Hertz caught red-handed

Date: 11 AUG 2017posted by Car Rentaledited by WinX

An undercover investigation by the Daily Mail revealed how car rental companies are piling on additional surcharges to people travelling during the holidays. Europcar, Goldcar, and Firefly, all owned by Hertz, all added charges to bookings by a report in Spain. Budget and Thrifty, also subsidiaries of Hertz, quoted largely inflated costs for renting a car in person, while their websites posted similar vehicles at the same location for less than half the price. The Mail's findings also revealed how tourists were being billed for repairs for hundreds of dollars which the firm admitted they do not always carry out.

The investigation also revealed these car rental companies:

  • Pressure drivers to buy additional insurance, even when they have already bought full cover through another company
  • Hold more than €1200 from renters' cards if they use third party insurance
  • Raise prices for renters that walk in and book at the desk than online
  • Charge inflated fees for gas that renters cannot avoid paying
  • Penalize new drivers with an extra fee that isn't disclosed in terms and conditions
  • Add an additional surcharge for renting at the airport

Additionally, if drivers damage a car rental abroad, they often have to pay the first few hundred pounds to cover repairs, also known as the excess. However, car rental companies have raised the excess charges for tourists involved in accidents to more than €1000 on average. Even when the renter is not at fault. They try to force many drivers to opt to pay up front for "excess waiver insurance." which covers all costs. These policies are offered by car rental companies but also much cheaper if bought through online brokers. An undercover reporter found rental firms are cynically penalizing drivers who these cheaper policies. There are no laws forcing car rental companies to accept an excess waiver insurance policy that a customer has bought independently.

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