capital through tourist dollars and other investment. Not to mention the ethics of it, and lack of ahavat Yisrael.

Seth

I also use Noach Car Rental. Very good on prices and services.

Also, I have seen some agents at BG try to charge me for gas claiming not filled even when I show a receipt from the gas station by the airport done only 15 minutes before returning. Just another scam to tourists

chaz

ok folks let me introduce you to an amazing concept called egged bus company!
no need to have rental companies find imaginary scratches dents and try and rip you off. this amazing experience comes at a very low cost. courteous israeli style drivers with people shoving and pushing just to get by you is truly part of the amazing local culture and experience. oh and lets not forget the yerushalayim bnei brak bus backing up to leave and a black hat running , signaling and waiving to the driver to stop!!! to no avail the bus briskly pulls away and disappears into the friendly courteous roads that israel is so famous for. every one waving to a fellow driver to let them go through the intersection first. no beeping at each other just a calm and peaceful drive to your destination. well folks i hope you enjoyed my comment and my ride!

Charles

Yep I was there lest week they forced me to buy Insurance my reservation was for About $150 I payed $400 it’s crazy what they do like Dan said Go prepared Be prepared for a fight take pictures of the car

Thanks Dan for the info
All the best

Emes

It’s no secret that insurance is required in Israel one way or the other, even if your credit card covers CDW. If you booked a reservation and it didn’t include the insurance and now you are complaining about, then my guess is you booked on a US site rather than the local israeli site (e.g. budget.com vs budget.co.il ) and then didn’t bother to read the fine print.

Menashe

Ask Rabbi Shlomo Stern how to contact me. I live in Beitar and have a car and should be able to pick you up at the airport and take you to an off airport rental car place. Also, my wife is very familiar with kashrus here and especially Chabad kashrus and will be happy to advise you.

Deal Guy

Dan, because of you, when I rent in the USA I always make sure to document and take pictures, ect, but they anyways seem to think I’m nuts and I can mark off whatever I want. It doesn’t seem to matter to them.
Am I doing the wrong thing in the USA, being so careful?

guy

Had a great experience with rechev rentals. Always competitively priced with solid advice on what option works best for me.

IT

I rented a car in Eouropecar’s Jerusalem romeima location and had a minor accident that ruined the front bumper headlights and a little bit of the door and was charged $8000.00 dollars!!! thankfully my chase freedom card paid me back a few months later but was left with some interest that i paid meanwhile and i am talking about an inexpensive car (kia ceed) thats a total ripoff

Carmi

Rented cars many times in Israel and rarely had a problem

Sandy Beach

ELDAN once claimed I returnend the car a week late.There were a few hundered extra km on the odometer too. I sent them my departure flight ticket, still a headache. However, as you are on the topic, SHANNON, IRELAND AVIS is just as bad as Israel!

Thurman Munson

Is it better to return the car to a city location instead of the airport?

Tzadik

Two siblings of mine rented from a frum place in Boro park and both of them had the same issue as the questioner. so it’s apparently a problem all over ..

Sixt was good

Hi I rented from sixt (shlomo) in tlv last week. They did make me get the letter but no issues other than that. It wasn’t hard to get the letter. it took a 5 minute phone call.

In any event the cc only covers collision which was only $5 from sixt a day anyway. On the other hand the cc ins had no deductible while the sixt collision ins that costs $5 a day has a 450 nis per incident deductible. In sum, I’m glad I had the chase sr card and I had a good experience with sixt in tlv.

Gary

I requested a letter from Chase regarding CDW coverage via secure message. This is what I received in reply: “regrettably, an option to generate a letter
referencing the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
benefit is not available. We understand that you’ve been
requested to produce a letter for auto rental overseas.
Since these benefits are provided by Visa, I would request
you to contact the Benefit Administrator at 1-888-675-1461
(outside the U.S. call collect at 1-804-281-5772).”

yungermanchik

i had a great experience with budget through noach 2 summers ago (aside from the really long wait time) the only extra charge was the ligit. toll charge for using the express highways of 49.50

Gaby

I have rented in Israel a couple times with different companies and b”h no issues.
My recommendation is make sure they see that you’re taking pictures and that you check it before and after

