Accident in Portugal with Alamo rental car from Spain

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Jun 20, 2019
2
0
1
48
#1
Hello - my husband and I rented an Alamo rental car in Spain and while on the road in Portugal, a driver pulled out in front of us, hit us, and we went flying and then rolled 5 times with the car landing on its roof. This happened on June 3rd. The police arrived, took a statement, and gave us a phone number for the rental car company to claim the car and to obtain the police report when ready. Luckily for us, we were taken by ambulance to the local hospital and were released after x-rays and CAT scans revealed that we survived the crash with no internal injuries or broken bones. We alerted Alamo while still in the hospital and they located the car and brought it back to Spain to be evaluated for damages by a body shop. The communication since then has been unclear and has left us in the dark about what to expect throughout this process.

I heard from the Enterprise Holdings Damage Recovery Unit in Spain by email but it is difficult to understand the representative's English. We've exchanged a few emails since then, but they leave me with more questions than answers. Since then, our credit card has been charged $1600, which I assume is the "excess charge" or deductible, as stated in the rental contract, but we weren't advised that it would be collected this way or when. I used the contact information provided via this website, and emailed Enterprise Holdings in the US hoping to get some help, but no one has responded. I just want someone from Enterprise Holdings to let us know what to expect - if we will be charged any further charges, what the process is and will be, when we can expect the documents we need to file a claim with our credit card company that provides our CDW (accident report, finalized rental agreement, itemized repair estimate, final bill for loss), and basically, someone who speaks fluent English who can walk us through this stressful situation.

Any advice would be most welcomed! Thank you.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,791
1,793
113
Maui Hawaii
#2
You should initiate the claim process with your credit card now. Getting all of the documents takes lots of time. I had a minor event (rental car hit while parked, other driver left) in October in the US and the process took two months to get all the paperwork to the credit card. This event occurred in CT and involved Thrifty (Hertz). With your event occurring in Portugal involving a car rented in Spain, you can expect the process to take many more months. Simply initiate the CC claim now and let things go forward. The CC card will wait for the pending documents but will eventually pay for the excess and other charges up to the limit of your coverage. It is normal for your CC to be charged for the excess now; the rental car agency expects to be paid immediately and for you to seek reimbursement from your CC insurance.

Fortunately, it appears that you were wearing your seat belts and escaped major injuries. Hopefully, you are recovering well.
 
Likes: Portulaca
Sep 19, 2015
4,650
6,093
113
48
#3
I am glad that there were no serious injuries. As Weilac states start the claim process now.

It is not reasonable to ask for someone that speaks “fluent English” when the dealing with a foreign company. And I suspect if you look at the rental contract it will tell you about additional charges to credit card.

Do you know anyone that speaks Spanish well to help with emails.
 
Likes: R.L.
Feb 3, 2019
52
83
18
65
#6
It is not reasonable to ask for someone that speaks “fluent English” when the dealing with a foreign company.
I second this. First, you shouldn't be "speaking" with anyone at this point - you want everything documented in writing.

If you do not understand their written English, you may be better off having them provide written information in Spanish and then having it translated. Google Translate does a reasonable enough job with Spanish-to-English that you should be able to at least get the gist of things, but as you will likely be dealing with legal issues, you want to make sure you understand exactly what everything says. If you don't know anyone who can read and write Spanish (which are two different skills, and different from speaking/listening ability) well enough to assist you, there are many translation services that will do so for a fee.

Depending how complicated your case gets, you may also wish to consult a bilingual lawyer in Spain, but dedos cruzados it doesn't come to that.
 
Likes: Portulaca

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,791
1,793
113
Maui Hawaii
#7
I second this. First, you shouldn't be "speaking" with anyone at this point - you want everything documented in writing.

If you do not understand their written English, you may be better off having them provide written information in Spanish and then having it translated. Google Translate does a reasonable enough job with Spanish-to-English that you should be able to at least get the gist of things, but as you will likely be dealing with legal issues, you want to make sure you understand exactly what everything says. If you don't know anyone who can read and write Spanish (which are two different skills, and different from speaking/listening ability) well enough to assist you, there are many translation services that will do so for a fee.

Depending how complicated your case gets, you may also wish to consult a bilingual lawyer in Spain, but dedos cruzados it doesn't come to that.
At this point in time, there is no need to get translators or lawyers. The OP needs to get the paperwork when available, including the police accident report, and submit all the documents to their credit card after initiating their claim. The CC will be able to translate the documents and will pay the claim; it will take months but eventually, it will happen.
 
Feb 3, 2019
52
83
18
65
#8
The OP needs to get the paperwork when available, including the police accident report, and submit all the documents to their credit card after initiating their claim.
Yes, thanks, I had somehow glitched on the fact that they have CC insurance, which of course should be their first avenue of recourse.
 

Michelle Couch-Friedman

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Sep 19, 2015
512
997
93
#9
Unfortunately, we receive many complaints involving the length of time it takes to settle claims when a consumer utilizes the car insurance offered from their credit card company. In our most recent case, the consumer was forced to pay for the entire car before the claim finally was approved through Chase. So you'll want to contact your credit card company and provide all necessary documents to get the claims process started ASAP. Here's the tale of the consumer whose car rolled down a hill into the ocean in Spain:
His rental car crashed in the sea. Now he's in a $27,825 insurance nightmare.
 
Jun 20, 2019
2
0
1
48
#10
This is so helpful, thank you everyone who responded! I will try to request info in Spanish and use Google Translate - I'm familiar with it since I used it to translate the rental car agreement and terms. I just figured since Enterprise Holdings is an American company with its headquarters in the US, they could help with the language barrier. Getting the police report has been a challenge. I was given a number to get the report when ready (they said 1-2 weeks), but I haven't had luck reaching anyone. I will keep trying. The story about Chase was scary - but it's good to know that Elliott Advocacy is so effective at eliciting action from these companies when they are uncooperative with their customers. Thank you again!
 
Apr 23, 2018
136
130
43
79
#11
I am glad that there were no serious injuries. As Weilac states start the claim process now.

It is not reasonable to ask for someone that speaks “fluent English” when the dealing with a foreign company. And I suspect if you look at the rental contract it will tell you about additional charges to credit card.

Do you know anyone that speaks Spanish well to help with emails.
I can't speak for Apple, but if you use the Windows platform, both Outlook and MS Word do a good job at translation. I compose my emails in English in my email message, select all the text and right click on it to use the "translate" option.. I do the same in reverse for incoming foreign language emails.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,224
8,161
113
San Francisco
#12
What a horrifying experience this must have been, I'm so glad you're both OK. Unless I've missed something, your insurance should be taking care of everything and giving you a list of what is required of you. If your credit card provides insurance on the rental, file a claim and follow their guidance. They will probably deal with this directly with the rental company's insurance. You should not have to be trying to figure out how to communicate in a language that you're not fluent in.