Leicester Council has confirmed its trading standards department is conducting an investigation into vehicle hire company Europcar.
An article in The Daily Telegraph on June 24 made allegations around how Europcar charges customers for repairs.
A Leicester City Council spokesman told Fleet News: “Europcar’s UK head office is in Leicester, so any complaints nationally are referred to our Trading Standards service to investigate.
“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage as it is an ongoing investigation.”
A spokesperson for Europcar told Fleet News the company is taking the allegations made against it “very seriously and is conducting a thorough internal investigation”.
A statement from Europcar said: “The company is co-operating fully with Trading Standards in its investigations. We can make no further comment at this point.”
Jason Moseley, National Body Repair Association (NBRA) director, said the investigation is very disappointing for the vehicle body repair sector.
He said: “It casts a shadow over those who do a great job repairing vehicles correctly, safely, and with controlled cost for the benefit of consumers.
“Our body repair sector is dealing with increasing levels of complexity in modern motor vehicles and yet continues to strive to optimise costs of repair. This is often to the detriment of their own businesses finances.”
Moseley said the NBRA works to stringent codes of practice approved by Trading Standards. However, he said there has been an increasing trend from large corporates pressurising small to medium sized bodyshops to work with “opaque practices and poor commercial terms”.
He said: “We will be bringing this to the attention of the Small Business minister and demanding an investigation with the objective to bring fairness to bodyshops and ultimately protect the consumer.”