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Parliamentary questions
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10 January 2019
Question for written answer E-000108-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Bart Staes (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Online car rentals and concealed costs for consumers
 Answer in writing 

Customers who want to hire a car are often faced with unexpected costs. This has happened in the past, and continues to do so at present. Steps have already been taken, such as the establishment of the European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS), to which customers can submit complaints, after which ECRCS can mediate between customers and affiliated car rental firms. Membership of the ECRCS is voluntary.

Nowadays, it has become more common for people to book rental cars online, which presents unique challenges. On occasion, people find themselves being charged more than they were promised. For example, at the point when a customer goes to collect a car they may be asked to pay more than agreed, placing them in a position where they cannot refuse to pay the extra money unless they are prepared to make do without a car. Sometimes the additional charges are genuinely excessive, with consumers paying several times more than what they were originally offered.

1. Will the Commission take measures in future, such as introducing a compulsory charter for all car rental companies operating in Europe, laying down clear and binding rules? If any measures are planned, what are they, and has any progress been made with them?2. Does the Commission have any plans to take measures, particularly with regard to online booking of rental cars?

Original language of question: NL 
Last updated: 23 January 2019Legal notice