It has been reported this week that car hire comparison websites have been told to ‘clean up their act’ after reports of rising complaints when it comes to hidden charges.
It is being increasingly thought that car hire comparison sites are not upfront when it comes to high surcharges for drivers*. Lack of clarity on filling the tank and very high insurance excesses can often cause confusion and frustration for motorists, meaning drivers are losing faith when it comes to the traditional method of hiring cars.
It isn’t just hidden charges causing drivers to switch their method of hiring a car. The influx in popularity of the Sharing Economy is resulting in a change in perceptions. When it comes to sharing economy, it is often thought that their terms are more transparent as you are sharing with another person, as opposed to another company. Potential to earn from your unused assets has flourished in the past 4-5 years with the arrival and growth of companies like Airbnb allowing users to become more comfortable with the idea of sharing. Recent data even shows that renting out a car that is typically left unused can earn someone up to £2,000 a month.
The specific areas car hire comparison sites are failing varies from fuel charges to young people surcharges. Young people in particular are reportedly the group that benefit least from car comparison websites. In a recent study by HiyaCar which spoke to 2000 UK adults reveals that those in the 18-24 bracket prove themselves to be more relaxed than those over 55. Nearly double the amount of 18-24 year olds (23%) would utilise a spare room for extra cash in their pockets, compared to over 55’s (14%). Similarly, nearly a quarter (22%) would rent out their car compared to just one in eight (13%) of those over 55.
Sharing cars within the community, through companies like HiyaCar, is proving increasingly popular amongst drivers. By sharing cars, it has a positive effect on the driving habits of the hirers as they appreciate that the car they are in is someone’s personal property and not a company car that doesn’t technically belong to anyone.
Rob Larmour, the co-founder of HiyaCar said: “When members look to request a car they can see the full cost breakdown and our bespoke insurance is calculated per the individual and is clearly shown. HiyaCar has no extortionate upfront deposits and no hidden charges.
Rob went on to add: “Insurance is a key factor with person to person car sharing and HiyaCar worked exclusively with Aon and Axa to provide a policy that will make the car owner feel confident about sharing their car. For the hirer, the premium is calculated based on their age, driving history and the type of car they’re looking to hire. It is clearly displayed along with the hire fee making us totally transparent. The car sharer on the other hand, knows they have world leading names in insurance covering their car for the duration of the rental and their own personal policy will never be affected.
“HiyaCar exists because we want to see a world where communities have the freedom to have a better life. This might be financial freedom from the extra money owners make from sharing an idle asset, or freedom for people to hit the open road who have not previously had access to a car. For me, there isn’t a more exciting and socially rewarding sector in the world in which you could be part of as a company owner.”