Hidden car hire fuel charges uncovered by consumer watchdog

Car HireA recent undercover investigation by the consumer watchdog, Which? found that car hire customers booking rental cars in popular European holiday hotspots are being hit with fuel charges which weren’t made clear at the time of booking, which is some instances, trebles the cost of their car hire.

Which? investigators travelled to Spain after receiving a number of complaints from customers who’d taken out what they thought was a competitive deal on car hire while on holiday, only to arrive and find that the price would be almost three times as much as the cost of a full tank of fuel was added on top.

Historically, the cost of hiring a car would include the price of a tank of fuel, with the policy that the car should be returned with a full tank of fuel. However some car hire companies appear to be moving the goal posts, with the introduction of car rental policies whereby the customer must pay for the fuel on top of the hire, and return the car with an empty fuel tank, with no discounts available for returning the vehicle with fuel.

According to Which? consumers are not being made fully aware of the unavoidable fuel charge which is added on when the customer collects the car. So if you’re planning to hire a car this summer, we sure to double check the fuel policy to avoid being hit with unexpected charges.