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Tuesday, 12 February 2013 13:20

Sunday Times Warns of Unscrupulous Car Hire Practices

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The Sunday Times (10 February 2013) Newspaper warned its readers to beware of unexpected extras in car rental bills.

It cited the case of a reader who was charged over £100 for "damage admin" which the reader discovered was for hoovering up some dry sand. As the paper said: "Charging drivers for cleaning hire cars is like hotels charging customers for washing sheets."

We also took a sharp intake of breath at the almost-£14 a day the reader was charged for excess insurance. At only £2.99 a day for an policy we're not surprised the reader was a liitle miffed by his experience.

If you want to complain about your car hire experience, the Sunday Times gave the following advise:

- British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA): It's possible to download a complaint form via the "I'm a consumer" link at

- Consumer Credit Act: If you used your credit card, it may be possible to seek redress if the amount was between £100 and £30,000

- European Consumer Centre ( If you use a European car hire firm, you can complain to the European Consumer Centre. Outside of Europe, you have to deal with a local ombudsman.

Another good site, we've found, is the Citizens Advise Bureau site which has a step by step guide for complaints:

At we always recommend that you take pictures of your hire car on collection and check that any existing damage is properly recorded. 

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