Car Hire UK
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Car Hire UK

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Last updated: Oct. 20, 2017

149 Car Hire UK Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 20, 2017

I rented a brand-new Vauxhall for a road journey around the United Kingdom. In Cardiff I received a parking charge notice from Indigo Park Services. To avoid any hassles I took care of that immediately using Indigo's online system, even before returning the rental car. However several weeks after returning to my home country I received a letter from Avis-Victoria informing me that they had received notice of that parking infraction, and were charging me 30 pounds Sterling as administrative fee (on top of the parking charge itself). I contacted Indigo who confirmed I had no outstanding parking charge. Yet Avis insisted on charging the 30 pounds administrative fee. I tried contacting them by phone but it was impossible to get through their different menus to anyone who could actually deal with the issue. Ended up spending nearly as much on international phone charges. These people are crooks, stay away from them.

Original review: July 25, 2017

I rented a car via car rentals from Europcar at Edinburgh airport on 4th July 2017. I returned the car on 10th July without any damage or problems and I signed returning a car and I was told that everything is alright. On the 13th July I found out that 1760 czk was deducted from my account, I also got the invoice with this charge ending with due to 0 czk. I complained to Europcar and after 5 days they sent me a reply and apologized for a mistake they had made. But also wrote they will charge me one day extra (439 czk) for any reason which does not make sense. I found out on my account that currently Europcar stole from account not only 1760 czk (which they admitted to be a mistake) but also another 439 czk for an extra day. I complained again but nobody has replied yet.

I consider this company to be thieves and I would really like to find somebody who could help me with this case. I am from the Czech Republic but currently staying in England. The case number is **. I have already written a review on Car rentals but they did not react at all. For other customers, I would really like to warn you from renting a car from Europcar at Edinburgh airport as they have done this to many other customers before (see other reviews).

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Original review: May 21, 2017

We arrived at Edinburgh Airport on 11 April after very long flights from New Zealand. I had booked and paid for a car rental via for 19 days (Europcar). On previous visits to the UK when I rented a car there was no hard sell to take out more than the standard insurance. On this occasion the rep was very pushy and used my tiredness, distraction at temporarily not being able to find my wife and haste to get underway to get me to sign a reduction of the excess to 250 pounds. The only price I heard was 9.04 pounds per day. I later discovered a pending fee that was way higher than expected and although this was revised when I returned the car (the 250 pound excess being removed) it was still way higher than I was led to believe. The company charged me an extra 3.33 per day for roadside assistance. I was not told about a daily roadside assistance fee, nor was I told that the fees charged did not include 20% VAT.

The rep told me the fees would be sorted at the end and that I might not rent the car for the full 19 days. During the rental I tried to contact the company by phone to cancel the insurance but could not get a reply. I sent an email but had no answer to my request except a statement saying that there was a daily roadside assist fee. I complained that I had been misled but had no reply.

As the extra insurance ended up being more than the car rental itself I feel Europcar took advantage of my distraction and tiredness to unnecessarily extract extra money from us, especially as my Visa Card insurance would have covered damages had we had any incidents, albeit requiring paying for damages first with a later reimbursement. Fair trading assumes that a company explains fully all costs associated with a deal. In this case the rep failed to explain that there was a daily charge above the daily insurance charge and that the charges did not include the VAT later charged.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 1, 2017

I am about to submit a claim to the small claims court to recoup monies taken from my account for damage to a car I did not do. I hired a car from them in December 2016 and collected it at 6 am on Christmas eve. The car was filthy, damaged and had almost 90,000 miles on the clock. They subsequently took funds from my account (I suspect more than the car was worth) which I disputed with Visa.

More worryingly is today I was presented with a photocopy of a document I have never seen before which had my signature on it. I am investigating this further as I have reason to believe they inserted my signature on it without my knowledge or permission (certainly I did not sign a hard copy of this document at the airport when I collected the car nor was I sent a copy of it after the event but they did send it to Visa as I discovered today). I have rented cars dozens of times from London Gatwick in the last 14 years as I travelled frequently. I have never, ever had a dispute with any car company except this one. Avoid at all costs. There are so many other companies to use. Europcar, Enterprise and Avis have all been great.

