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Verdict: Fuel regulations of car rentals

Lump sum is legitimate

If you rent a car, the contract normally states whether you need to bring it back with a full tank or not. An Austrian car rental company charged consumers a lump sum of 3.80 Euro per missing litre. An Austrian association filed a lawsuit against the company, arguing that the costs of the lump sum would be much higher than the actual fuel prices and consumers would therefore be grossly disadvantaged by it.

The Austrian Supreme Court of Justice now decided that the lump sum is legitimated. First, because the car rental company not only needs to cover the costs of the fuel, but also the costs of the effort it takes to refuel the car themselves (the Court estimated costs of 60 Euro per car). Secondly, only those consumers have to pay who didn't comply to the contractual terms and conditions by bringing back a car without a full tank.  

More information regarding the verdict is available on the website of the Supreme Court (German).

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