I recently rented a car in the UK (from a major chain). When I returned the car, the inspection found three pieces of minor interior damage, and I’m now getting charged £100 for these as “change of condition”.
However, all three pieces of damage were pre-existing, and I don’t believe I can reasonably have been expected to notice/declare them at the initial checkout stage, for several reasons. Primarily, no interior inspection was offered at the point of checkout. But besides that, two of the three pieces of damage wouldn’t have been recognisable with an ordinary visual inspection. (The third defect might have been caught with an interior inspection — it was visible once you knew where to look, though fairly inconspicuous.)
It seems obviously abusable, if car rental firms can hold renters liable for defects in condition that renters had no reasonable chance to discover in advance. Are there any consumer protection laws/regulations against such charges, in the UK?