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Original review: April 26, 2017

Booked with Car Hire UK then googled and was horrified when read all these reviews. It really distressed us for our arrival and we did not know what like but to our amazement we had a lovely new Mercedes B-class. We took out all insurance and have holiday cover for the excess so never had the same problems everyone else seems to have when they damage the car? Overall we had a great holiday as well. Highly recommend. Also avoid London. Nightmare to drive and ended up with three congestion penalties. :(

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 6, 2017

The only way you will get your money back from these scammers is if you start court proceeding. I can't believe this is still going on with this company. Once they receive a letter from solicitors they pay up. Shocking company. VERY stressful times.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 13, 2017

I have had the same experience as apparently hundreds of "overseas" customers of Car Hire UK/Head Office Elsinore Garage East Sussex. I hired a car for a week, meet and greet at Gatwick on 7th Oct 2016 and they debited 650. Their policy is 20 working days refund. Now 13th Jan 2017 despite mails, calls, no one ever available. You must contact the trading standards Beverley ** East Sussex County Council, county hall, St. Anne's Crescent BN7 1UE - tel 01323 463452.

They have taken this company to court in 2002. You must go through their complaints procedure on the website of Car Hire UK (if you can find it!) or send a registered letter. You must have proof that they have received and signed for your letter of complaint. The judge said that otherwise there is no proof of complaint. Apparently many people after doing this have had their reimbursement. If you all do it maybe they will move. I can't understand how they can be allowed to continue. Hope this helps.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 10, 2016

I recently checked my credit card statement and found Avis had helped themselves to 30 euros. I hire cars regularly and often use Avis because of their tie up with British Airways. I hadn't used Avis for over 6 weeks and HAD HAD NO COMMUNICATION FROM THEM. Unless I incur some motoring fine our business ends when I bring the car back in good condition and they issue a final receipt. Well you'd have thought so.

No, Avis obviously believe they can just help themselves to your money because they have your credit card details. And to make their theft easy they don't bother to tell you. No email, no text, no letter. I challenged them about this over a week ago but absolutely no response! This isn't about the money but the principle, and my guess is they're doing this to lots of people. BA rightly have a good reputation. Their tie up with these crooks won't do that any good at all. In my experience you should avoid Avis and go for either Enterprise or Sixt.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 2, 2016

This is pretty much the same experience everyone else has had with this company. I hired a car for 3 months. I was charged a deposit that I wasn't informed about. I returned the vehicle early. After 45 days, multiple phone calls, multiple emails, many promises, I have not received my deposit back. I have now moved to dispute the transaction to recoup my deposit which is over £500. The service by the company has been consistently atrocious throughout the entire rental. I am going to contact the local law enforcement to see if they can take action. Do not under any circumstances rent from this company.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 30, 2016

Never Book with this company - you will lose your money. Having picked up the car, which was over 7 years old, I omitted to photograph it and so when I returned without it having been damaged at all I received an invoice for over £800 (more than the car was worth). As I had no pictures and was at the other end of the world I had to accept that as I had extra collision damage the maximum of £125 would come off the deposit which they took from my account without telling me before they returned it. Six months later and after about 70 emails I still have no money returned. These people are nothing short of criminals who are defrauding customers and getting away with it. NEVER USE THEM.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 3, 2016

On collecting the vehicle I was confronted with real aggressive hard-sell for extra insurance cover equating to an additional Euro 140 over and above the car hire amount booked and confirmed to me online. I declined the extra insurance as had already paid for rental excess cover as part of my travel policy. On declining the insurance Goldcar insisted that clients declining their extra insurance had to pay for "flex fuel and diesel car supplements" as part of their policy or they refused to supply the vehicle. I couldn't find anything in the T & Cs about this so as it was late at night and as I had my family and much luggage, I had no choice but to proceed under protest. The diesel supplement wasn't expensive at Euro 14 but an example of blatant profiteering as there were only x2 cars in Group L and both were diesels anyway.

The flex fuel which promotes "rapid return without need for re-fuelling car" was a double rip off as not only did it have a built-in service charge of Euro 36 but the cost of re-fuelling the car was at an exorbitant Euro 2.29 per litre - when diesel fuel pump prices in Italy were only averaging Euro 1.3 p/l. I was very annoyed especially as I have spent 35 years renting cars and always prefer to return the car full. I am currently liaising with Goldcar's so-called customer services based in Spain and demanding a refund. Not unlike their car rental offices, they don't actually grasp the concept of customer service so all travelers should be warned and be aware of how unprofessional this company really is - Never again!

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 31, 2016

DO NOT book a car with this company!!! I hired a car for 2 weeks in June and they took a deposit of 250 pounds from my account straightaway. I was asked to leave the car at the car park upon return, ring them and leave a message and leave the keys inside the car which I did. Obviously the car was now under their responsibility and there was no damage to the car. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures! After 4 days I received an email with an invoice attached for the amount of £1250! I had paid to bring the excess down to £75 but this was not mentioned. I decided to wait to see if they were aware of this but after 3 or 4 emails I HAD TO REMIND THEM. Obviously they soon changed their attitude.

