New Car Hire Comparison Initiative

New Car Hire Comparison Initiative

CMA Introduces New Car Hire Comparison Initiative To Encourage Crystal-Clear Pricing
Great news for anyone hoping to hire a car in the near future – a brand new initiative from the Competition and Markets Authority means that prices for car rentals on comparison sites will now be crystal-clear, ensuring that consumers can access transparent pricing when they’re hiring a vehicle. Say goodbye to hidden fees and additional charges when renting a car!
The new guidance on comparison sites

The new rules, which came into effect on the 1st January 2017, affect many of the leading car hire firms and will mean that rental companies can no longer offer incredibly low prices in order to appear cheaper on comparison sites. The market leaders must now spell out all additional charges for customers booking a car online, meaning there can be no nasty surprises for customers when they come to pay for their rental.
Thousands of car hire customers all over the UK have been caught out by this approach to comparison sites. Many rental providers would show rock-bottom prices on the search engines in order to trick their customers into thinking they were getting a great deal – only to cram additional fees and payments into the small print. This left many drivers with enormous bills and penalties which they didn’t feel they were informed about.

The Competition and Markets Authority announced the rule change in July 2016, giving companies six months to review and change their approach, improving how they deal with customers through comparison sites. Consumers must now be provided with clear information on seven important areas which are often subject to additional fees, including young driver surcharges, fuel costs, the cost of reducing insurance excesses and fees for one-way journeys.

Previous improvements – New Car Hire Comparison Initiative

The new rules come a year after the five main car rental providers in the UK (Avid Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz and Enterprise) pledged to introduce a number of improvements in this area. These included improved transparency during website bookings, better information about optional insurance and waivers and improved notification of damage charges. The firms also committed to being more upfront with details about the inspection processes their vehicles undergo, both before they are handed over to a customer, and when the vehicle is returned.

How will this affect the industry?

Experts within the car hire industry believe this new initiative will go some way towards boosting the reputation of vehicle rental services in the minds of consumers – but there’s still a long way to go. There are concerns that some car hire providers may interpret the Competition and Markets Authority’s guidelines rather more loosely than others, resulting in skewed prices which aren’t as transparent as hoped.
However, the rules move the car hire industry in the right direction, helping to ensure that fewer customers are caught out by hidden fees and additional charges they weren’t informed of. Time will tell how effectively these rules will be implemented, but as long as the market continues to move in this direction, it’s great news for consumers who regularly seek the best prices on vehicle rentals.

New Car Hire Comparison Initiative

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