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Review: False Damage Claim and Why You Should Not Rent From Sixt Mallorca

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Last week I returned from an almost round the world 19-day trip which included spending two days at the Park Hyatt Mallorca. I rented a car from Sixt Rent a Car at the Mallorca Airport to get to the Park Hyatt Mallorca.

This was my first time renting with Sixt, #sixtexperience. And is one of the worst travel mistakes I’ve made in all my years traveling. Planning a trip to Mallorca and want to rent a car? Read my review: false damage claim and why you should not rent from Sixt Mallorca.

According to This is Money and The Olive Press, Spanish rental car firms commonly scam tourists. So I spent hours researching and reading countless review, after review, of car rental companies in Mallorca.

Although the 2-day car rental cost twice as much: $181 from Sixt vs $93, I couldn’t find any negative reviews on Sixt Mallorca and they are a large, well respected company.

But the lack of negative reviews didn’t mean there weren’t any bad reviews. Just that I hadn’t yet found them. Or they hadn’t been posted before I rented from Sixt Rent a Car Mallorca.

False Damage Claim and Why You Should Not Rent from Sixt Mallorca

Making a reservation could save you a long wait.

Don’t be fooled by the long line. You shouldn’t rent from Sixt Mallorca.

Here’s what happened and what you should do when you rent a car in Mallorca.

I rented a car because the plan was to drive around the island. And it was cheaper to drive myself to the Park Hyatt Mallorca than arrange a pickup. But as we all know, sometimes cheaper isn’t always the best plan.

After waiting 20 minutes at the counter in the baggage claim area, I went to the car pickup location because:

  • Everyone in front of me in line didn’t have a reservation
  • I had a reservation
  • I pre-enrolled in Express Sixt (which lets you skip the line and pick up your car)
  • Gold Sixt Member (status match, although I should be a Platinum)

Despite the Express Sixt membership, I still had to give my payment information. So I’m not really sure if you benefit from having a Express Sixt membership. If you have any experience with Express Sixt, please let me know in the comments below.

Sent to the Bowels of the Garage

Carefully inspect the rental car if there are no car rental employees to help you.

This cute little Smart Fortwo was the one cheery thing in the bowels of the garage.

The return desk and car pick up location was on level 5 in the garage across from the airport terminal. After processing my reservation, Ms. Gobel assigned me a car on level 1.

Yep, I was sent to the bowels of the garage to pick up my rental car. Despite rows and rows of available cars on level 5. That should have been my first clue that something was amiss.

Little did I know that this was a set up for a #sixtexperience false damage claim scam from Sixt Rent a Car Mallorca.

Level 1 was dark and poorly lit. And at about 6pm, there were very few people, not a single Sixt employee or any other car rental employee.

3 Rules When Renting a Car

Rule 1 – Inspect the Car

I walked around and inspected the Smart Fortwo. Saw the rear passenger bumper damage that was already noted on the reservation. But there was also damage to the front passenger bumper. And the patch-up job of paint matched the patch-up job to the rear bumper.

Rule 2 – Take Photos of any Damage

When renting a car, take photos of any damage before you drive off the lot.

Existing damage on rental car at Sixt Mallorca

I took a photo of the damage with my phone and camera. As you should do when you notice any damage to a rental car before you drive off the lot.

Rule 3 – Report the Damage

I assumed there would be a Sixt employee to report and show the damage to when leaving the parking structure.

Nope, no living soul at all when you exit the parking structure. Plus there wasn’t an easy way to get back into the parking structure. So I planned to tell them when I returned the car.

Driving in Mallorca

It's a long drive from the Mallorca airport to the Park Hyatt Mallorca.

Although it’s a long drive from the Mallorca airport to the Park Hyatt Mallorca, it’s an easy drive.

I drove straight from Sixt Mallorca to the Park Hyatt Mallorca. Where the valet took my vehicle and I didn’t see the car again until the next day.

The rental car sat in the underground guest parking garage for the entire time I was in Mallorca except for driving to and from the Park Hyatt Mallorca and for about 30 minutes when I drove the car into the next town.

I was going to drive around the island. But shortly after leaving the resort, I got a text from the spa. So I skipped driving around Mallorca to spend a couple hours at the Park Hyatt Mallorca spa. So basically the car was parked for two days.

