New reports show that customers in the U.K. are unwittingly buying ex-rental cars that are being advertised as having had only one previous owner.
The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the U.K.’s used car market which is worth around £35 billion a year after receiving nearly 70,000 complaints from customers last year.
Two of the U.K.’s main rental firms are being accused of using companies as a front to sell on cars that used to be in their rental fleets to customers who do not realize they are purchasing a car that has been driven previously by a number of different people. Many customers are angered that the proper information has not been supplied to them concerning the cars history. They feel that ex rental cars have a reputation for having been driven hard and fast by customers who are more willing to abuse a car that they do not actually own.
400,000 ex rental cars are sold each year.
National Car Rental, a company owned by Europcar registers all of its vehicles under the company name Provincial Securities Ltd and therefore the cars documentation does not show that the cars were ever used in its rental fleet. Liberal Democrat, Norman Baker says that this form of trading is extremely suspect and is an attempt to get more money for cars that could have been abused whilst being rented to the public.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has defended the ex rental car market by saying that rental cars are often looked after much better by rental companies than privately owned vehicles.