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Europcar responds to claims of price gouging on hire car repairs

12 EuropcarEuropcar has issued a statement saying it is complying with investigators probing claims it has been ripping off customers on bills for hire car repairs. Trading Standards officers are carrying out an investigation following allegations the car hire firm has been inflating repair bills by up to 300 per cent.

In its statement, Europcar explained it took the claims seriously and was in the middle of carrying out its own internal probe to ascertain whether there was any truth in them. The release also noted the firm was cooperating with Trading Standards and would issue further statements once that investigation was complete.

Europcar stands accused of padding bills for accident repairs, broken windscreens and all the other accidental damage the standard hire car suffers in its lifetime. If the allegations are proved, the firm could face legal action under the Fraud Act of 2006 and a bill for a million pounds.

Consumers Association Which? has also offered its opinions on the claims of price gouging. Products manager and spokesperson Alex Neill said hirers had a right to be treated fairly and not hit with inflated bills.

He carried on by saying if Europcar was found guilty as charged, all customers who had been snared in the scam should receive compensation. He finished off by saying car hire companies had an obligation to tell hirers about all possible charges.

Car hire industry analysts say that in addition to those who claim they have been ripped off on repair costs, there could be many others who have paid up without realising they were being overcharged. One analyst said Europcar could be facing multiple compensation demands if the Trading Standards investigation rules against it.

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