Visitors may be headed for trebled car hire prices in Spain

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Car Rental News - 23/04/2012


A consumer group has revealed that holiday makers in Spain may soon face trebled car hire prices.

The news comes via consumer watchdog Which?; the organisation said this week that hidden fuel charges on car rentals could raise the overall price of a car hire by 200 per cent. Traditionally, hired cars are expected to be brought back with the same level of fuel as when it was rented. But now amid heavy competition, many Spanish car hire companies are charging hugely inflated fuel rates for petrol already present in the tank on non-refundable bookings.

A researcher from the organisation found out in Malaga that a rental from a small company – Goldcar – was inflated from €30 (£24) to €94 (£77) after fuel charges were added. This is compared to an Avis rental of €78 (£64) for a similar vehicle with similar insurance.

Chris Gray said on behalf of Which? that no-frills car hire companies were similar to low-cost airlines in that they both have a range of add-on charges. He said that travellers should be aware of the situation and should avoid putting themselves in a situation in which they will be forced to pay additional fees that they have no idea up front of what they will cost.

Meanwhile, safety groups say the policies may lead to roadside hazards, as many renters seek to drain the tank out of spite before returning the vehicle, which may lead to a large number of fuel-less cars on the side of the road.

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