Car rental, antitrust fine to Avis and Hertz for unfair terms

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Antitrust has fined car rental companies Avis Budget Italia, Hertz Italiana, Centauro Rent a Car Italy, Green Motion Italia, Noleggiare and Drivalia Leasys Rent totaling more than 18 million euros for unfair terms. According to the Authority, the six companies imposed “unjustified costs on the customer for the management of fines and non-payment of parking or tolls”. The Authority also ordered the removal of these clauses from contractual forms “because they can cause a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of consumers”.

The Authority contests the clause, contained in the contractual documentation adopted by each company and published on the companies’ respective websites, which provides for the obligation of the car renter to pay a lump sum to manage the administrative procedure linked to each fine imposed for traffic violations. or non-payment of parking fees/tolls during the rental period. The additional amount provided for by the clause – whatever the qualification adopted by each company (such as “penalty” or “remuneration for the act”) – “is not justified with regard to the obligations due in the event of an attributable fine to the company “. provider. Indeed, car rental companies must only transmit customer identification data to the body responsible for investigating the offense,” explains Antitrust in a note.

“The unjustified nature of these charges also appeared regardless of the precise amount applied by the company and due to the automatic nature of the charge on the consumer’s credit card, on the basis of the pre-authorization provided at the time of payment. signature of the rental contract”, further specifies the Guarantor. Following the assessment of the abusive nature, each company has the obligation to publish an extract of the provision on its website. Furthermore, following the entry into force, from February 1, 2022, of the new sanctioning powers attributed to the Authority in matters of unfair terms – on the basis of law no. 238/2021 and legislative decree. not. 26/2023 – each company was ordered, in addition to paying an administrative fine, to remove the clause from its contractual documentation.