UK INTERNATIONAL CONSUMER CENTRE THROUGH THE YEARS

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2018

On the road to help

Car hire problems frequently cause UK consumers to ask for our help. Here are two such case studies:

A UK consumer hired a car via a website for use in Spain. When he dropped the car off at the end of the hire period, he was shown what he described as a ‘barely visible smudge on the rear bumper area.’ Other marks on the car when he picked it up were apparently deemed too small to note.

He was subsequently charged EUR 320 for the scratch, including a charge for the period the car hire company said covered while the scratch was repaired. The consumer was shocked by the bill as he hadn’t been told he would be charged anything extra.

The consumer said that he didn’t cause the damage but was unable to get his money back. After he asked the UK ECC for help, the case was shared with ECC Spain, the trader was contacted and the consumer received all EUR 320 back.

A Hungarian consumer hired a car whilst in the UK, got a puncture on his way to return the vehicle at the end of the hire period, so had to return to the rental premises on the spare wheel. He felt that the £400 charge to repair the puncture was excessive.

After having no luck in his communications with the trader, the consumer contacted ECC Hungary for help and the case was shared with the UK ECC.

We referred the case to the trader’s Alternative Dispute Resolution body, which contacted the hire company who said that there was an oversight in the charge as the repair of the tyre had cost £121.81. An immediate refund of £273.19 was made to the consumer.

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