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Hidden car hire extras warning

Hidden car hire extras warning Image

Consumer watchdog Which? claims the cost of hidden extras are making it difficult for customers to shop around when it comes to hiring cars.

As part of its research Which? tried to hire a vehicle in Spain from websites belonging to 10 major rental firms and found car prices were confusing. Even once the researchers had finished the booking process, 53% were still unclear at what the total cost of hiring the car was.

And almost a quarter - 22% - said they did not know what excess they would have to pay if they were involved in an accident or the vehicle became damaged. And twice as many - 44% - had no idea how much the optional excess waiver would set them back if they wanted to pay a smaller excess.

These payments can make the weekly cost of car hire more than £100 more expensive. The researchers found it was not only the cost of the excess waivers which was unclear, 54% did not know exactly what was covered by it and were not sure if they would be insured if the tyres, windscreen or the underneath of the vehicle became damaged.

Which? is now urging hire companies to make their car prices clearer so people know exactly how much it will cost before they book. The organisation says that legislation in the UK and Europe say fees must be clearly stated at the point of purchase.

Richard Lloyd, Which?'s executive director, said that unclear prices made it "almost impossible" for customers to work out which company was offering the best deal and some people may end up paying more than they realised.

published: 18/04/2013

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