However, by September I had not received my deposit back (minus the £75.00) so I had to chase them up again. I have only just got it back but the equivalent of about £125. I had to pay a damage admin fee of £25.00 and the parking which was £26.50 (also parking at the beginning of the rental of £10). Basically disgusting behaviour and if you ask me a total scam!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 26, 2016

Please, DO NOT book a car with this company!!! I hired a car for 3 weeks and they took straightaway a deposit of 600 pounds from my account. They asked me to leave the car at the airport after the 3 week period with the keys inside the car so basically there was nobody there to confirm that the car was returned in perfect condition. I rang them up and requested to send someone to collect the car and confirm that everything was fine. They refused!! I said to them that if there was nobody there within 30 minutes I would call the police. They said that the police would not do anything about it!! So I reported it to the police and they advised me to take pictures of the car etc. Two and a half months later and after several e-mails and phone calls I still do not have the money back!! My credit card company is dealing with it at the moment!!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2016

Car Hire UK have a record of dishonesty when dealing with Aussie clients. When they retain deposits etc, do as I did - contact your bank and notify them that an illegal transaction has occurred. My bank the Commonwealth were fantastic. They got my deposit of over five hundred dollars returned. No problem.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 30, 2016

I booked and paid for my car hire in May 2015 with Car Hire UK. Double the amount of money was taken out of my credit card than I was quoted. I was advised I would be refunded after 21 days. I have still not received my refund 18 months later. I was not advised of any infringements. The car was returned in perfect condition (photographic evidence). My credit card was debited 650 GBP for 18 days Car Hire and my quote was for 274 GBP for 18 days. There is no customer service. I have rung and emailed and there has never been a response. Their website is deliberately obtuse, with only an email/phone option and no address details. My next step is legal action. I would never recommend this business and will never use them again.

Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 11, 2016

My deposit was taken up front and they refused to return it claiming I had damaged the car plus they asked for another £350. They sent photos of the damage of a different car and had made the damage estimate themselves. Despite many calls and mails to the customer services team they are refusing the back down. Now I am working with Barclaycard to recover the deposit and any further money they take from my card. It is unbelievable that this company continues to operate like this with all the staff at Car-Hire-UK seemingly in on the scam.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 1, 2016

I paid my security deposit for the car hire immediately on drop off of the car and have been emailing and calling constantly since the drop off on 2nd July for my deposit back. I did get a parking fine and this I paid immediately to the necessary borough. I have spoken to Olivia so many times at Car Hire UK to discuss my deposit and she informs me that it can take up to 21 working days to return the deposit due to any outstanding infringements that may come in.

As I said I have one parking and have paid it. I am not getting anywhere fast. I notice that they take this deposit immediately in full from your account which is a little unethical. Other car hire companies just take the imprint of your card for any deductions that may need to come out. I am sick of this fight for my own money back. And I have to say will not use them again even if they are cheaper. The cars are old too and certainly not that clean when you receive them. I upgraded from a Citroen C1 to a Hyundai so that I would get a better car and was delivered a Citroen C3. Hmmm.

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Original review: April 21, 2016

This company is a complete disgrace. It's a scam. The scam is they take the whole deposit as soon as you book the car, then they hold all the cards while you fight them for your money back. They came up with mythical damage. I took photos of all the dents and scratches on the car when I collected it, but I must have missed this one, anyway, GBP 376.99 for a scratch, a GBP 55.00 cleaning fee (it was not dirty) & GBP 26.50 for dropping the car back early (yes early) plus the bit that pissed me off the most, I had to pay GBP 7.00 to get the car out of the car park at Gatwick where we collected it from. We finally got our balance of the deposit back from them after a million emails, and we claimed the damage on the travel insurance. So no major harm done but lots of grief and aggravation. Complete disgrace and have nothing to do with them.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: April 18, 2016

We used to rent our car in South Africa. We were led to believe that what we were quoted was the final price. The final fee came to DOUBLE what we were quoted. I am still waiting for their response. The whole booking started on a bad note as they quoted me R800 over the phone, but when they emailed me the invoice it was R1200. I phoned back immediately and they said it was a mistake on their system and they would rectify it. I should have known then that they were dodgy, but I didn't have time to find another car hire, so just went ahead with the booking. Now I am waiting for a refund. The total for 1 day was quoted to be R1500 and my CC has been billed over R3000.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 29, 2016

