The claims of overcharging have been made by a rental management firm, which says it rejects 20% of invoices over issues such as adding additional rental days to a bill, charging for damage caused by a previous driver, and being billed for a ‘free’ upgrade.
Fleets can only identify the errors through careful checking of the original order and the invoice.
Joe Howick, sales director for Countrywide Car and Van Rental, a rental management service, explained that invoice errors were often unintentional, so fleets had to pay special attention to what they were paying for.
He cited the example of a driver dropping off the keys to a vehicle at a rental depot and the return not being logged until a few hours later, when the car was into its second day of hire.
However, the rental industry believes there is no evidence to back up Howick’s claims of widespread inaccuracies.
A spokesman for the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) said: ‘The BVRLA does not recognise Countrywide’s apparent experience of complaints. We receive approximately 150 complaints a year about rentals, all directly from customers, out of a total 9.5 million rental transactions and these do not mirror those of Countrywide.
‘We have to question whether Countrywide is providing sufficient clarity of information through its supply chain and is truly fulfilling its role as a broker.’