Renter

In isreal your best choice no matter which rental will be with an agent to back you up if anything goes wrong

syman

I’ve rented from Europcar, usually no issues, no dif if Ireturn in TLV or Rav Shefa in JLM, they usually check it lightly – they even missed real scratches once or twice. WAS satisfied with service. The last time i rented from them Purim time I had a altercation with one of those green dumpsters, they charged me 4000 shekel, and said that theyll email me the papers, and said it the second time i went in a week later, and they same thing a month later when I came back after pesach…..need the papaers to claim back from chase… What to Do????

Rechev Rentals

Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll try to help you!

David

Hi
The way they work is they like to charge you for the small scratches and the small dents scratches on the hubcaps which no one looks when they pick up the car so they can charge lots of people for the same dent so the way to over smart them is be telling them that you wanna see the final report of the previous renter for this car they will tell you that they can’t of privacy tell them that you will hire an attorney to fight them 99.9% they will let you off the hook cause they don’t want to get caught

JS

I had the opposite experience. I rented from Budget (through Noach agency) and had coverage through my Capital One card. I know I did scratch it, but when I returned it at the airport, the rep said there was no damage. I asked again, and the guy who checked it confirmed. Maybe the employees were “on strike” that day.

Steve

We once had the rental company (don’t remember which) look for the jack under the spare, which we never had. they claimed that we stole it and were taking it home and asked to check our bags. they took so much time arguing we would have missed our flight if we would stay to continue to argue. it’s not every time, but some people are just crooks. i have never seen a company look for a jack, and its not like they showed us we had one during the pre-rental inspection. It seemed like a set-up almost. always check everything and take pictures.

Yakov

I had a minor accident in Israel last august. Rented from Budget. They charge my Visa Freedom over $18,000
Just middle of Pesach I received the check back from my Visa card service
But, I paid every month almost $500 just for interest!
Now, before sending Visa the check – I’m trying to remove some of the Balance using the interest I paid in the last 7 month – meanwhile – no succeed
If you have any suggestions for me – besides credit settlement, which I can lose much – I’ll appreciate it!

Rechev Rentals

The numbers sound off, we recently disputed budget’s numbers successfully and we might be able to help you. Please feel free to reach out to us with the info and we’ll have a look if we can get budget to refund some of the money which will help you cover the interest.

Aaron

Here’s my contribution: Rented last year from Hertz Yirmiyahu Yerushalayim. There was a nice sized rusty dent on one side. Upon the walk-around, the guy ignored that one, claiming its obvious its old, I pleaded but he refused to mark it. Of course upon return a different guy wanted to charge me 350$ for it. I told him what happened and he laughed at me. I refused to pay and sign off the return and waited until the other guy came. When he came I told him what happened and he and the other fought it out. In the end he let me go.
Morel of the story: Make sure they mark EVERYTHING.

chaya

How to you file for Chase credit card insurance to cover damage ?

Here\'s the truth

You may have been to Israel 6 times, I’ve been there over 50 times. I’ve rented a car twice a year for the last 20 years. I have NEVER had a problem with overcharging, false charging, etc. I have used Sixto, Hertz, Budget, Avis, and Eldan. It has been a pleasure each time with reliable cars.
I have also rented a car recently in Denver and in South Carolina. Both times I was asked to produce a letter from the credit card company. So I did, no big deal. You make a call to the company, they email the letter, you can show it on your phone, Deal done.

Forget the horror stories – they are rare exceptions, and exist all over the world. It’s called being human

nate

I once disputed the charge even though I really made the scratch but I told the CC company that for a small scratch like that I don’t have to pay so much money. And the agency never replied to the CC company so I got back all of my money.

FF2TLV

I rent in Israel 20-30 times a year. Have been through everything in the past.

What I have now for the last 4 years is a guy from the rental agency itself who is my “protekzia” in TLV. It doesn’t cost much, $20-$50 tips plus little gifts once in a while do the trick. When I land now the car is waiting at the curb, I sign the contract and drive off. I dropoff at the terminal (non-Hertz).

