Consumer protectionCommission closes dialogue on the enforcement of consumer protection in car rental industry

Today, the European Commission, together with European consumer protection authorities, closed the dialogue to enforce consumer protection in the car rental industry. This exchange between the EU- commission, national consumer authorities and the five leading car rental companies (Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz and Sixt) was launched in 2014 due to numerous consumer complaints in the car rental sector. The authorities expressed their satisfaction about the five leading car rental companies having changed their business practices, contract terms and internal regulations in order to comply with EU consumer protection regulations. According to the Commission the following conditions have been achieved:

  • Plain language: Consumers will be provided with clear and unambiguous information about the main characteristics of the rental services (mileage included, fuel policy, cancellation policy, deposit requirements, etc.).
  • Total booking price includes all unavoidable charges: For example, when winter tires are compulsory by law in some countries, the price will include these in the headline price.
  • Clear information on additional insurance: Consumers will be provided with the price and details of optional extras, in particular for insurance waivers that reduce the franchise to be paid in case of damage. What is covered by the waiver in the basic rental price and in any additional insurance must be clearly indicated before the consumer buys such products.
  • Transparent fuel policies: Consumers will be always given the option to get the car with a full tank and bring it back full.

Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, noted: "Today is a great day for European consumers. We worked hard with the car rental companies to guarantee that people across the EU can rent a car and are treated fairly – no matter where in the EU they rent a car. I thank the national consumer authorities for their excellent work and the car rental companies for their cooperation. Consumers across Europe can now enjoy their rights and be better protected."

Source: European Commission

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