Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - MrSheen

Afternoon all. A friend told me that this might be a good place to seek advice or opinions.

I was in France for a few days last month and hired a car. No problems driving it. All went well.

I received a letter today saying that Avis had "been notified of several fines of charges imposed during your use of the rental vehicle".

The only details of the charge was a huge Penalty Charge Notice number (I b***** hope it's not the cost!) and the Issuing Organisation (Agence Nationale De Traitement Automatise Des Infraction...rolls off the tongue!). No mention of what the fine was for or how much it will be.

It then goes on to say "In accordance with our terms and conditions we have passed your details on to the issuing organisation and they will send written notification to you."

Avis are charging me €70 admin fee, before I even know what the charges are.

I've had a look around the internet, but can't find anything similar on forums that's much help with regards to what's the best course of action?

I think I'm going to contact Avis and ask them if they have the details of the charges and if it's possible for me to appeal the charges before they slap their admin fee on me.

Appreciate any help.

Cheers,
Chris

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - concrete

In France I have found that parking restrictions are similar to here and are usually well signed, especially ones that collect money rather than 2 hours free. If you cannot remember where you parked then the notice should provide details of times and dates. The French bureaucracy is legend so they will not quit. If you can't mount an adequate defence then paying up is the only answer. They will pursue you. They and the Italians have latched onto this little goldmine since the recession started and they are quite dertermined to get their pound of flesh. Others may know of websites that offer help, maybe pepipoo could help.

As for Avis, well you will also find in the T&C's you signed up to that they are within their rights to charge you admin fees for all sorts of activity. However the fees do have to be reasonable. Who decides what is reasonable? Maybe try their trade body, they may have guidelines on how they justify the admin fees etc. Problem is you cannot hire a car without a credit card so they have you by the short and curlies. Even if you cancel the card immediately after you hire the car they have a means of still charging against it I believe. You can't win, can you?

Best of luck

Concrete

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - focussed

Could be any of the following:-

You will find below examples of the most frequent types of offences presented by category of traffic violation:

  • www.antai.gouv.fr/assets/5.9.2/ctx/img/sitemap-puc...f); background-position: 0px 5px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">1st category:failure to respect parking regulations;
  • www.antai.gouv.fr/assets/5.9.2/ctx/img/sitemap-puc...f); background-position: 0px 5px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">2nd category:change of direction without using turn signal, non payment of a toll, lack of insurance certificate;
  • www.antai.gouv.fr/assets/5.9.2/ctx/img/sitemap-puc...f); background-position: 0px 5px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">3rd category:driving over the speed limit with an excess speed inferior to 20 km/h (for a legal speed limit superior to 50 km/h), non-conformity of vehicle breaking devices;
  • www.antai.gouv.fr/assets/5.9.2/ctx/img/sitemap-puc...f); background-position: 0px 5px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">4th category:use of hand-held phone, driving in the emergency lane, driving without seat belt, failure to yield, failure to stop at red lights or stop signs, crossing or straddling a continuous line, lack of periodical technical verification, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving against traffic flow, failure to observe a safe distance between vehicles, driving over the speed limit with an excess speed inferior to 50 km/h, dangerous passing, driving without headlights, lack of registration certificate;
  • www.antai.gouv.fr/assets/5.9.2/ctx/img/sitemap-puc...f); background-position: 0px 5px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">5th category:driving over the speed limit with an excess speed superior to 50 km/h.

You can access your file via the internet here:-

www.antai.gouv.fr/en/demarches/saisienumeroconsult...n

Just use google translate to make sense of it (right click and left click translate)

If you are going to pay up you need to see the the ticket, i would tell them no ticket-no payment and stick your admin charge where the sun doesn't shine.

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - Bromptonaut

The site focussed links to is actually in English. Seems to be a system similar to ours where the keeper, in this case Avis, is obliged to name the driver. The E70 admin fee covers that process.

It's not about whether you have a defence to the penalties. You'll need to argue that with antai. The website tells you how to do so.

Whether they will pursue you in the English courts for any penalty or put a marker against your name so you're flagged on entering France is another question.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 23/08/2015 at 11:20

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - focussed

I have been in and out of France with cars and motorcycles for the last 15 years or so , St Malo, Ouestreham, Boulogne etc and I have never seen any evidence of ANPR cameras. Usually it's a couple of bored gendarmes just checking passports and a quick glance inside the car. On a bike its either helmet off or chinbar up and speak a few words to make sure you correlate with your passport.

The real PIA is the security at Portsmouth to get on the ferry going back-boot open -bonnet open etc check underneath with mirrors etc

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - concrete

They do have a ANPR cameras in France, but usually at the toll booths of the Peage. If they put a marker on your number plate then they will probably stop you and demand payment or worse.

To avoid this you can use the N and D roads which will take you anywhere you need to go, but at a more leisurely pace. Not a bad thing really.

Cheers Concrete

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - DSPK
Hello Chris,

I received a similar letter from Avis today.
It was sent to my address 10days ago, they haven't charged my credit card yet. The fee was 35E so I hope it is only for one single fine.
I am trying to email them to ask for a copy of the notification they received, but the email keeps coming back to me meaning the email they provided is incorrect?
I haven't received any notice from the issuing organisation.
What happened in your case? How long after the Avis letter did you get a notice from the issuing organisation?

Hope you didn't have to pay a lot.

Cheers,
D
Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - Brisbob
Hi D,

I appreciate this thread is 2 years old, but I’ve also just received two 35euro admin charges from Avis relating to French fines. This was 8 weeks ago now and I’ve stilll not had any details of the actual fines. How long did you have to wait?

Thanks,

Rob.
Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - BrownCircles

I'm in the same boat as Brisbob. I hired a car from Avis at Nantes airport in August and received a 35 euro charge on the 4th October 2017 to cover the admin of passing my details onto the French authorities. 2 months later and still no speeding ticket or parking ticket. Will be interested if anything comes of this for both of us.

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - Miniman777

Seems this is just another part of the European car hire scam.

If there is no ticket within a set number of months, then car rental company should refund the money.

Avis Car Hire in France & Fines - concrete

Seems this is just another part of the European car hire scam.

If there is no ticket within a set number of months, then car rental company should refund the money.

I am begining to think this is a nice little earning scam for the hire companies, Once returned from your trip you cannot easily access the hire company to find out the details. It could easily be a spurious 'admin' fee. I thought EU legal rules about traffic offences were broadly similar to ours. Surely there is a time limit to serve notice then complete the process. The so called 'admin' fee is payable wether you get prosecuted or not, simply because the hire compnay has incurred a cost by providing information to the authorities, fair enough. But the number of people on the forum who state they have waited months for official contact is worrying. It does seem to smell rather fishy to me. Maybe HJ has some contacts with motoring journalists in Europe. If so they may be willing to investigate this situation. It would make a good story for a newspaper.

Cheers Concrete

 

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