Journey to Snowdon, Episode 1 : The Car

Episode 1: The Car

"The payment has declined", 

 said the card machine for the 20th times, I lost count, tbh.

It was our second day after we arrived in London. We were supposed to pickup the rented car that we've booked and paid in-advance, and heading Northwest to Snowdon first thing in the morning since it will be a long journey and we hoped to arrive before it gets dark. 

Breakfast in our AirBnb, and stairway to hell to the flat. I just remembered that I took this photo because Junda fell off when carrying our luggage in this narrow & steep stairs. Maybe that was the sign. Haha

All cheered up and happy when waiting for the bus. The weather was lovely.

Everything seemed smooth, we had breakfast and packed our lunch and brew our own coffee. We then rode the bus for around 1,5 hours from our Airbnb in Muswell Hill to Europcar office in Park Royale. Considering that we brought along two huge luggages, bus was the most convenient options albeit took longer than tube, but still, we managed to arrived on time at 9AM. There was no problem when we mentioned our name for the reservation, hand in our passport and driving license. The major problem revealed itself when the Europcar guy asked us to hand in our card since he needed to secure £250 deposit before giving us the key. 

We then hand in our first credit card.

"The payment has declined",
Strange, we thought. We didn't see it coming.

"Can we try one more time?"

We tried other credit and debit cards from various banks, both Junda's and mine, but none of them worked. At first we kinda feel suspicious that maybe the fault was in the machine, not in our cards, but then the other customers proved us wrong as they paid for the deposit without any problem. Some of them even used a non-UK card. Strange! I think it was just me, but I feel that the Europcar guy kinda judged us for not having enough money hence the card was declined haha. Me and Junda repeatedly mentioned that our cards worked just fine in other merchant and we have more than enough balance. But that was completely unnecessary since we need the approval from the machine, not from the Europcar guy.

It feels sucks to be stuck in between something uncertain. We couldn't just leave since we already paid for the 3-days worth rental and it was still uncertain whether we could refund it or not, but we couldn't get the car either since we couldn't provide the deposit. The Europcar guy didn't provide any solution since he was so busy that day, considering it was Saturday and he's alone in that office facing many customers. 

We called many people that day, from our banks (oh you cannot imagine how extremely expensive our phone bill was, making that international phone call that provided us zero solution) and the car rental website (since we made a booking through a third-party website called We've been there for around 3 hours, when we finally lost our patience. We cannot stay there longer as I was afraid that we would turned out crazy. The show must go on and we should find another solution since we got everything booked in Snowdon. Other solution is to buy the train ticket to Wales, which I believe will cost us a fortune and it would be less convenient compared with renting the car, or we should find another car company that could rent us car without asking the deposit. But we guessed that the problem was caused by Indonesia's Payment System that cannot do the pre-auth type of payment in our card hence we should be able to find the car rental provider with no deposit -- or the problems will still persist.

After a numerous long phone call and heated up discussion, I finally can negotiate with the to refund our previous booking with Europcar, only if we make another booking using their platform. I was able to find another rental company called Easirent which provide no-deposit options. But the thing was, at that time the only car available was in Luton Airport. Haha. Luton was on the other side of the world, but the show must go on and we cannot wait any longer so I booked it anyway. 

Took this picture while waiting for our Uber as a celebration haha

It was around 1pm when we finally left the Europcar, we called Uber since we need to get there fast, although it was the most expensive Uber ride ever (please don't ask me how much). 30 mins later we arrived at the Easirent office, which located in a shady-looking parking lot near the airport. The guy at Easirent seemed nice and helpful. Little did we know that he'd cause us another series of unfortunate events :(

"You made the booking just now, what happened? Were you trying to book from another company?", he asked, with an empathic sound. Exactly what I needed at that point.

I briefly told him what happened, and clarify whether we need to give a deposit here, which he said no. Thank Goodness. 

Howeverrr, apparently after checking our ID & driving license, he then asked us to pay another insurance fee, which was £50/day (on top of the rental fee), if we don't want to pay for the deposit. Or else, they would need to hold £1,500 in our card for the deposit. What a ripoff. I guess he could sense us being desperate and left with no other options. So we paid it anyway :(((((((

After all those unfortunate event, the car finally came. People say that there is always sunshine after rainy day. Apparently, we got a free upgrade into a very nice SUV. It will cost us at least £120/day if we chose to rent the SUV in the first place. Universe finally gave us a mercy :') We then quickly heading Northwest into Snowdonia to continue the plan.

Our car had a fancy built-in GPS and nice audio system

As we rode to Snowdon, I quickly counted all financial lost that we had to bear that day, then we just laugh together. The tense slowly eased as we saw beautiful view of English countryside. We ate our super late lunch in the service area after everything settled. Funny because we initially thought that we won't need lunchbox as the plan was to find a nice restaurant on the way to Snowdon, but since we had some leftovers egg and bread so we packed it anyway. 

Oh, Snowdon. You better be worth it, we thought.

To be continued...

PS: We also asked whether we could return the car in another location, since Luton is not very public-transport friendly. The guy said that we could return it at the other airport. So we chose Heathrow, because we could get a tube there. 3 days later when we returned the car at Heathrow, we found out that we need to pay another £50 as we returned it in another location :(((

1 comment

  1. OMGGG ini kalau dibuat film, bisa nyaingin Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events wakakak. Alhamdulillah tetep ada yang disyukuri yaa dapet mobil SUV.

    Btw Mir FYI nih, Indonesia's Payment System is capable of doing the pre-auth type of payment kok, karena aku anak payment jadi tau. Biasanya cc Indo pun udah enable for pre-auth. Jadi kemungkinan di sisi akseptasi bank si merchant dalam hal ini si Europcar.

    Kayaknya isu kamu ini pas kirim message otorisasi ke Indonesia, somehow gagal kali time out gitu kejauhan wakakakak. Tapi jadi degdeguan yah. Cc kan andalan di segala situasyong. Jadinya biaya sewa bisa refund gak?