We rented a car at CDG from Germany based rental company Sixt. Sixt has over 2,000 locations in more than 100 countries. It has a limited presence in the United States, but can be found in 30 locations in 10 states. We chose Sixt because they were the most reasonably priced – we were getting some big surcharges for picking up the car in France and returning it to Switzerland with other rental companies. By selecting Sixt we saved about 500USD on our trip – that’s a hell of a lot of cash on a trip like this.
We quickly found the rental car counter at CDG just meters from our baggage claim carousel. Two Sixt employees were just hanging out at the counter that Sunday morning, but as we approached they were quick to start working. They spoke near perfect English and were very helpful. It took us less than 10 minutes from the time we walked up to the counter until we were in our rental.
We were given a 2013 Volkswagen Beetle, in red. I was surprised at the size of the trunk, which fit everything we had – it was a tight fit, but it fit. I didn’t drive, as I can’t drive a manual transmission – as I always say, “I don’t drive, I am driven”. The car had good pickup and handled well.
We had one issue – and this issue will keep me from ever renting from Sixt again. As we made our way from Beaune to Bern we took a mountain road and were met with quite a bit of fog. We turned on the fog lights and made our way without incident to the Holiday Inn Bern – Westside and parked in the garage shared by the mall and the hotel.
We got up the next morning to load our luggage into the car and found that we left the fog lights on all night. Dammit. We head back into the hotel and find that they aren’t allowed to jump car batteries. The mall employees weren’t allowed to either.
We called the local Sixt rental agency and asked for assistance. We were told that since we rented the car in France we had to call the Paris rental office. We called Paris and were told that we had to call Roadside Assistance. We called Roadside Assistance and were informed that since we weren’t alongside the road, but inside a garage, we had to call customer service. We did. We were told that customer service couldn’t help, but we had to call Roadside Assistance. We spent nearly an hour trying to get Sixt to help us with the car.
We decided to call a third party Roadside Assistance group – a Mercedes Benz Roadside Assistance Company. They showed up in about 45 minutes. They wanted us to buy a new battery for 600CHF. After some discussion, the Mercedes guy agreed to use his battery charger to turn over our engine. It worked like a charm.
I had to pay 185CHF for this service, which should have been included in the Sixt Roadside Assistance Plan. After we returned to the US, I emailed and called Sixt customer service to explain the situation and hopefully get a refund. I never received a response from the emails and the response to my phone call was that they’d look into it. I’ve never heard back from Sixt.
We are the ones who caused the issue with the car. We were also the ones who got the run around from this agency both in our time of need and also after we got home. We got a nice deal on the rental car, but the service sure wasn’t there. I won’t be renting with this firm again.
Have you rented with Sixt? Did you have any issues with the rental? Have you had car troubles when renting a car? If so, did the rental agency help you out, or were you on your own?
In my experience, its about the same with all rental companies – I am yet to meet one that offers good service. So I’m only after the price when I choose a car.
Sixt car rental in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland refused to rent to us a car without proof of collision insurance, so we returned to our B&B to print out our World MasterCard rental Collision Damage Waiver policy and returned to Sixt, Dun Laoghaire. Even with physical proof of collision protection, Sixt again refused our World MasterCard collision coverage. It is my conclusion that Sixt, Ireland will refuse any collision coverage but their own, which doubles the cost of the rental. I’m guessing it’s their way of bleeding profit dollars out of trapped American tourists. Fortunately, our B&B hosts had told us that many guests had problems with Sixt and there was an Enterprise rental office around the corner. We walked to Enterprise and they accepted our World MasterCard collision coverage and rented us a car. I’ve never had a problem with Sixt in Germany or Austria with my World MasterCard collision coverage but I also have never encountered a dead battery. I’m not surprised Sixt would stick it to their customers. I’m guessing it’s the price we pay for going cheap. It’s a roll of the dice each time I rent.