The car hire industry is facing a great deal of criticism of late, with some rogue traders giving rental businesses a bad name. Seeing consumers stung by car hire companies that overcharge or apply hidden fees, consumer rights group, Which, conducted their own research. Wanting to provide a window into the way in which such businesses operate; their report conjured up some interesting findings.

Focusing primarily on the repair charges that customer are hit with; Which uncovered that businesses are not operating ethically when it comes to this area. According to the report, eight out of 12 consumers are being overcharged for repairs; many footing bills that are double the industry standard. In order to gauge the amount, Which compared quotes for repairs from car hire companies against those provided by Trusted Trader garages.

One of the most notable cases involved Europcar; one of the biggest car rental brands in the country. Following their standard car inspection, a Europcar representative noticed a chip in the windscreen, charging the customer £1,154 to repair the chip. As a service that costs, one average, £35, it was quickly apparent that this is a part of the hire industry that is in desperate need of regulation.

Also, it seems making the repairs is an issue. From the businesses and customers surveyed; it revealed that in many cases, the repairs hire firms charged for were not carried out. Three out of five customers were given no evidence that the repairs they had paid for had been rectified by a garage.

Rory Boland, Travel editor of Which?, comments:

“It’s outrageous that car hire customers are being made to pay extortionate amounts for repairs that never take place. If repairs are required, customers should be sent clear evidence of how costs were calculated.

“Car hire firms now need to clean up their act and be upfront about the real cost of renting a car, instead of offering too-good-to-be-true prices, then clawing back profits via ridiculous repair bills.”

Let us know what you think; how can the industry stop such processes from continuing?