Booking through a travel agent will protect consumers from the car rental ‘horror stories’ told in a recent Daily Mail article, rental firms say.
Trade-friendly car rental companies have railed against the newspaper for its article, which claimed that companies were using “underhand tactics” to “rip-off” customers.
Both Flexible Autos and Your Car Hire said that booking through a travel agent would protect customers from exaggerated repair costs, pressure into buying insurance that isn’t needed, inflated fees for petrol and “fear tactics” which it says it uncovered in a series of undercover recordings.
Sue Dixon, managing director at Flexible Autos, said: “While we have not been directly affected by this report, we do sympathise with agents who sit at the ‘sharp end’ of such investigations and who will no doubt face some difficult questions from customers about car rental charges during the peak Summer months.”
“We continue to work hard with our suppliers in order to address transparency issues. It can be really confusing booking car rental online, hence we firmly believe in the huge benefits that come with booking via a travel agent in advance, as they will be able to advise and take the time to find the best product for the customer.”
Ruth Bligh, managing director of Your Car Hire, added: “The current stories being depicted in the Daily Mail this week regarding car hire horror stories do not tell the full story.”
She said that security deposits were to be expected on “anything hired” and were a “reasonable ask”
Bligh dismissed the newspaper’s claims that sales tactics were underhand, adding: “The car hire voucher provided to each client by Your Car Hire clearly states exactly what is required on collection of the vehicle in terms of deposit, credit card etc. Any extras are also clearly stated such as GPS, cross border fees, extra driver fees and baby/child seats.
“Booking via a travel agent rather than with a faceless online company will give you the kind of transparency that Your Car Hire offers.”