New Zealand Rental Car Companies Fined for Bogus Charges

After charging tourists for vehicle repairs that never occurred or were exaggerated, two New Zealand rental car companies have been fined, according to Stuff.

Fines of $36,500 were imposed in February on Euro Car Rental NZ Ltd and Affinity Car Rentals NZ Ltd of Christchurch, New Zealand and their shareholders and directors in the Christchurch District Court in February. They had earlier pleaded guilty to 18 representative charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act.

After complaints from customers, a Commerce Commission investigation of the two firms last year found Euro Car credit-card charges relating to repairs for damage that either had not happened or had been exaggerated. Some customers were also charged extras, such as administration and off-road fees, which were not covered in the rental agreements.

Others said they had booked late-model cars, but were given cars up to eight years old.

Judge Jane Farish said the offending was mostly directed at overseas tourists.

The judge ordered Euro Car Rental to pay a $20,000 fine and $3,725 in reparation to affected customers. Affinity Car Rentals was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay reparation of $2,025. Kylee Harris, director for the companies, was fined $10,000, while her husband was fined $5,000. They were also ordered to each pay $600 in solicitors' fees and $130 in court costs.

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Max. 10000 characters)  
Please leave blank:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter: Sign up to receive latest news, articles, and much more.

Read the latest

Auto Focus Blog: A blog covering fleets, auto rental and the business of cars

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Not caving to a customer with a blatant agenda may have consequences, especially for a small rental company that relies on stellar Yelp ratings to advertise. But business integrity must prevail.

The Truth Behind Compact Van Depreciation

Why are large van values holding up better than their compact counterparts, and will it last?

Car Rental’s Call to Action on Autonomous Vehicles

The car rental industry has built-in advantages to support a world with driverless cars, but it needs to take the next step in partnering with autonomous vehicle stakeholders.

Job Finder: Access Top Talent. Fill Key Positions.