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Which claims rental car firms charge inflated damage repair fees

Car Hire Airport signsConsumer organisation Which? claims hire car firms in the UK and Europe are cheating customers with the fees they charge for fixing damaged vehicles. A Which? survey found that in up to two-thirds of repairs the charge passed on to the customer was significantly higher than it should have been.

Which? investigators collected images of damage to vehicles in disputed repair claims. The team then asked a trio of Trusted Trader repair shops to compare the damage and the repair bills from the car rental supply companies.

In two-thirds of the cases, Trusted Traders stated they would have billed less for work done than the car hire suppliers had. The garages noted that bills for one third of all the claims were double the average for repairs of a similar nature.

In one case, one driver who hired a Europcar supplied vehicle in Europe was charged 30 times the price for chipping a windscreen. One of the Trusted Traders explained the price tag for this repair should have been around the £35 mark. The hirer was presented with a bill for the equivalent of £1,100.

Commenting on the rip-off charges, Which?’s travel editor said it was disgraceful car hire customers were being treated in this way. Rory Boland carried on by saying if any damages needed to be rectified the hire firm should provide detailed breakdowns of the costs.

Mr Boland said the suppliers hooked customers with rental rates which were hard to believe and then recouped their losses by any nefarious means they could. He finished off with the statement it was high time rental suppliers cleaned up their business practices.

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