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UK Competition agency orders two car hire websites to clean up their act

Heathrow car hireThe UK’s competition compliance agency says it has ordered two car hire websites to make their fee tables more transparent. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) released an update last week stating the two recalcitrant hire consolidators had not been complying with guidelines set up two years ago.

The CMA did not name the two culprits but did say their offences centred around hidden fuel charges and adding on surcharges when customers picked up or dropped off vehicles outside office hours. In response, the agency has reiterated that car hire consolidators need to clearly display all applicable charges in the quote they first give to prospective hirers.

The sites also have to set out their refuelling policies and include any relevant warnings about insurance excess fees or vehicle guarantee deposits. Despite the latest warning, the CMA says most car hire websites have been diligent in adopting the code of ethics.

Most consolidators now clearly show the likes of petrol and diesel surcharges, the cost of dropping off at a different location to the pick-up one and how much extra younger drivers have to pay. The CMA claims the guidelines have resulted in customers from the UK collectively saving £100 million.

CMA director James MacBeth told media sources that no matter whether hirers booked from consolidators or the actual vehicle suppliers they should be given a quote which clearly defined all possible charges. He finished off by saying the companies which had not complied with regulations would be facing legal action.

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