Travellers to get new protection against car hire scams

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Car Rental News - 07/07/2011


Holidaymakers could soon enjoy increased security against unscrupulous practices by some car rental companies.

British travellers could soon enjoy expanded protection against the unscrupulous tactics used by a small number of car hire companies. The European Parliament has already initiated a crackdown on unfair hidden charges after it introduced a ban from 2014 that makes it illegal for companies to levy excessive charges for credit and debit cards.

It is incredibly easy these days for travellers to hire cars for business or holiday purposes, an option used by some two million Brits on their summer holidays. Unfortunately, many of them have reported being presented with shocking bills for things like accidents they say never occurred or insurance cover they never requested.

Consumer watchdogs UK European Consumer Centre says the number of complaints it received about such firms rose 37 per cent between January and May this year, compared to the same period two years ago. The leading complaints concerned disputed bills for overpriced and unrequested waiver insurance. Also high on the list of complaints was firms charging for damage after customers had already returned the vehicles.

Britain’s Office of Fair Trading has announced that it is concerned with the way firms are marketing excess insurance. In a critical report, the OFT said that consumers often were tired following flights or they were hurrying to start their holidays and keen to pick up cars, which leaves them more prone to accept hire terms without carefully reviewing them.

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