Consumer advice body UK European Consumer Centre (ECC) launches 'Know before you go' campaign for UK consumers hiring cars in the EU.
Complaints to the UK ECC about car hire in the EU have continued to rise over the past year and UK consumers are being urged to follow the UK ECC's advice when hiring a vehicle and to do everything they can to 'know before they go'.
Hiring a car in the EU
Advice to UK consumers about car hire abroad is included in a leaflet called 'Trains, planes, cars and boats.' It gives motorists hints and tips to protect themselves. Consumers can download a copy from the UK ECC website.
The UK ECC advises consumers to:
Do pre and post-rental vehicle inspections (with photos where possible) and ensure both parties sign these documents at the time and retain a copy.
Shop around for the best rate (if booked online, you have no right to cancel and claim a refund). Prices may also vary according to the time of year.
Read all paperwork before signing, including terms and conditions.
Check what is and isn't covered on the insurance.
Confirm the company's fuel tank policy. There may be compulsory refueling service charges or penalties for returning the car with insufficient fuel.
Check any extra charges you may be liable for.
Allow enough time to drop the car off.
Research the country's highway code and local road legislation.
Request evidence of disputed charges.
If things do go wrong, however, consumers can get free legal advice by contacting the UK European Consumer Centre via the UK ECC website - or by phone on 01268 886690 weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
Be aware of your rights before you travel!
UK ECC Travel App
The UK ECC Travel app is free and available offline. It covers topics such as: