Holiday Autos has called on the car hire industry to help it build a code of conduct after a YouGov study found that budget-conscious consumers are taking risks when booking car hire. Mystery shoppers found that half of car hire firms do not have a customer support centre or a 24 hour point of contact. Around 38 percent of companies would not allow bookings to be changed online and complaints about the industry are said to have increased 30 percent. “There has been a worrying increase in the number of companies that are taking advantage of consumer trust and tarnishing the reputation of the car hire industry with their unscrupulous behaviour,” said Stuart Nassos, managing director of Holiday Autos. “Holiday Autos is keen to help our regulator stamp out some of the malpractices which occur within the industry. The Code of Conduct we are working to create for brokers aims to regulate industry practices.” The code would look to set transparent pricing standard; ensure the customers understand terms and conditions; eliminate misleading advertising and create a faster response to complaints. However despite the dubious operation behind some businesses, the ‘Car Hire Uncovered’ report found that 23 percent of consumers would book car hire through a company they had never heard of if the price was cheaper than competitors and 70 percent would not check if the company had a 24 hour support service. Furthermore, the price-driven spend meant that only five percent of respondents considered customer service to be important, although 10 percent had reported they had a bad experience last year and complaints in the sector have increased 30 percent. Less than a third (23 percent) cared about the reputation of the company they booked through.