Today, the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities published the results of an EU-wide website screening (“sweep”) of websites brokering car rentals. Under the coordination of the Commission, authorities of ten Member States, together with Norway, checked 78 websites brokering car rentals, including airlines’ websites, to check whether the major brokers operating in Europe comply with EU consumer protection rules. Overall, only 45% of the websites comply with EU standards.
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said:
“Many consumers will soon go on holidays and rent a car. Often, they do so on a hotel booking or airline websites. Consumers need to be provided with information in full transparency about the conditions of the rental and the role of brokers. For example, consumers need to know which company they should contact if their flight is postponed. They also need to receive clear and complete information about the full price of the rental and insurance – to avoid bad surprises when picking up the car.”
In almost a third of the websites, it remained unclear if consumers need to contact the broker or the rental company in case of queries or complaints. Furthermore, 28% of them did not clearly mention the broker’s company name and almost half did not clearly inform about what is included in the insurance.
Authorities also found issues in relation to price information, such as incomplete information on mandatory charges (for example, young driver fees or one-way fees). The national authorities will contact the traders concerned to rectify their websites and, if necessary, initiate enforcement actions in line with their national procedures.