Europcar offices raided

The UK headquarters Europcar has been raided by Trading Standards as part of an investigation into overcharging for repairs.

Reports allege the car hire firm may have been overcharging customers for car repairs by up to 300% profiting from millions of pounds in the process.

In a statement, Europcar said it ‘takes the allegations very seriously and is conducting a thorough internal investigation.

‘The company is co-operating fully with Trading Standards in its investigations. It can make no further comment at this point.’

Jason Moseley, director of the National Body Repair Association said that whilst any wrong-doing was yet to be confirmed the news cast a shadow over the repair sector as a whole. ‘The news of this investigation is very disappointing for the vehicle body repair sector, as 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.’

He continued, ‘NBRA members work to stringent codes of practice approved by Trading Standards, however there is an increasing trend that large corporates are pressurising the bodyshop SME´s to work with opaque practices and poor commercial terms.

‘We will be bringing this to the attention of the Small Business minister and demanding an investigation with the objective to bring fairness to the body shops and ultimately protect the consumer.’