SOME legitimate rental car companies are offering private cars as rentals on the side.
Land Transport Authority chief executive officer Naisa Tuinaceva said LTA was becoming more creative in dealing with unscrupulous operators.
"We now have LTA officers masquerading as everyday citizens seeking to hire rental cars at a discounted price in an attempt to catch illegal operators out," he said. "The issues have become quite sophisticated, on the one hand we have unlicensed dealers renting out private vehicles and on the other we have legitimate rental dealers passing off private cars as rentals at a cheaper rate.
"People think that because they do not have to pay a bond and get low rate per kilometre it justifies renting private vehicles.
"What they need to consider is that these types of transactions are illegal and in the event of an accident they will not be covered by insurance. By hiring private cars as rentals, people are not only engaging in an illegal activity, they are also putting their lives and the lives of family members and friends at risk."
The LTA has focused on scams involving private vehicles being hired out as legitimate rentals after a former Fiji resident booked a vehicle over the internet and reported the company last week after discovering the car was a private vehicle and not roadworthy.
Former Lautoka and Fiji soccer representative Kelemedi 'Cheetah' Vosuga lodged a formal complaint with the LTA in Lautoka after several unsuccessful attempts to return the defective vehicle and obtain a refund.