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CMA to investigate car hire comparison websites

Rent1The Competition and Markets Authority is set to launch an investigation into unexpected fees and illegal hidden charges forced on customers by car hire firms.

Two unnamed car rental sites will be under investigation after concerns were raised that they may be breaking the law by slapping additional charges onto customers.

When hiring a car, some customers have to pay a number of unexpected costs, including fuel, late-night pick-up and drop-off charges.

Over the past year or so, the CMA has worked alongside car hire comparison sites to ensure that customers get accurate and clear prices.

During this period, there has been a significant improvement to the clarity and accuracy of information given to customers, according to the CMA.

However, there is still a small number of businesses who are still yet to make the necessary changes and will now be under investigation.

Alongside the investigation, the CMA has also written to car hire firms to ensure they maintain high standards and are making the improvements needed to stay within the law.

The requirements set out by the CMA include, making sure all additional charges are in the first price given to customers, clearly setting out the fuel policy to customers, and also warning them about high deposits or excess costs.

CMA Project Director James MacBeth said: “For many people hiring a car is an essential component to days out, holidays and trips. No one should be misled or face unexpected charges, whether they choose to book directly with the car hire company or through a comparison site.”

An earlier review with the European Commission into the top five car rental firms – Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Avis Budget – in 2015 resulted in an estimated £100 million worth of savings for UK customers.

If you’re thinking of hiring a car, see if you could save by getting a quote for car hire excess insurance today.

Date Created: 23 October 2017

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