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Kuala Lumpur Airport – Looking for Avis and a possible rip off?

By on August 24, 2015 in Malaysia

If you are trying to rent at car at Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL) then good luck as there are no obvious signposts showing you the way. I eventually found Avis by wandering around and asking people for directions. On several occasions people sent me the wrong way, and at one point I got very confused when trying to leave the building (I was told that car rental was ’next door’ in a building in front of the terminal) as every time I went down in a lift to ground floor I ended up back in the train station. (It turns out that there are two sets of lifts opposite each other and if you go in one set it takes you to the train station, whereas the other lift takes you to the ground floor.)

I finally escaped the terminal and made it across two roads, the second one was a ’trolley stopper’ so I had to start carrying my bags. The building I finally ended up in was the bus station, where, upon asking a few people I discovered that car hire was ’next door’, however, there was no obvious way to get there.

The route I finally took involved walking across the bus station (watch out for buses), through some offices that handled something to do with car parking (I think), where I was told that car hire was ‘next door’ and then I finally found car hire. In all that wandering, apart from one sign near the exit post-bag collection, I didn’t see another sign for car rentals.

Once I got to the Avis counter I handed over my licence, credit card and passport and the staff vanished in to a back room, presumably to take copies. It was at this point my phone pinged and altered me to a RM938 (£180 UK; $260 US) transaction on my card by Avis. This was the first I had heard of this. No one said they were going to do it, they just did it. When challenged I was told by the staff that this was routine. Can’t say I can ever recall such a thing happening before, and I was less than impressed that they didn’t tell me they were going to do it.

Update: Upon returning the car there was no sign of getting the RM938 back in full and I was told that I would only get ~RM500 as there was a RM430 car hire charge, which was odd because as far as I know I had pre-paid.

Update 2: There is a bridge connecting the bus station (so you will still have to dodge buses and go through the ‘car-park office’) to the main terminal building. Annoyingly I had even been over the bridge at one point looking for car hire but had turned back as there were no signs.

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