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Car hire sites ordered to show full costs upfront

Three car hire sites have committed to include all compulsory charges in their car hire quotes following enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The car hire sites have agreed to provide full costs upfront after the CMA action.

The car hire sites have agreed to provide full costs upfront after the CMA action.

The action applies to online travel agent, P&P Associates Ltd, and two operators of price comparison sites, Affordable Car Hire Ltd and Flexiblecarhire.com Ltd, and was launched after an investigation into whether certain sites were complying with consumer protection law.

The companies have put in place arrangements to check the prices given by their car rental suppliers are fully inclusive going forwards, including mandatory charges such as fuel surcharges, young driver fees and out-of-hours pick up charges, where applicable. The firms must also show all essential information including the amounts of any deposits and insurance excesses, policy on fuel charges, and what exactly the insurance covers.

Michael Grenfell, CMA executive director for enforcement, said: “It is important people know what they’re signing up to online when hiring a car. Prices must be transparent and include all compulsory costs so that people can find the deal that’s best for them.”

“The CMA’s work over the past year has vastly improved the sector and brought the majority of sites offering car hire in line with consumer protection law.

“UK customers can now be more confident that what they see is what they will pay.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.