29 March 2018: Following further bilateral work with 40 online car rental intermediaries, we have carried out a new review to ensure that previous improvements have been maintained and that further improvements have been made. Following this review, we are satisfied that, at this point in time, the major brokers, meta-search providers and online travel agents have achieved a good level of compliance and have in place procedures to ensure the data they receive from their car rental suppliers is accurate.
In light of these material improvements and the enforcement action we have taken we are closing this project. We may continue to review this sector periodically to monitor ongoing compliance.
Letters to intermediaries
1 July 2016: The CMA has written to leading businesses that operate as car rental brokers or meta-search providers. The letters set out the CMA’s expectations under consumer protection law and require changes in 7 areas:
young driver surcharges
pre-authorisations or deposits
collision damage waiver exclusions
warnings about the need for snow chains (a legal requirement in some countries in winter)
The businesses have until January 2017 to make any changes that are necessary to ensure that consumers get clear prices when they search and book car rental through an intermediary. Some businesses have started to make changes or already have good standards of transparency.
These letters build on the changes secured by the CMA and the European Consumer Protection Cooperation network from the 5 leading car rental providers to improve transparency on their booking websites.
The CMA will carry out a compliance review in early 2017 to assess the sector’s progress.
29 April 2016: Following the commitment made in the ‘Short-term car rental in the EU’ report, the CMA is examining whether car rental brokers and meta-search providers are complying with consumer protection law.
Three workshops were held with industry participants in late January and early February 2016, and subsequently the CMA has continued to keep under review the consumer compliance of 40 brokers and meta-search providers. In light of that ongoing review and based upon feedback and requests for clarification received at the workshops the CMA will write to the main industry participants shortly.