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Many of us will have at least hired a car while abroad at some point. Whether you need to travel further to your destination than most, or simply want to see more of the country that you are exploring on your own terms, a hire car can be a vital part of the holiday. But do you know exactly what you are paying for?

Many of us will have at least hired a car while abroad at some point. Whether you need to travel further to your destination than most, or simply want to see more of the country that you are exploring on your own terms, a hire car can be a vital part of the holiday. But do you know exactly what you are paying for?

The CMA’s findings has lead to new transparency laws, meaning that anyone hiring a car in the UK can be sure that they know exactly how much they are paying, but the really good news is that the investigation is to be extended providers based overseas.

In a statement, the CMA highlights hidden fuel charges and insurance costs, as well as surprisingly high excess costs as causes for concern with how foreign car rental companies operate. Michael Grenfell, the CMA executive director for enforcement, added; “Just because a business is not on UK soil doesn’t mean the law doesn’t apply when it sells in the UK. British consumers have a right to protection under consumer law and the CMA will work to ensure they receive it.”

It will probably take a while for the CMA to take action against international car hire companies, and until they do then you should be mindful when hiring a car on holiday. With that in mind, here are a few of the most common unsuspected charges that you could face.

Fuel charges

when you agree to rent a car, you are also agreeing to the company’s fuel policy. Often this takes the form of a ‘full to full’ agreement, meaning that the car is provided with a full fuel tank and the expectation that you return it after refuelling. If you bring the car back in need of petrol or diesel, then the rental company will likely charge you for a top up at a higher rate than the nearest petrol station.

Insurance charges

An additional insurance package is a totally optional extra when renting a car. Some providers will give a quote that covers the whole trip, while others will give you a daily figure, so make sure that you know exactly what you’re buying before proceeding.

Date change charges

Be aware that a rental company may choose to charge you more if you wish to extend the period of your lease. Mostly this will not be a one-off payment, rather a higher daily rate for the extra dates. The closer to the rental period that you try and change dates, the more it will cost you. Try and pin down and submit any amends to your booking as early as possible.

Damage charges

Understandably, a car hire company will charge you if you return their property with damage. Of course, you may have taken the car with pre-existing issues, but that can be very hard to prove. To protect yourself, check the car thoroughly before drive away and get the provider to make a note of any damage that you find. any findings with the provider.

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