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The European Commission is meeting with major EU car rental companies and trade association Leaseurope to discuss consumer issues in car rental. The meetings, which will also be attended by representatives of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) and the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network, aim to identify the key issues affecting consumers in this area.

Car rental complaints made up approximately one-third of all cross-border consumer complaints handled by ECC Ireland in 2012. This represented an increase of 3% on figures for 2011, with the majority relating to supplementary charges imposed on consumers after the vehicle was returned.

At present, there is no industry-specific legislation in place to protect consumers. With today’s meeting, the Commission hopes to develop a strategy for improving consumers’ experiences with car rental. The main focus will be on pre-contractual information and standard terms and conditions, with a view to limiting misleading practices.

More information on car rental, including practical advice for consumers looking to hire a car abroad, can be found here

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