Car rent prospects are being commonly overcharged for repairs, in response to an investigation that found that one buyer had been billed over £1,000 for a small chip on the windscreen that might have been repaired for simply £35.
The investigation, by the buyer rights group Which?, found that prospects are commonly charged for harm they consider they didn’t trigger, and that the price of repairs is at instances vastly inflated. Sometimes the repairs might not even happen.
Which? collected photographic proof from automobile rent customers throughout Europe who believed that they had been overcharged. The photographs had been then despatched to Which? Trusted Trader garages, who had been requested to cite how a lot they’d cost for the restore.
In eight out of 12 instances, the automobile rent company was judged to be overcharging for the repairs, and in 4 of those instances charged greater than double the common quote given by the Trusted Trader garages.
In essentially the most excessive case, a buyer was fined £1,154 by Europcar for a small windscreen chip that might have been repaired for an estimated £35. Another buyer was charged £854 by Green Motion for a minor door dent, which may have been repaired for £186.
In a survey of 150 readers, Which? found practically 44% felt that they had been hit with an extreme cost and 18% for harm they knew nothing about. Nearly three in 5 obtained no proof from the automobile rent company of how the cost was calculated.
Car rent companies together with Avis, Budget and Hertz admitted to Which? that usually the repairs usually are not carried out, or they could delay repairs till a later date when a number of issues will be fastened directly. The invoice prospects obtain is an estimate primarily based on a “damage matrix” of costs.
According to Which?, trade insiders have pointed to a drop in revenue margins within the automobile rent trade, which is driving extra firms to seek out new methods to make extra cash out of shoppers.
Repair prices can embody admin charges and loss-of-use costs of as much as £42 per day, whereas one other tactic contains promoting overpriced insurance coverage.
Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, mentioned: “It’s outrageous that automobile rent prospects are being made to pay extortionate quantities for repairs that by no means happen. If repairs are required, prospects needs to be despatched clear proof of how prices had been calculated.
“Car hire firms now need to clean up their act and be upfront about the real cost of renting a car, instead of offering too-good-to-be-true prices, then clawing back profits via ridiculous repair bills.”