Estate agents join the surcharge bandwagon Car dealers also charging customers to pay by card

07 December 2010

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Which? has uncovered evidence of estate agents and car dealerships charging customers to pay by card. 

We surveyed 20 London estate agents and 20 car dealerships in the Manchester area. Of the estate agents who accepted payment by card, all but three told us they would charge a fee for a tenant to pay a deposit on a rented property by credit card. 

Six told us they would charge to pay by debit card in the same circumstances.

One branch of London agents Foxtons charges 0.575% for debit card payments – the highest we found for debit cards. 

The firm also told us it charges 2.3% for credit card payments. Card charges don’t always take the form of percentage fees – one branch of Winkworth estate agents we contacted told us it charges a flat £5 fee for both types of cards.

Car dealers charging to pay by card

Of the 20 car dealers we surveyed, only one did not impose credit card charges. 

A number only introduce card charges above a certain amount – typically £1,000 or more – while three dealers charge the highest amount at 3%. 

Although businesses do incur fees if customers pay by card, these are increasingly being inflated.

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