1 Contact the hire company

If unexpected charges are taken from your account, ask for an explanation and supporting documentation from the company as to the reasons for this.

It should provide you with a clear outline of why the charges have been taken and proof that the charges made are a true cost incurred by the company. 

If the company cannot justify the charges, tell it the money has been been taken 'under protest'.

Ensure you provide as much evidence as possible as to why you think the money has been unfairly taken. 

Will car hire in European countries change after Brexit?

In a no-deal situation, UK holidaymakers travelling in the EU or EEA may need to get an international driving permit from a post office before travelling. This applies to taking your own car and hire car purchases.

Different countries have different permit requirements, and some last longer than others. Read our guide for more information on international driving permits (IDPs) including what they are, how to get one and what happens if you're planning to drive to an EU country after Brexit.

Read our guide on how Brexit could impact consumer rights for more information.

You can also sign up for Brexit advice updates - Which? cuts through the noise to find the facts. Our practical and impartial consumer advice, rigorously researched and regularly delivered by email, can help you prepare for the UK leaving the EU.

2 Claim against your credit card

If the dispute isn't resolved you should make a claim against your credit card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

If you paid by debit card you can use the chargeback system – where your provider can reverse the payment to claim back your money.

Chargeback isn't enshrined in law but applies to all debit cards and many providers operate this system.

3 Escalate your complaint

There are a handful of organisations you can turn to that aim to resolve disputes with car hire customers. 

The European Car Rental Conciliation Service (ECRCS) can help with unresolved complaints about cross border vehicle rentals in Europe. 

You can also contact the European Consumer Centres Network which has a free service to help resolve disputes. 

For UK rentals, the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) can help you with complaints about its members. 

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