When it comes to hiring cars abroad, you’ve told us that fuel costs, insurance costs, unclear websites, extra charges and disputed damage are all factors that have given you cause for complaint.
When we asked Which? members about their complaints when hiring cars abroad, we found some common themes. We also found strong evidence that car hire companies are failing to put things right when customers make a complaint.
Of the respondents who complained about car hire, 27% of the complaints concerned extra charges imposed when or after they returned the car. A further 17% surrounded extra charges being imposed upon picking up the car. In addition, 14% of complaints concerned customer service, 11% covered the condition of the car, and 10% referenced fuel charges.
Complaints about complaining
Unfortunately, of those who complained, six in 10 weren’t satisfied with how their complaint was handled. When it comes to individual car rental companies, Avis received the worst rating of the companies we reported on. In fact, six in 10 said its response to complaints was poor or very poor, while only two in 10 gave it a positive rating.
Hertz received the best ratings, but more people rated its complaint handling negatively than positively. Europcar received a negative rating from six in 10 of its customers in our survey, while five in 10 gave Holiday Autos, the most used car hire broker, a negative rating.
So why are customers so unhappy with how car hire companies and brokers are handling their complaints? Some Which? Convo commenters previously said it was too difficult to get hold of the car company after rental, while others said it was difficult getting redress.
I think a bad experience with car hire can have a big impact on the enjoyment of the trip, as Nick told us on our last car hire Convo:
‘There’s no doubt hiring a car can spoil a trip – during and afterwards – if you have to worry about fictitious damage, overpriced and unfair fuel polices and spurious charges.’
Make car hire more transparent
If you complain to your car hire company only to find you’re being ignored, it’s only going to leave you with a sour taste rather than happy memories.
The car hire industry is taking customers for a ride by hitting them with sneaky charges not included in the headline price. Which? is calling for car hire companies to make their pricing and booking processes clearer and more transparent.
Have you ever complained about car hire? If so, how was your complaint dealt with?