The vehicle renting industry contributes £14.3 billion to the UK economy, with 10 million vehicles being rented over the past year in the UK, according to the BVRLA.

In light of this, summertime is the busiest season for car hire companies, with many of you hiring vehicles for summer holidays etc. So, if you’re looking to rent a vehicle, you might go online and enter all your details, such as; name, date of birth, car type etc. Everything looks fine. Then it asks for your location and suddenly the price rockets! But why?!

What’s the issue?

Recent news has brought to light just how drastically vehicle hire prices are varying, but not in the way you might think. If it was different companies, or different car models then we could understand the reason behind the different prices. However, when renting exactly the same vehicle from the same hire company, it is only when your home destination is asked for that prices suddenly soar.

A prime example of this was revealed by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) who discovered a German driver looking for a hire vehicle to use in the UK, experienced the same horrific price inflation as soon as he entered Germany as his location, when the price doubled!

This type of discrimination that is based purely on the consumer’s residency throughout Europe, breaks rules of EU’s single market – but what is actually being done about it?

So, what’s being done about it?

Driver’s are being assured that there is current work being done to rectify this unjust system. The BVRLA have stated “We are actively working with our members to ensure they comply with the European Commission”.

Yet, action was first taken in 2011 by the Commission when six major international car rental companies were contacted and instructed to review their current pricing structures. However, three out of the six replied with “unsatisfactory” replies (Avid, Hertz and Europcar). In retaliation, this was made public and the three companies were made to carry out a thorough and full review by the end of the month (August 2014).

What was the outcome?

Avis stated that it was to the best of their knowledge that they were fully compliant with all relevant provision of the Services Directive governing the industry. “We have responded to all communications from the director general Internal Market and Services and twice invited him to discuss this further so that we can understand these allegations in greater detail. We are awaiting further information from the director general.”

MasterPrimaryHertz logo_A4Whereas Hertz stated, “We have already advised the Commission that it is fully compliant with its obligations under the Services Directive. Furthermore, Hertz has informed the Commission of its intention to further improve its online booking system to facilitate the ability of consumers to shop for the best deal across our websites by early September.”

What should I do when next looking to rent a vehicle?

Next time you’re searching for vehicle rental facilities, make sure you shop around for the best deals, and don’t simply just go with the first one you stumble across. And EU member states will work to ensure consumer rights are protected.

Caversham Vehicle Hire

For a trusted car hire company based in the UK, why not contact Caversham Vehicle Hire? We offer competitive prices and follow all industry standards and regulations. For more information on our rental services, please feel free to give us a call or fill out our online contact form.

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