I have had the same problem with many people a few years ago and it is so sad to see that they are still scamming people. I also went through a huge palava of trying to get it back. They have taken Car Hire UK to Brighton County Court recently over this scheme and are ready to start legal proceeding again if they have further evidence. In a nutshell, don't waste any time and money trying to call or send emails to CHUK, go straight to the legal recourses that are available to you as a consumer.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 14, 2015

My review is the same as everyone else's. Cheap car rental. Great rates. Returned vehicle Sept 1 and despite e-mails and phone calls up the yin yang promising the complete refund of my USD$1037.85 damage deposit, NOTHING!!! Maurice Goodwin, Director, you should be ashamed of yourself. Emily ** Customer Service phone operator, you are a liar, Peter ** her Supervisor, never return phone calls and is mysteriously always, always out of the office, and lastly, Miss Tina **, Reservations Team XII, stop lying to yourself by sending me e-mails promising that the deposit will be refunded forthwith.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 30, 2015

After contacting Car Hire UK many times via emails and telephone calla unanswered, I was not surprised to discover that I am one many people waiting to get back their deposits after checking up on the company on the I hired three vehicles, a car in April, a mini-bus in August and again a car at the end of August. All was fine with the vehicles. I returned them with the same amount of petrol/diesel and without damage. I did scrape a hub-cap on the mini-bus and they were very quick to quote the repair costs which I confirmed my acceptance to the amount and the deduction from the deposit to be returned as per contract conditions.

They debited my credit card twice for the three hire contracts even when I asked them to pass the first deposit on to the other car rentals. They reply to almost all my emails saying that "your deposits have been authorized" or " you should receive them in 3 to 5 days" but to date they have not kept their word. I will continue to send emails and when I return to the UK I will try to go to their office in person.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 24, 2015

I made a telephone booking with Car Hire and they took my Visa details. The representative said I would get written confirmation shortly. Since then I have received nothing. After checking my bank statement, I realised they had taken the whole amount quoted plus fees for additional driver and "meet and greet." I then became suspicious and researched the company Car Hire and realised that there were hundreds of complaints against them. I decided to cancel our booking. This I did within 4 working days. I telephoned the company and was told that if I cancelled I would have to forfeit the whole amount as I hadn't taken out "cancellation insurance" with them (something that I wasn't aware of or offered)! I am still waiting for a reply and so far no refund has appeared. I have contacted Trading Standards and they are investigating... Hopefully they can stop this immoral practice! Watch this space!

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 30, 2015

I hired a car from this company and picked it up at Heathrow on 29th July 2015. He swiped our credit card for 650 pounds as a security deposit and this amount was debited to my account the following day on 30th July. The car was returned on 28th August 2015 and I am still waiting for my deposit to be refunded. We also had to put new wiper blades on the driver's side as they were split. I was advised that I would be reimbursed for the cost, and left the old wiper blade, plus the receipt and a note in the car. To date, I have emailed them every week and phoned them 6 times from Australia with no result. I have requested a name of anyone in a position to help but all I get is a promise that I will get my money back. How can a company be allowed to trade and advertise when they are thieves and liars and what they are doing is against the law. Is there anything I can do to get my money back?

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 16, 2015

I hired a car from this company in London and when I paid online the rental charge was the only charge showed and confirmed on the payment transaction. A few days later when I checked my credit card statement I noticed that they also charged me for £650 deposit. I immediately queried this charge with no success and they said that I would have been reimbursed within 21 working days after returning the car. I returned the car at the end of July and received confirmation from them saying that my credit card account would have been credited with the refund around August 21st.

It is now mid-October and despite many e-mails and phone calls with promises and lies I am still waiting for the refund. I learned afterwards unfortunately that these people have been practicing this abuse for years. My question is, why are they still allowed to trade despite all the complaints raised? This is clearly a delinquent practice which has been going on for years and which should not be allowed to continue. I sincerely hope the relevant and competent authorities take a drastic and final action to stop these people.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 8, 2015

This is by far the worst company I have ever had to deal with. Yes, they are cheaper than the mainstream providers, but there is a reason behind this! The cars they provide are 8+ yrs old with high mileage. Having paid for the additional meet & greet, as well as in-terminal drop-off, I had to pay to exit the car park as well as have a further deduction from my deposit (which I'll come to in a bit), because I returned the car a little earlier than originally stated (despite trying to call them for over 2 hrs prior to returning to inform them). Ridiculous!!!

Now to the deposit, as you have read now from many other people posts, this company will take anything from £250-£1,500 as a deposit WITHOUT even telling you. Fortunately for me, it was only £250, but still I was NOT made aware of this during the online booking process. I only noticed it when my CC statement arrived and when I called, it was clarified to me then - Fine!

