CV242-CV243-CV244-CV245-CV247-CV248 - Italian Competition Authority: fines of more than EUR 18 million for Avis, Hertz, Centauro, Green Motion, Noleggiare and Drivalia for unfair clauses


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The six car rental companies were charging customers an unjustified fee for the management of fines and failure to pay parking or toll fees. The Authority has also ordered the removal of these clauses from contract forms as they can cause a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of consumers.

The Italian Antitrust Authority fined the car rental companies Avis Budget Italia S.p.A., Hertz Italiana S.r.l., Centauro Rent a Car Italy S.r.l., Green Motion Italia S.r.l., Noleggiare S.r.l. and Drivalia Leasys Rent S.p.A. for more than EUR 18 million in total for unfair clauses.

The Authority challenged the clause, contained in the contractual documentation adopted by each company and published on their respective corporate websites, which provides for the obligation of the lessee of the car to pay a lump sum fee to handle the administrative file related to each fine imposed for a traffic offence or failure to pay parking/toll fees during the rental period.

The additional amount provided for in the clause - regardless of the qualification adopted by each company (such as 'penalty' or 'service fee') - is not justified in the light of the fulfilment due in the event of a fine charged to the contractor. Car rental companies, in fact, only have to transfer the customers' identification data to the agency that assessed the offence.

The unjustified nature of this fee also emerged regardless of the specific amount charged by the company and because of the automatic nature of the charge to the consumer's credit card, on the basis of pre-authorisation provided when the rental contract was signed.

Following the assessment of vexatiousness, each company is obliged to publish an extract of the measure on its corporate website. Moreover, as a result of the entry into force, as of 1 February 2022, of the new sanctioning powers attributed to the Authority on the subject of unfair terms - pursuant to Law no. 238/2021 and Legislative Decree no. 26/2023 - each company has been ordered, in addition to paying a fine, to remove the clause from its contractual documentation.

Rome, 9 May 2024