Happy News For Consumers Of Car Rental Services

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Good news for the consumers of car rental services

Consumer rights in the car rental sector are being enforced in Europe. A joint action by the European Commission and national enforcement authorities have agreed to review how five major car rental companies deal with their customers. Consumers could expect benefits from more clarity on insurance policies, tank refueling options, more fairness in handling damages and more price transparency. The review came about due to the sharp increase in the number complaints received by European Consumer Centers over the last two years.

Booking for a car online is convenient for most consumers. There is an option provided by the car rental sector wherein a consumer can rent a car in one country and return it in another but unfortunately, rental terms and conditions are rather vague and the customer is left with unplanned extra charges. The five major rental companies have pledged to improve their information policies and to make fair terms and conditions.

Among the other improvements that consumers can expect include:

  • Improved transparency when cars are booked online with clear information about rental policies
  • Better information at the booking stage particularly about prices, insurance policies, exclusions and applicable excesses.
  • Clearer vehicle inspection processes
  • Reasonable opportunity for consumers to challenge any additional charges being claimed

For example, in the car rental market, a consumer can book for a car by paying €600 as deposit but if the car unfortunately gets scratched while in the possession of the consumer, an additional €100 may be charged from the total amount of deposit. This is one of the rules in a car hire company’s terms and conditions which must be foreseen by the consumer.

Changes will be gradually implemented by car hire companies until the end of the year. According to consumer authorities they will be monitoring insurance cover, language used in terms and conditions during booking and the consumer’s liability for car damages made by other people.