Car hire excess on credit card


Not Starling related but credit card related and I know we have some experts on here.
Back in June I hired a car in Croatia, they charged my credit card with £1000 as they always do. And a few weeks after I returned they took the charge off as normal
Now 6 weeks later they have decided that I picked the car up after hours and owe them £37. This is completely wrong and I’ve been emailing back and forth for 2 days. Question is, as they have already dropped the charge on my CC can they use it again when I’m not physically present with the card to put the pin in. Surely that charge has gone and all the details with it ? They say they’re going to take it off my card. Obviously I will get in touch with Barclays and get it refunded, but surely they can’t do that after the fact ?


Technically they can, both Mastercard and Visa rules allow them to do so.

However as you are with Barclays they will refund it because you will be disputing the fact.

With a car rental the final charge should exactly be that, after all they charge you after the car is returned, for the fuel and any relevant charges you may owe them.


That is quite disconcerting, I would have thought once the contract is finished and the deposit refunded, then any further charge on the card would be a complete new transaction. What stops a retailer from taking more off your card months down the line ?


It’s actually fairly complicated. It depends on how the retailer obtains your number in the first place, then it is what they obtain the number for.

If a transaction has a hold on it, or a pre-authorisation then the very nature is that you are allowing that retailer to charge you are a later date, and quite often for an amount not agreed beforehand. The later date is not set in stone, unless you have a specific agreement of such, with care hire, there is nearly always a clause about charging you later if need be.

It would be no different to you giving Sky your number and allowing it to take your monthly payment, the amount is not known, the end date is not known, you can end your contract and find that down the road Sky have undercharged you, so you get another charge.

All banks have different procedures on how they deal with things like this. Some banks if you dispute a charge at the end of an agreement or contract, they will refund you, others will say its well within the rules and you have to fight to get them to help.

When using a card terminal in the shop, there is no real risk of being charged again down the line, because it’s all processed automatically, the only exception is if there is an error, or the original transaction doesn’t go through, as has happened a few times this year with some big retailers, and Tesco have taken payments months later before, again well within the rules.

But in general there is no risk of being charged down the line once you have paid for something.


Ah thanks, I paid the pre authorisation over the counter with chip and pin and that is not on my card any more. the car hire was paid through a broker who I have an account with and have my card details, but they already refused to pay them anymore so it looks like they can’t get anything more from me :+1:


Not necessarily for your benefit, but might help others.


Thanks for the link!