More than 30 leading companies in the UK, comparing rental prices for cars, have promised to stop hiding the full amount that customers will have to pay.
After an investigation conducted by the Competition and Markets Authority, thirty British companies comparing rental prices for cars (which collectively compare prices from 1,300 companies in more than 10,000 destinations) will no longer hide additional commissions and hidden markups from their own customers.
The Competition and Markets Authority found that many firms in their promotional offers indicated low prices, but in fact simply hid from their customers all commissions and mark-ups, which they will have to pay additionally. As a result of this investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority officially obliged three companies - P&P Associates Ltd, Affordable Car Hire Ltd and Flexiblecarhire.com Ltd - to include all mark-ups and commissions in the prices. The remaining 30 companies agreed to inform consumers of all mark-ups without formal demand from the regulator.
Now the initial rates for car rental should include all mandatory mark-ups, such as fuel prices, commission for using a car by beginning drivers and renting a car during off hours. Also, companies must show all the important information for the client, including the amount of any deposits, insurance markups, as well as what exactly insurance covers.
The Competition and Markets Authority also announced that due to numerous complaints from customers who suffered from hidden markups, taking away cars at foreign airports, the regulator will also take action against companies located abroad, but renting out cars directly to British clients on the Internet.
What the Competition and Markets Authority says
Michael Grenfell, spokesman for the Competition and Markets Authority, said: "It is important that people know what they sign up when renting a car. The prices should be transparent and include all mandatory mark-ups so that consumers can find prices that are more suitable for them. Now the British will be more confident that the price they see is the price they will pay. In addition, we want the companies to understand: just the fact that their offices are located in another country does not mean that the British laws do not apply to them, if they rent out cars to British customers. British consumers have the right to protection, and we will do so that they will receive it."