With many car hire horror stories making global news last year, it quickly became apparent that car hire companies were advertising very low rates then adding on unexpected fees at the last minute. Stinging consumers left, right and centre, we saw some of the biggest brands face criticism. Having no choice but to clean up their act, many public and private reviews have been conducted.
According to the CMA (The Competition and Markets Authority), consumers can now be confident when looking to hire cars, with prices allegedly being more accurate and clearer than ever before. Having been working closely with the industry for over a year, the organisation believes we have turned a real corner following their ‘industry-wide review’.
The CMA said:
“A year on, 30 leading websites now carry transparent prices for over 1,300 car companies in over 10,000 destinations, which means UK customers can be more confident they will not be hit by hidden charges and unexpected fees.”
As an industry that has changed dramatically as a result of the internet, online is where most unlawful practices have been taking place.
Michael Grenfell, CMA executive director for enforcement, said:
“It is important people know what they’re signing up to online when hiring a car. Prices must be transparent and include all compulsory costs so that people can find the deal that’s best for them. The CMA’s work over the past year has vastly improved the sector and brought the majority of sites offering car hire in line with consumer protection law.”
Eager to represent UK consumers across the globe, the organisation is also looking into car rental operations overseas, focusing heavily on the service holidaymakers are receiving. Locating issues surrounding fuel costs, excess and insurance, CMA are eager to make a statement to car hire businesses across the globe.
Grenfell added: “This move sends a clear message: just because a business is not on UK soil doesn’t mean the law doesn’t apply when it sells in the UK.
“British consumers have a right to protection under consumer law and the CMA will work to ensure they receive it.”
Let us know what you think, have we entered a new age of car hire transparency?