Five large rental companies, operating in the EU: Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Enterprise, have signed an agreement to provide clearer and more transparent tariffs to consumers who want to hire a rental car.
Due to pressure from consumer organisations caused by an increasing number of complaints, and as petitioned by the European Commission.
The 5 have agreed to:
Include all charges in the total price of the reservation: from now on, consumers will be offered a global price on the website corresponding to the final price they will have to pay. This fee must include all additional costs, such as specific rates for fuel service, airport charges, surcharges for young driver or “one-way” rates if the place of return of the vehicle differs from the place of collection.
Clearly describe the basic rental services with all their conditions in all national languages: consumers will not receive confusing or misleading information about the main rental characteristics, such as mileage included, fuel policy, cancellation policy and requirements of deposit, etc.
Make clear in the offer the price and the details of the optional extras, in particular in the case of insurance exemptions that reduce the amount due in case of damages. The damages covered by the basic rental price must be clearly stated and details of what can still be charged to the driver. If additional insurance or damage exemption is purchased, it is necessary to clearly indicate what is or is not included before the consumer signs.
An evaluation published yesterday, the 25th of March, indicates that Enterprise and Sixt have made all the necessary changes. Avis has agreed to introduce the pending changes by May 2019. Europcar, which now includes Goldcar, will apply the remaining changes by June 2019. Hertz has committed to make all necessary changes by the end of the first quarter. from 2020.
A bit of EU context:
The EU Regulation on consumer protection cooperation brings together national consumer authorities in a pan-European executive network, whereby a national authority of one EU country can address its counterparts in another country of origin. EU in order to coordinate the response to widespread problems that affect consumers. The European Commission facilitates this task.
Under the coordination of the Competition and Markets Authority of the United Kingdom, the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network has initiated contacts with the five major car rental companies as a result of an increase in complaints received by the European Centers for the Protection of Consumers throughout the EU. This action has been facilitated by the European Commission.
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