Five major car rental companies (Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz and Sixt) have changed their price disclosure in order to comply with EU consumer law. In 2017, the Commission and EU consumer authorities started a dialogue with these car rentals regarding better alignment with EU consumer directives following a large number of consumer complaints. Since then, however, the level of implementation of some commitments has been unsatisfactory, which is why authorities required additional adjustments, which have now have been implemented.
The companies specifically committed to:
Total booking prices entail all charges: The price adverted on the website will be equal to what consumers have to pay at checkout. This price must include all additional costs – such as specific fuel service charges, airport fees, ‘young driver surcharges' or the ‘one way fee' (different pick-up and return location).
Consumer-friendly description of services in the terms and conditions: Information about the main rental characteristics (mileage included, fuel policy, cancellation policy and deposit requirements) will be disclosed in a consumer-friendly manner.
Clear information on liability and optional extras: This includes information on what the basic rental price covers in case of damages and notably what the driver may still have to pay. Especially for optional insurance waivers, which reduce the amount due in case of damage, the coverage needs to be clearly indicated before the consumer signs up.
Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, commented: "Thanks to our pressure there will be no more unpleasant surprises at the check-out desk when you're renting your car. It's really frustrating to start your holidays by having to pay unplanned extra costs and read complicated contracts. I want European consumers to enjoy their holidays to the maximum, without having to worry about nasty surprises with final bills.”
Source: European Commission