See some case studies of how consumers have been helped by the network of European Consumer Centres with their problems with car rental.
Unfair trading: money back for extras (UK consumer / Irish car rental company )
A UK consumer booked a rental car from the trader’s website and got a confirmation through e-mail. The booking confirmation stated that the cost was the “total for your specific price” and “price is guaranteed”.
The consumer interpreted this to mean that he would not be charged any more costs.
However when he collected his car, the consumer was charged a location surcharge of €72.70 EUR and road tax of €21.60.
The consumer complained to the trader asking for the money back.
Since he got no assistance from the company, he contacted ECC UK. ECC UK in turn contacted ECC Ireland who approached the trader on the consumer’s behalf.
ECC Ireland pointed out to the trader that that trader must have been aware of these charges at the time of booking and they should have been included in the total price which was advertised as “guaranteed”.
The trader agreed that an error had been made in this case and agreed to give the consumer money back to refund the additional charges.
Money back for fuel surcharge: Irish consumer / French car rental company
When an Irish consumer arrived to collect his car in France, his chosen car was not available.
He was forced to accept a smaller car, which did not meet his needs, until the original model was available. In order to collect the original car the consumer was obliged to drive to a different airport 120km away.
The consumer did not refuel the replacement car after this journey as it was an additional cost caused directly by the trader failing to provide the correct vehicle.
To his surprise, the consumer was charged an extra fuel surcharge of €53.69 as this turned out to be mandated in the rental contract.
He turned to ECC Ireland for advice and help. The ECC confirmed that the contract term was unfair and the consumer was therefore entitled to getting the extra surcharge back. They also contacted ECC France for assistance.
Following the intervention of ECC Ireland and ECC France the consumer received his money back.