Statement

EU needs to make car rental code of conduct mandatory – Hayes

Dublin MEP Brian Hayes will today (Wednesday) meet with the European Commission to urge the institution to make the car rental code of conduct mandatory for all car rental companies.

“At the moment the EU has in place a voluntary code of conduct for car rental companies. Only a limited number of companies have signed up to this. As part of the code of conduct an independent complaints mechanism examines any breaches.”

“This code of conduct needs to be mandatory for all car rental companies operating within the EU. It’s an industry that is worth in excess of €10 billion to the European economy. 1 in 3 Irish people who travel abroad rent a car. At present consumers have very little protection when disputes arise.”

“Since my election to the European Parliament I have received many complaints from Irish motorists who rent cars while abroad, complaints such as fuel surcharges, excess insurance and unjustified administration fees. Some complaints have been resolved by the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS) – the independent body, however many could not be resolved as the car rental company were not part of the code of conduct.”

“The Commission needs to enforce a mandatory code of conduct on the industry given the failure of the industry to police itself. Today I will be asking the Commission what it plans to do next. They published a position paper nearly a year ago; to date we have seen virtually no action, despite meeting the industry.

Every year thousands of EU citizens are faced with problems after renting a car with very little support in place to argue their case. This is a very important consumer protection issue for all EU motorists. I believe that the European Parliament should put pressure on all of the institutions to stand up for EU motorists.

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