Awful start to Israel trip at Europcar Ben Gurion airoport
We had a printed out copy of an internet chat with Europcar's international office saying insurance was included, but the extraordinarily rude man at the desk refused to even look at it. That was the main factor in our choice to rent from Europcar and the difference in price was enormous, but we were stuck. When we argued, he pressed a button and cancelled our reservation. He also told us he didn't represent Europcar. When I took a photo of him wearing a Europcar service badge with his name, his colleague forced me to delete the photo and physically checked my phone to see all folders to make sure I had done so - I felt as if I was being ordered around by a security official. When we said they were supposed to provide service to customers, they said "Not in Israel" and "We don't work for you."
As it was already 3 or 4 in the morning, we gave in about the insurance, saying we would have to visit their Jerusalem office the next day. Then the colleague reopened the reservation, but when we got down to the car, they had spitefully given us the tiniest car (by far) on the lot, even though we were paying for the THIRD category from the smallest. Cleverly, they also black-mouthed us in a long computer report to Europcar's office, so when we complained the next day, the manager completely ignored our description of how rude they had been. Nor would he look at the print outs of our chat concerning Europcar's policies all over the world; he said Israel is different.
We were convinced to book with Europcar because the agent at Europcar's main website said specifically that all their charges are included in the price, and that sounded fair and trouble-free (we have experienced this problem before). If Europcar cannot control - or speak for, online - the standards of their franchisees, I would be reluctant to rent from them in any city.
The manager in Jerusalem also told us the tiny car was in the Compact range we had paid for. (We have rented a compact car almost every year for the past 25 in Israel and never driven such a little box.) Hence the low rating I have assigned to outside of vehicle.
Insurance pricing is a major problem in dealings with car rental agencies in Israel - the prices offered online bear no relationship to what the customer actually has to pay. This gives a very unfortunate appearance of bait-and-switch just as new visitors enter the country.