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Car rental firms to comply with CMA fair trade recommendations

STEWART AIRPORT INTERIORS AND EXTERIORS 9/26/07The biggest European car rental companies have said they will comply with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recommendations on fair practices. The authority’s recommendations are designed to give people renting cars better deals and ensure charges for damage and insurance are clearly defined.

Hertz, the Avis-Budget group, Europcar, Sixt and Enterprise have all agreed to adhere to the CMA’s proposals and will change their policies by the end of 2015. CMA director Nisha Arora said that with the big five car hire firms setting a yardstick the rest of the industry should follow suit.

Consumer organisation Which? also urged smaller rental companies to introduce the same fair business practices. The organisation’s Richard Lloyd complained that the underhanded way rental firms conduct business has been a blight on the smooth operations of airport terminals for years.

He continued by saying vehicle hire firms would now need to give customers understandable information about any surcharges at the time of booking. The companies will need to show more details about insurance when customers make their reservations.

They will also have to provide renters with the option of returning the hired vehicle with a full tank of petrol or diesel. The final measure affects the way any damage is recorded before the customer drives the car away and after it is returned. 

Although the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association operates a mediation service over uninsured damage claims, renters have frequently alleged they have been billed for damage they did not cause.  The European Commission supported the CMA enquiry and the measures will be implemented across the whole of Europe.

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