Car rental - Late return fee
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If you are unhappy with the company’s response, resolver recommends that you contact one of the bodies that deal with car rental disputes. If you booked your car direct with a hire company, the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS) provides a free service to deal with Europe-wide disputes. There is also the European Consumer Centres Network which will investigate any breaches of European contract law free of charge. For UK rentals, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) provides free assistance with complaints about companies which adhere to its own code of conduct. You should however note that the car rental company does have the legal right to charge late fees, and hence obtaining them back will be very challenging. resolver recommends that you submit your concern in writing to any of these organisations (see their websites for contact details) and resolver can assist you in submitting, recording and reminding you when and who to escalate to.
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Car rental companies have to give clear terms and conditions, transparent pricing info, and a full explanation of their liability and waiver cover. In fact, all charges should be made clear to you upfront.
You should always take a full inventory and get the car hire company to sign off on everything – even if the company tells you it isn’t necessary.
If you decide to take out extra cover, it’s best to make sure that the cover is in the same name as the lead driver. This could avoid a number of potential pitfalls in the future.
Car hire companies should invoice you for any charges incurred. In some cases, they may debit money directly from your account – they should make efforts to notify you beforehand.
If you do have to dispute a charge, you should always try to do it within 14 days.
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