FAMILIES on holiday in Spain are being forced to pay up to three times as much for a hire car, it has been revealed.
Rental costs which appear cheap online rise steeply when the vehicle is picked up, as customers must pay an additional fee for a full tank of petrol, according to Which? Travel.
The underhand tactic has led to complaints by holidaymakers, who would usually expect a full tank of fuel to be included in the quoted price.
Travellers would then be expected to return the car with a full tank of fuel.
However, the new policy of charging extra for petrol means customers do not get a refund for any fuel left in the car when it is returned.
One researcher in Malaga was told the cheapest car hire cost was €30.25, only to have the price go up to €94.25 when fuel was added on collection.
“Consumers are not being given the full facts about these extra charges,” said Which? Travel spokesman Rochelle Turner.
Christine Fleischer, marketing manager at Malaga-based rental firm Helle Hollis, told the Olive Press: “We clearly inform our clients that the car will be delivered with a full tank of fuel, which is paid for on arrival.
“We also refund any remaining fuel to the nearest quarter of a tank,” she added.
“We offer a personalised service, new cars and a fair fuel policy, which we know our clients appreciate and take into account when booking with us.”