Read: Park Hyatt Mallorca Review: How to Get There

False Damage Claim by Sixt Mallorca

Upon returning the car, the girl behind the desk told me I could just walk away. She didn’t offer a receipt or check the car out.

But there was no way I was going to just walk away. So I waited for another employee, Stephan to inspect the car.

I told Stephan that the damage to the front bumper was there when I picked it up. He noted it on the return check sheet. So I assumed all was good. Wrong!

Seven days later, I get a bill from Sixt Mallorca claiming I damaged the car. Invoice is 146.27 euros which is almost as much as I paid to rent the car for two days!

Shakedown Attempt by Sixt Mallorca

This is a shakedown attempt by Sixt Mallorca to extort money from tourists with false claims of damage to rental cars.

And I’m not the only person this has happened to, SamKeyRob S, and djuvan have had a similar experience. I guess with the euro doing poorly, Sixt Mallorca is hurting for money. And is gauging rental car customers.

Sixt customer service in the US won’t help because the rental was in Spain. Sixt Spain insists I caused it, refuses to listen to reason nor see that the photos indicate the damage was pre-existing.

So my credit card company is paying the claim. But it’s a matter of principle. I didn’t cause the damage so I, nor my credit card company, should have to pay for it.

Update: After multiple emails back and forth with photos of the car when I picked it up and posting a tweet on Twitter, Sixt decided not to charge me.

Pro-tip: From Rule 2 above, take photos of your rental car before you leave the lot. Be sure to get pictures of any damaged or questionable areas.


You have to be careful when you rent cars in Spain, particularly in Mallorca. Because it’s common for rental car companies to force tourists to pay for fuel (despite having returned the car with a full tank) and pre-existing damage to rental cars with false claims of new damage.

Renting from a larger, more established car rental company doesn’t protect you from scams. Even companies like Sixt Rent a Car in Mallorca have been known to scam renters with false claims of damage. #sixtexperience

When renting a car, you should inspect rental cars, take photos of any damage, get a receipt when checking out, and pay with a credit card that provides free collision damage benefit for damage or theft like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

So beware renting from Sixt Mallorca. You may get a false damage claim.

Pin this to your travel, travel tips, or vacation board:

Rental car companies in Mallorca, Spain scam renters. Learn more about false damage claim and why you should not rent from Sixt Mallorca.

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Friday 11th of August 2023

I've got the false damage claim from Sixt Mallorca, but I was renting in Bilbao.

Debra Schroeder

Saturday 9th of December 2023

Hi Neyts,

Sorry to hear that. Did you get yours settled?


Monday 22nd of May 2023

Sixt did the same thing to us in Malaga, Spain. We were sent a $600 bill 3 years after our rental with no itemized damage or photos. They threatened to send us to collections and we paid it off. My husband contacted Sixt and received no help. I'm only seeing this post now. We will never use Sixt again. Thanks for posting and letting others know to stay away from Sixt.


Sunday 7th of May 2023

Watch out for Sixt! I was at SFO and last minute needed a rental car. They were the only company that had one, and they had a bunch! I didn't stop to figure out why. Now I know! I brought the car back pristine and only drove about 20 miles. The guy checked me in said looked great but then 2 weeks later I started getting all of these pictures of damage that there is no way I could have done.

Highly recommend to take about 20 pictures of the car so that you have proof that you didn't damage anything! i've been renting cars for years from reputable companies and never had this happen!

Demetrius Tsouchlos

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Same thing happen to me in Lisbon. My SIXT rented car had a ton of scrathes and dents and SIXT provided no doc showing where damages where. When expressed concern clerk told me not to worry these dents and scratches are common...I took few pics, but did not get on my knees and take pics under the bumper...when I returned the car, clerk got on his knees in the right front corner of the car and ...FOUND... a 3 cm little dent...almost under the bumper...Now they want to charge me 250 euros on top of the 290 I paid for the renting the car...Very devious company....Although I have credit card coverage, I refuse to pay and will fight it. Searching the web found thousands stories similar to that about SIXT and others...If you do not think to take pics of everything even under the car or the trunk, or the inside... they will find something to charge you...

Debra Schroeder

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Hi Demetrius,

Wow! That's for the tip about taking pictures of the undercarriage.

Andres Pinzon Cuellar

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

I have the SAME case but with Sixt France.. I sincerely DO NOT recommend Sixt in any place.

Debra Schroeder

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Hi Andres,

Sorry to hear that. Where in France did this happen?

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