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Traveling Internationally; Be Weary of Rental Vehicles

Avis International
Avis International
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

A recent trip to Malaga, Spain caused a lot of discourse. Yes, the countryside is beautiful and the history is life changing. But the car rental with Avis was a nightmare, to say the least. I have since researched complaints and have found that I'm not the only traveler to experience discourse. It appears there is some sort of a scam with specifically American's. American's are being targeted as able-bodied travelers able to stand the charge of $1500 US for a "burnt clutch".

Let me just say that I have driven manual transmission vehicles for a good part of 15 years. So, clearly I know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. When I first began driving the rental car I noticed that there was a clicking noise and I wasn't happy with it. The car also had no power. I should have just pulled over and asked for a different vehicle. But, as a conscientious driver I thought I would give it a drive around the block just to make sure.

Well, as I drove up the ramp to exit the parking garage the clutch burned out and began smoking. I immediately returned the vehicle, driving less than one mile, and told the service people the car was not working. They immediately said I broke the clutch and their mechanic would have to look at it. If it were broken I would have to pay for it.

Well, long story short they are still trying to charge $1500. The credit card will not reverse the charges because of the contract. I have spoken to several mechanics and they have all assured me it would be nearly impossible to burn a clutch out in one mile. Not only has this caused an insurmountable degree of stress it may very well end a 45-year relationship with a dear friend. (That is another story).

My take away from this...pay the extra money to get a manual transmission. It will double the cost of the rental car but you will not have to forego this horrendous assault. Buyer beware!!!!!

There are great flights from San Diego to London with connections to Spain. I flew British Airways and loved it.