I used to take all the insurances, but now rely on the CSR. Never had a problem BH.

The rate I get through a Chareidi macher. Upgrades to fancy cars come either from my guy in TLV or the “agent”, depending on Matzav. I never yet got saddled with a car under 5,000 km this way BH.

Mickey Gottlieb

Just came back. My experience in the past substantially the same as others had noted. Renting a car in Israel simply not fun. A few corrections and pointers. In addition to Chase and Amex Platinum, the Citi AA Executive Card does provide the CDW in Israel and will provide a letter. My last trip I rented from Hertz in Tel Aviv not at the airport and experience was satisfactory. At the time of the rental one of their staff came out to the car with me and took pictures of every single scratch that I pointed out to him. The pictures were made a part of the contract and emailed to me. On the return of the car there were no questions as to additional scratches as everything was documented. The mandatory insurance over and above the CDW @ $16/ day is ridiculous BUT knowing it up front just figured that into the true rental charges for the week.

Y

Off topic
But does anyone have any experience with a car rental in hungary to they accept the credit card insurance?

Dov

Not sure if this was mentioned, but I recently rented directly from Hertz, and when I returned the car at TLV they wouldn’t give me a receipt. They said the checkins process at midnight. So basically, you can’t comfortably confirm anything they “assure” you, until u get the receipt a few days later, and at that point, you’re already out of the country and it’s a he said she said.

Sam

Rented from Hertz
But did not get alarm code
Next morning by the Dead Sea Car could not start .
It took hours to get Hertz on the phone for code.
Extremely unhappy

Rechev Rentals

That’s what your agent is here for, if you have trouble with the providers roadside assistance give us a call and we’ll make sure they assist you.

Yisroel

The rumors are that the agents checking in the cars get commissions for finding damages. I’ve heard these rumors about places in Jerusalem and imagine TLV is the same. BTW I’ve rented a number of times over the past few years and have had several unpleasant experiences.

DJ

Can you or has anyone gotten blacklisted from a car rental company in Israel for disputing a damage charge?

Rechev Rentals

Has happened.

dave

Dan, with all these horror stories in TLV airport and the new train from tlv airport to jerusalem doesn’t it make more sense to take train to jerusalem and rent there? you would also I believe save because TLV airport car rental prices are higher due to airport tax etc….

YID

Rabosai, be careful of Chet HaMaraglim!

Sz

@dan
On a diff note,
I rented a car in EWR last week for a day (for about 100 including insurance),
IND they charged me an extra hour = $90(!!) for returning the car 34 min late (the agent told me on the phone that the limit is 29 minutes).
Any suggestions?
Any way to cancel this extra charge?
Thank you

deb

Although I always rent and return in Jerusalem, on King David Street, have had similar horror stories. Some rental places check the car out in near darkness so neither they nor the renter can see some of the scratches. I have been scammed twice. Fortunately, I always rent through Noach Car Rental and they are extremely helpful, getting all the documentation that the credit card company asks for to complete the claim. I feel there is no way in the world I would ever be able to get those things myself. The price is right and Noach’s is there for help when needed.

deb

Here’s a different scam — the rental locations claim they are giving you a full tank of gas, but they are not. When they turn on the engine, it indicates full. However, on several rental occasions, the tank got low too quickly. When I filled up, far too many liters were necessary for the relatively few kilometers I drove. Finally, one time I filled up the car with an allegedly full tank immediately upon exiting pickup, at the gas station on King David Street. When I presented that time-stamped receipt upon return of the car, they told me that just because the tank reads full doesn’t mean it is full and I should return the car the same way. Duh! They refused to credit me that amount.

m berger

2nd best bad car rental issue I had -always AVIS (of many dozen rentals in IL): The damage slip they give you at rental shows a broken key lock on pax door, I am there alone for a short visit, so never used that door, On returning car, I point out to the return inspector that its broken, so MAYBE they will fix it for the next renter. Of course, they bill me for damage, but it was reversed when I sent copies of the rental and the return damage inspection sheet.

m berger

best car rental aggravation story at TLV: car is hit from behind at Herziliya exit from Rt 2. Driveable but real damage. On return, did all paper work including police report. Months later, they charge card $1800 for damages. VISA that had coverage denies claim for timely filing (even though bill from them comes late). Reason for late billing- the business owner of truck that hit us claims his kid employee said I was BACKING down the exit ramp , so their insurance denied it. AVIS agreed that it sounded fishy and was willing to litigate. If necessary, they were going to cover my expenses to fly in and testify. somehow my bill disappeared and I never got the free trip.

