A spokesperson for Hertz in the US has confirmed the car hire firm has scrapped its controversial surcharge for cleaning returned vehicles. The spokesperson said there will no longer be a cleaning fee even when cars or vans are brought back with dirt from standard driving on them.
The representative joked that Hertz staff were happy when cars came back clean. She added that cleaning charges would now only apply if cars came back in states that showed excessive grime.
Hertz did not announce the policy change when it went into effect late in October. Prior to this, rental agreements specified that cars needed to come back in the same condition as they were originally rented in.
The small print warned renters that if they returned cars in states anything other than clean there might be a cleaning surcharge. The exact fee was not shown on the document, but typically averaged between US$50 (£33) and US$100 (£66).
Although Hertz has scrapped the surcharge for valeting its vehicles, other US car hire companies still levy them when cars are returned in anything less than pristine condition. None of the companies have so far stated if they will follow Hertz’s example.
American Car Rental Association director Sharon Faulkner noted that car hire operators rarely benefit from charges such as this. She explained that it really did not matter how much the firm charged as they would never recoup the cost of paying someone to actually do the work.