Is the Commission aware that UK-based van hire companies typically levy additional charges (sometimes tripling the cost of van hires) when the van is travelling to the EU mainland, whereas continental van hire firms do not increase their charges for vehicles crossing borders? Van hire companies blame the insurance companies, which they claim charge a flat fee increase of 75% above the cost of insurance for internal UK hire.
Has the Commission investigated this distortion of the single market? If not, is it willing to do so?
The Commission is not aware of specific complaints concerning UK van hire companies charging additional levies to clients travelling to continental Europe.
The Commission observes that insurance should be indicated separately in a van hire bill. Insurers are always required to provide the third party liability cover for the whole of the EU on the basis of a single premium and for the whole duration of contract. They are however free to set premiums for other insurance covers than the third party liability risks in accordance with the actual risk profile of the insured person.
It is the responsibility of National enforcement authorities — on this matter the Competition and Market Authority and the Trading Standards office — to operate a monitoring of the van rental sector.