Car-rental companies now abiding by a code of practice. | Archive

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Fifteen car-rental companies in the Balearics have signed up to a code of best practice for consumer rights set out by the government's consumer affairs department.

In addition, the Aevab association of car-rental businesses has signed up to a cooperation agreement with the health ministry; the consumer affairs department comes under the ministry.

The head of consumer affairs, Francesc Dalmau, says that the code is designed to try and stamp out abusive and unfair practices. He has praised the willingness of companies and associations to work with the government on this. It follows on from an information campaign for consumers that was launched last summer and which received widespread support from car-rental companies.

By signing the code, the companies declare that they are registered with the tourism ministry and are obliged to treat clients in a fair way. An aspect of the code is that when it comes to a booking being made, be it via the internet or another way, the price quoted will be the final price, unless the consumer wishes to add anything. This final price will include all charges.

As for fuel, companies will have to offer the option of a full tank and of the vehicle being returned with a full tank. Companies may provide other options so long as they clearly state additional charges for fuel. In these circumstances the charge for fuel has to be included in the price.

There is also provision for consumers to review any damage to the vehicle prior to taking delivery of it and to be able to demand a copy of the review report when it is returned. Companies are obliged to provide the name of a contact person, a postal address and email for the processing of any complaint and to submit this to the consumer affairs department.