Car rental giants agree to transparency and information improvements

Five car rental giants have agreed to improve the way they deal with their customers following a Europe-wide competition review.

Avis Budget, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Europcar, Sixt and Hertz have agreed to introduce a series of improvements over the next six months.

The five companies in total represent around two thirds of the UK and EU markets.

According to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), they have committed to:

  • Improved transparency when making a website booking or reservation – consumers will have more of the key information they need to shop around for the best deal.
  • Better information at the booking stage about optional waiver and insurance products.
  • More upfront information about pre- and post-rental vehicle inspection processes.
  • Improved notification of, and dispute processes for, any charges for damage.

CMA senior director, Nisha Arora, said: “We welcome the improvements made by the leading EU car rental companies to ensure that consumers are given clearer information upfront about their rental.

“These changes go a long way to ensuring that consumers know exactly what they are getting when they rent a car.

“The CMA, together with the European Commission and our EU counterparts have worked constructively with the leading EU car rental companies to reach agreements on revised practices that will benefit motorists who rent vehicles in the UK and abroad.

“The improvements by these five businesses now set a benchmark for the rest of the industry to follow.”

The CMA has worked with the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association to make improvements to its UK code of conduct similar to those adopted by the main car hire businesses.

The revised code is due to be launched at the beginning of 2016.

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