Rechev Rentals

We always recommend filing with the credit card immediately even before you get billed by the company, worst case if you don’t get charged you can always close the claim.

m berger

yet another good TLV rental issue: chocolate had melted on back seat (cant say it was ours, since we were newly married and had no kids with us). they wanted to charge for “stains”. car return behind us had a baby- wife asks the mother for a tushy wipe, and Voila, the stain that would cost many shekels to clean miraculously disappeared. and we were not charged.

Emes

Thought you were headed elsewhere with this story when you said chocolate on the back seat and ‘tushy’ wipe in the same sentence.

Texas Totty

I’m a little late in the commenting game here but I want to share one story.
I rented from Avis in Yerushalayim and upon return, the agent told me to stay in the car. He then climbed into the passenger seat and closed the door. He looked at me and said in his scariest voice in Hebrew “What happened to the car?” I answered him in Hebrew “Nothing.” He put his face very close to mine and screamed “MA KARA LEHARECHEV??!! ACCIDENT??!!”. I again answered calmly “Klum”.
So he smiled, shook my hand, got out of the car, and said sweetly “Ok Nigmar (we’re done here)”.

Chaim

I just returned my car to EuropaCar in TLV airport. They wanted to charge me for a replacement tire as they claim tire is low on air and has a puncture. Luckily I had a picture of the dash showing the outgoing mileage with the tire indicator light illuminated. That shut the conversation down pretty quickly.

Folks, take pics and videos of everything before driving out of the airport!

chaim

a damage report is signed after the rental car if they decided you damaged the car? how do they honor your statues in israel you dont get hertz points or statues recognition in israel? your disputes that you said were filed after damages with budget and avis ,were with the credit card or insurance company?

Sam

I went with my family of 4 in the summer. We rented a van from a is in Jerusalem. It started with my van not being there, and being told it will come in 2 hrs. I returned and it still wasn’t there. We had a hotel reservation that evening in tzfat and were now running late. They told me I can take a large van, but it didn’t have seatbelts. I finally agreed to a small car that could fit us. It was dark and I was annoyed and in a rush. The car looked like it cam from Bagdad, it had no vents in the 3rd row, the wipers didn’t exist, it had no acceleration, and the interior panels were stripped.
Needless to say I had no choice because of my hotel. It was the worse experience and they refused to compinsate me.

Miyarfe

If I’m president circle in hertz will hertz in Israel honor tht in the aiport and give me free upgrades? Will I be able to use my point on a rental in Israel? Do they charge underage fee?

Rechev Rentals

When booking through an agent the standard President’s Circle benefits do not apply and you can’t use your points, but we can advise them in advance of your status and they’ll tag the reservation as VIP. There’s no underage fee over 23 years old.

deals dealer

When booking direct with Hertz does Kesher in TLV honor your PC status?

Rechev.rentals

Never tried 🙂

I believe so.

Jay

I cant stand the crap they pull – we went and rented a car from enterprise the online final price with taxes in fees was $280 and when we got there the price magically became $850 at the airport because of mandatory insurance and airport fees in the end we just rented this crappy car for 1 day and it costed us $150 usd which is insane someone needs to put a stop to this

Rechev Rentals

That’s why we recommend booking through an agency such as http://rechev.rentals/dd where the price on the reservation is the price you pay.

Avi

Does the AMEX Marriott Bonvoy (old Starwoods) cover CDW in Israel and if yes, do they become primary if I don’t have any other car insurance here in the states? Thanks.

deals dealer

How much does Hertz charge for the mandatory liability insurance per day?

Rechev.rentals

$10-25+

Roughly $15 on a standard car

ari

how much extra is the mandatory fees?

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