Now, this is where the fun begins... Getting your deposit refunded!!! After constant hounding every day with calls and emails, I finally got my deposit (minus the early return fee) back 2.5 months later!!! They do not answer the phones, and when they do, the staff are incompetent and the owners are a bunch of useless **! STAY AWAY FROM THESE JOKERS!!!

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Original review: Oct. 5, 2015

The booking process seemed pretty normal. We were greeted at Gatwick airport and taken to our car. The representative produced a laptop and asked to scan my debit card in case the car was damaged. Unknowingly to me they took a whopping 600 pound deposit. I was then given a parking car park ticket and had to pay to leave. It has taken from the 29th of August until the 5th of October to get my deposit back and this was still 20 pound short. It has taken 12 phone calls and sixteen emails to get to this point. If you want a stress free transaction go to one of the main car rental companies and don't be fooled by this company's glossy website.

Original review: Sept. 14, 2015

Hired a new Ford ka for £7.00 a day and we drove to Scotland and back. I ended up after a tiring night hitting two park cars. It was an accident but Car hire uk are not interested. They told me I had an insurance excess of £75.00 and they wont give back. I'm in the same boat as everyone else here writing reviews. I try contacting trading standards but they just idiots told me if I damaged the vehicle I should pay. Has anyone got any advise on how I can get my deposit back? After all why should I lose out? I've threatened the company that I write reviews online and cause all sorts of trouble if they don't give me all my money back now. My advice is yes the service is ok and cars fine but I had been ripped off for paying for damage, if it's an accident which it was I should not have to pay!

Original review: July 28, 2015

CAR HIRE UK.COM - My persistent reminders to them to return deposit failed so contacted UK trading standards. Directed to the company location complaints area in Bromley Kent. They advised me: "The trader concerned has since relocated their UK Customer Services Centre and their Registered Office to St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, from where they also run their Repair Centre, thereby no longer having any connection with Bromley.

I have therefore forwarded a copy of your email to East Sussex Trading Standards. Fair Trading Officer - Trading Standards, Communities, Economy & Transport, East Sussex County Council. Tel: **. Fax: 01323 463422. Email: **. D Floor, West Block, County Hall, St Anne's Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1UE. Recommend to email the reservations department with a brief outline of your complaint mark for the attention of Mr. Maurice ** and also mark with the subject as COMPLAINT." So anyone wants to complain about returning deposit on time follow the above procedure.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: July 14, 2015

I hired a minibus for my buddies and I on a recent fishing trip to the lovely midlands area in the UK. Alarm bells starting ringing on the morning we picked up the bus. Firstly we had to pay the parking ticket when exiting the airport carpark (£5). It was then I noticed that the fuel tank had barely anything in it, so I took some photos of the display with my phone which was timed and dated.

The guy who handed over the keys was pleasant, but he had to take my credit card details and a whopping £1000 deposit which I wasn't aware of, and it was never mentioned at the time of booking nor when I spoke to a customer service agent the week before we arrived. I paid it anyway, just so we could get on our way, and the rep told me I'd receive a full refund once the vehicle was dropped back. He also took details of when we'd be dropping the vehicle back, and gave me a full list of instructions as to what number to call and where to park the vehicle. He also stated (this is important) that we had to pay the parking ticket upon exit, but not upon return of the vehicle.

We returned the vehicle as agreed after our trip. After being home a week, I noticed that no refund was made. I called Car Hire UK several times, but no answer, even after holding for over an hour on one occasion. I emailed a customer service rep I'd been dealing with (Emily), and still no reply. I eventually got speaking to some guy after a week of trying, and he was quite abrupt and unhelpful on the phone. He told me that the deposit would be refunded after 21 days, and when I pointed out to him that nobody made me aware of this when I paid the deposit, he just hung up the phone. I was very annoyed at this response.

To cut a long story short, I had to wait 32 days before any deposit was returned to me, and I was short £13. I probably wouldn't have got my deposit only for my persistent phone calls and emails. The £13 penalty was because I returned the vehicle early (according to them), which was just 15 mins before the agreed time with the rep on the morning of our arrival. This £13 was for airport parking for the returned vehicle. On top of all of this I've had to pay £45 to my credit card company for purchase interest due to the delay in getting the funds back into my account. I pointed all of this out to "Emily" via a mail thread, but to no avail. This company are a disgrace to deal with, I will never use them again and wouldn't recommend them to anyone. Beware of Car Hire UK, scam artists!!

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Car Hire UK Company Information

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Car Hire UK