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Car hire firms fleece tourists at European airports

Beware of car-hire sharks in Europe.
LONDON: An undercover operation by a British newspaper in a European airport revealed some sharp practices by some car-hire firms against tourists.
The ruthless tricks target tourists to add charges to their booking. The car hire sharks include some well-known names and major companies.
The investigations revealed that car hire firms:
• Pressure drivers to buy excess insurance – even if they have already bought full cover through a different company
• Block more than €1,200 ($1,448) from drivers’ cards when they use third-party insurance
• Double prices for those who book at the desk rather than online
• Charge inflated fees for petrol that you cannot avoid paying
• Penalize new drivers with an extra fee that isn’t disclosed in terms and conditions
• Add a surcharge for hiring at the airport
James Daley of consumer website Fairer Finance said: “Car hire is like the Wild West. It is impossible to know exactly what has been charged until the car’s returned and even then, customers end up holding their breath to see what the final credit card bill will be.”

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