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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We decided to rent a car when we went on holiday to Italy in

Customer Question

We decided to rent a car when we went on holiday to Italy in the beginning of July this year.The surprise was big when we came to the rent car desk and they wanted to put a deposit on our card for 1500€. Normally in Europe it is about 750€.
We did not have that money in our account so we were denied the car rent.I have now asked the company in question to get a refund of what we have paid for the rent but the have told us that their cancellation policy states a 100% cancellation fee if documents or there is not a sufficient amount on the card account! It is not obvious clear when you pay for the car in advance that this can happen in fine print yes but I think it should be very clear what kind of money you will have to deposit.
In this case they are smiling all the way to the bank because they take full payment for "a service that has not been provided".
Do I have a chance at all to retrieve my money?

Kind regards
Erik Armstrong
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

AlexWatts2013 :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. For now please let me know if you originally booked it here in the UK?

JACUSTOMER-4q4lo0e9- :

It is a little complicated as I used an agent called Rental Cars and as I am Swedish but live and work in UK, I used their Swedish Website, but they are international and I paid in GBP .The answer I got came from England so they are probably based in UK.

AlexWatts2013 :

Was it a UK company you paid by card?

JACUSTOMER-4q4lo0e9- :

Yes it is a UK company and I paid the rent with a UK Debit card

AlexWatts2013 :

I see, that helps. In terms of unfair terms you have protection from the The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and in particular Regulation 5 that states:

AlexWatts2013 :

5.—(1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

(2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.

(3) Notwithstanding that a specific term or certain aspects of it in a contract has been individually negotiated, these Regulations shall apply to the rest of a contract if an overall assessment of it indicates that it is a pre-formulated standard contract.

AlexWatts2013 :

Therefore as you can see the term could be unfair and indeed case law shows the more onerous the term the more should be done to bring it to the attention of the person signing it. If they just gave you a form and said here sign, that is not good enough. As such you do have a chance at getting your money and you should indeed consider a small claim in the County Court which you can issue online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or complete form N1 http://hmctscourtfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local county court

AlexWatts2013 :

If this fully resolves your question then please take a moment before you leave and rate my service, it only takes a second and is an important part of the process. Otherwise if you need more information or help then please click reply. Alex

JACUSTOMER-4q4lo0e9- :

I see,how can I go further with this case?Should I just make a small claim online and just let it work that way?

AlexWatts2013 :

You really should write to them and give 14 days to refund the money or say that you will seek to issue proceedings. You should keep a copy of this letter and send it recorded delivery. You would be entitled to also claim interest at 8% pursuant to Section 69 of the County Courts Act.

JACUSTOMER-4q4lo0e9- :

Ok I've already told them this is not finished for me and I also have written to them I consider to make a legal case of it.

AlexWatts2013 :

Yes you do have and you should now consider the next step. Alex

JACUSTOMER-4q4lo0e9- :

Thanks Alex I've got some hope back!

AlexWatts2013 :

That is good. Please do take a moment to rate the service I have given you today. Enjoy the rest of your week. Alex

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