Consumer advice body the UK European Consumer Centre (ECC) has welcomed news that car hire websites are being told to make changes so that motorists are shown the true cost of hiring a car before they rent.

The initiative, from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), builds on the work it did in 2015 in securing changes from five leading car hire firms to improve the way they deal with customers. Around half of all leisure rentals begin with comparison websites, and this action by the CMA is intended to ensure that consumers get transparent prices whether they book directly with a leading car hire firm or through a comparison website.

The announcement follows hard on the heels of a campaign launched this May (2016) by the UK ECC and other partner consumer protection organisations aimed at equipping UK consumers with the tools to be well-prepared when hiring cars elsewhere in the EU.

Andy Allen, UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) director, said:

“A lot of effort was put in last year by the European Commission to work with car hire companies to review their practices towards consumers. The top five car rental companies operating in the EU – Avis-Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt – pledged to better align current car rental practices with consumer legislation, set out by set out by EU rules on consumer rights, unfair commercial practices and unfair terms.

“The UK ECC is pleased that car hire comparison websites (sometimes referred to as brokers or meta-search websites) have been sent letters by the CMA to explain consumer protection law and ask for consumers to be provided with easy-to-access information in seven key areas. We hope that this extra measure will start to show real dividends in 2017.”

More details about the story that drivers are set to benefit More details about the story that drivers are set to benefit as CMA takes action on car hire websites.

Source: UK European Consumer Centre website

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