Travel Comparison Sites Criticised for Failing to Offer Wider Consumer Choice

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Limited approach of sites such as Travelsupermarket results in limited choice and higher prices for car hire, says Carrentals.co.uk.

Websites claiming to provide a complete travel comparison service are failing to deliver on car hire, according to leading online car rental comparator Carrentals.co.uk, which believes customers are being let down in terms of the choice of locations and the price they pay.

Carrentals claims that sites such as Travelsupermarket are simplifying their car hire business to focus predominantly on key airport locations and fail to offer many customers the breadth of rental options they are looking for.

Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, says: "Travelsupermarket bills itself as the travel comparison site, but in reality it focuses on a limited number of locations and companies. In terms of its car rental offering, the majority of its locations are airports, providing no choice to customers arriving by train or ferry, or who simply want to hire a car somewhere like Chamonix."

Carrentals.co.uk found that in key locations such as London Travelsupermarket offered just 21* locations, including Luton, Stansted, City, Heathrow and Gatwick airports, compared to 49 locations offered by Carrentals.co.uk, including the airports, plus Vauxhall, West Hampstead, Wembley and Kensington.

In addition, in a price comparison of the two sites based on 10 of the most popular car hire, locations, Carrentals.co.uk produced lower prices in over 84% of the search results**. The price comparison looked at both the cheapest rentals available, and the best deals on compact, intermediate and people carrier vehicles.

Robinson added: "Sites such as Travelsupermarket use a pay-per-click approach to their comparison service, which automatically limits the number of companies that can afford to be featured on the site due to the potential for spiralling costs. Smaller companies that can offer a specialist service are priced out of the site, even though they may offer customers lower rates and broader choice. To us, this doesn't represent a true comparison service, and fails to offer consumers the prices and choice they need in the current economic climate."

Carrentals.co.uk works on a fairer Cost-Per-Acquisition basis, enabling companies of all sizes to be featured. It now compares up to 50 car hire providers on the site, and features over 7,000 locations worldwide.

Visit http://www.carrentals.co.uk for more information.

*Based on comparison carried out in key booking period of August 2008

**Based on a price comparison carried out in August 2008, which looked at locations including Sydney, Alicante, Johannesburg, Malaga, Heathrow, Faro, Geneva, Murcia, Dublin and Pisa

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