Gold Car Barcelona Airport (EL Prat) Car Hire March 2012.

We had pre-booked with auto europe who we usually use and paid in advance
• On arrival at Barcelona Airport we knew that the Goldcar pick up was away from the Airport Terminal but there was no indication of the mini bus pick up point for the short journey. The authorities and information at the airport were reluctant to help give specific directions.
• I tried phoning Gold Car but the calls went unanswered.
• We eventually saw a minibus and (right hand end of Airport buildings with back to runways)
• On arriving at Gold Car I was asked if I wanted extra insurance to cover any excesses. Since in all my years of hiring I have never paid to cover the excess damage and never had need of it I declined.
• The lady was so reluctant to accept this it almost became a refusal to the point where she said that if I didn’t take it 1000 euros would be deducted from my credit card and if the car came back with a scratch on it I would lose the lot! It sounded like a threat. I was still minded to not take it but as we were in a hurry to get the vehicle and time was becoming critical I reluctantly agreed to pay the extra to cover any excess. (Life’s too short etc.)
• When I got to the vehicle it looked like it had done a summer season in Tripoli! If there was 1 scratch on it there were 50 and the passenger side door and sill were extensively damaged.
• In retrospect I should have refused the extra cover and made her come outside and record all the marks on the vehicle to compare it for when I returned. Short of writing it off I doubt she would have managed to spot any differences. However that process would have added hours and I suspect the people in the queue behind me would not have been pleased.
Incidentally it was Citroen Berlingo which we needed for loading furniture in the back etc. and apart from its exterior was a great little car that ran beautifully. I liked it a lot.
• On our return to the Goldcar to hand it back (which is quite tricky to find) there were no problems but I encountered one exasperated customer at the counter getting the same spiel as I got – he did not want the extra cover either. I told him of my experience and left him to make up his own mind as to whether to battle it out or not.
• On the mini bus back from Goldcar to the airport terminal I met another couple who had encountered the same routine and had decided to cancel and hire from another company at the Airport. Even though they had paid in full and were told they would not get a refund they were not prepared to do business with Goldcar.
My advice would be to avoid them like the plague. They are like the Ryanair of car hire. Cheap but then hammer you with hidden costs to bump up the price.
I have used Goldcar from Gerona Airport and whilst not brilliant they have been OK so it may just be the set up at Barcelona Airport that is poor.