Brian Hayes MEP

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EU action to help protect EU consumers renting cars – Hayes

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Almost 1,000 complaints in first 9 months of 2015

Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Sunday) said that action taken by the EU will help reduce the amount of car rental complaints. MEP Hayes made the comments following a series of questions he posed to the European Commission which showed that in the first nine months of this year 988 complaints were made in relation to car rental.

“In the first 9 months of this year a total of 988 complaints were received by the European Commission in relation to car hire in Europe. Almost 50% of these complaints related to additional charges faced by consumers.”

“Since my election to the European Parliament I have been contacted by many Irish citizens who experienced problems while renting a car abroad. It is an industry worth in excess of €10 billion per year in Europe. Yet the number of complaints relating to the industry continues to increase each year.”

“I recently raised this matter with the European Commission who has informed me that negotiations with the car rental industry had resulted in five of the biggest car rental providers committing to improve their practise for consumers.”

“The new improvements focus on transparency of online booking with car rental companies committing to provide clear information about prices, including all mandatory charges and options. It also includes improved fuel options such as the option to purchase a half tank instead of being obliged to purchase a fuel tank. These improvements are being implemented gradually by each of the rental providers with the aim to have them all in place by early 2016.”

“The trade association “Lease Europe” which represents a number of car rental providers will also introduce guidance for its members so that the whole sector adopts the same principals.”

“I welcome these improvements but I’m disappointment that only 5 rental providers are committed to these improved practices.  While I recognise that this accounts for over 70% of the market in the EU this is not always in the case in individual countries such as Spain and Italy where the majority of the market is small independent providers,” concluded MEP Hayes.

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