Hertz to introduce £3/yr annual charge for 24/7 hire service - but you can cancel to avoid the fee
Car rental firm Hertz is introducing a £3 annual membership fee for its 24/7 service from next month - and if you're a member you'll be charged automatically unless you cancel. Here's what you need to know.
Hertz's 24/7 hire service launched in 2008 and allows members contactless rental of cars and vans. You reserve vehicles using Hertz's website or app and then open the vehicle using a PIN code on the app. The key to the ignition is inside the vehicle. You can rent from just an hour right up to a week and can also pick up at any time of day or night.
Membership is currently free - though you of course have to pay for the rentals you make - but from 1 April, a £3 membership fee will apply each year on your membership anniversary date. This affects both new and existing users - and if you're already a member, you'll be charged the fee unless you cancel your membership.
If you're planning to hire a car abroad when lockdown restrictions ease, check out our Cheap Car Hire guide.
Payment will be taken automatically
The £3 annual payment will be automatically taken from the card Hertz has on file for you, but if these details are out of date you can log in to your account on the Hertz website to update payment information.
Hertz says members of the service have already been sent an email informing them of the new cost and it adds that customers will also receive another email reminder nearer to their membership anniversary date before being charged. The car hire firm says its terms and conditions state that it can vary terms so long as it gives members advance notice.
Cancel your membership if you don't want to pay the new annual fee
If you don't want to pay the new fee, Hertz says you'll need to cancel your membership by replying to the email you receive. For those it can't contact because their email address has changed, for example, Hertz will automatically cancel their membership.
However, if you think you're a member of the service but haven't received an email it's best to contact Hertz directly to ensure you won't be hit with the new fee. You can email it on email@example.com or contact it via its online form.
You have to give 14 days notice to cancel, which means you must do so at least 14 days before your membership is due to renew to avoid the fee - though of course, anyone can cancel free of charge as long as they do so before 18 March (14 days before the fee comes in on 1 April).
But don't just cancel in haste because of the price increase - check if the service is still cheapest for you overall. Some providers, such as Zip Car, offer similar 24/7 car hire schemes but again there can be fees involved. Zip Car, for example, is free for members in London but elsewhere across the UK you have to pay joining fees (it's Smart Plan is £6/mth, though you do get your membership cost back in credit each month).
Elsewhere, Europcar offers cheap £1/day car hire in the UK - though there's a catch as you need to drop the car off at a specific location – usually an airport.
What does Hertz say?
A Hertz spokesperson said: “We are introducing an extremely competitive, nominal, annual membership fee to ensure that we can continue to offer our customers the high standard of service and experience that they have come to expect from us."