Spanish brand Centauro has branches at airports and train stations across Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Which? verdict: There are far better options than Centauro. Reports of long queues and the hard sell for extras have seen its customer score and star ratings drop.
|Car hire company: Centauro (63)|
|Which? Recommended Provider||Customer score||Clarity of final hire cost||Customer service||Age, condition & mileage of car||Value for money|
|We sampled 2,282 Which? members in January 2020, a further 843 in January 2021, and a further 657 in 2022. Sample size is in brackets. Customer score combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend. A dash means not enough responses to calculate that category.|
Low-cost independent Centauro, which operates mainly at ‘off airport’ locations in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, has been beaten on value by some of its big-brand competitors.
Long queue times were particularly apparent in the feedback Which? received, with almost a third of customers waiting for 45 minutes or more. One reported a wait time of three hours.
Customers put these delays down to a variety of factors including a ‘chaotic’ queuing system and reps spending so much time ‘trying to sell the extras’. One Centauro user commented: ‘The long wait on arrival and the unpleasant pressure to pay for additional insurance which we did not need made a poor start to our holiday.’ Another customer felt the company was ‘just trying to get more money’. Find out which you do need.
Despite lower scores, customers also made some positives remarks about Centauro's base prices. And several customers mentioned they were upgraded free of charge and noted helpful staff members.
But when the value for money score and overall customer service scores both came in at three out of five stars, it shows cheap hire costs certainly doesn’t equate to good value, nor does it make up for the hard sells or excessive queues.
Centauro has let standards slip and it needs to rectify its wait times. The lower hire price is tempting and it is at least clear about overall hire costs and its fuel policy, but there are better options available.