What is the European Car Rental Conciliation Service?
How does the service work?
Operating since 2010, the conciliation service investigates potential breaches of Leaseurope’s Code of Best Practice as well as the accompanying guidelines, which together set out the standards it expects from the vehicle rental industry. These standards cover areas including advertising, customer information, vehicle condition, pre- and post-rental inspections and billing.
Participating firms are bound to abide by any decision made by the conciliation service, although the complainant is not bound by the decision and is free to seek legal remedy through the courts. These firms currently include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Enterprise, Firefly, Hertz, Maggiore, National, Sixt and Thrifty.
The conciliation service is unable to investigate any matters which are criminal in nature or fall outside the scope of the code of best practice.
What is the scope of the service?
The conciliation service can only help with disputes involving a ‘cross-border’ car rental transaction occurring within Europe - the country where the booking is made must be different from where the actual car rental takes place. For example, a person in Paris booking a rental car via a French website and then picking it up in Spain would be covered. The customer does not have to be a citizen or resident of a European nation. The service is NOT available to customers who have booked a car through an intermediary, for example a rental broker or travel agent. This applies even if the vehicle is actually owned and operated by a participating rental company.
How can you complain?
The conciliation service may only be used after the complaint procedure of a participating rental company has been exhausted and its final decision has been sent to the customer. The rental company should advise the customer of their right to refer the matter to conciliation service. The customer can agree to have the complaint forwarded to the conciliation service by the rental company or they can forward the complaint themselves.
The conciliation service can only consider disputed rental charges and cannot award any form of compensation, for example for inconvenience caused or other consequential losses.
What if your complaint doesn’t concern a cross-border rental?
Please consult Leaseurope’s national member association in your country for additional information on how, and where to address your complaints.