Motoring Guide - Car Rental
Most people at some time in their lives will rent a car or van. To rent a vehicle in the U.K there are certain
rules that have to be adhered to; for instance if you are under the age of 23 you may find it difficult finding
a company that will let you rent. Some car rental companies may have further stipulations; you may not be able
to rent a car under the age of 23 and have held a full, clean licence for at least one year.
When choosing a company to rent from it is worth spending some time exploring the different deals on offer,
checking the insurance they provide and of course the cost.
Ways to book
Nowadays there are several methods available to book a car rental. You can either make an on-line booking, over
the telephone or even call into the office in person. It is wise to book early as at certain times like holiday
periods you may be left disappointed with no car available. If you do choose to make a booking on-line, do read
the terms and conditions of the contract carefully; when making a booking in the office you will usually be asked
to read the contract before you sign.
When you make a booking you will need to ensure:
- You are over the required age limit
- have held a full, clean driving licence for at least a year
- have your own credit card
- advise dates and times of travel
- select your car rental location
- select the car group required
The availability for your car will then be checked and you'll be provided with a car rental quote. This will
include basic insurance and VAT.
From the quote, you can choose whether or not to confirm the booking. If you decide to confirm, you will be
asked to provide your personal details. Your booking is then complete.
Amending/cancelling your booking
Once you have made a booking online, in-store or over the phone you will be sent a confirmation email showing
your reservation number or given one over the phone. If you need to amend your booking, select Change or cancel a
booking in the Online Booking section. Make sure you have your reservation number handy.
Collecting your car
- You will be asked to present your driving licence and credit card. Further identification, such as a passport, may also be required.
- Your rental price will include basic insurance. You will be asked if you require any additional
insurance cover. Please refer to the Insurance section in the Guide to Renting for details.
- The car will be provided with a full tank of fuel and must be returned full; otherwise a
refuelling charge will apply. To save time on your return, ask about a Pre-Paid Fuel option.
- You will be given a Rental Agreement to check and sign. This will show any additional services and
insurance you have asked for along with the relevant costs.
- You will be asked to check the car for any damage and sign to confirm this. This helps us to assess
whether any damage occurs during your rental.
- You will then be given the keys together with a copy of the Rental Agreement - and you're ready to hit he road!
Special equipment, such as child seats, may be available at a small charge. Please arrange in advance with your
car rental location.
Do you have adequate cover?
When you book a rental car in the UK, the price you are quoted includes, by law, the basic insurance needed
should you be involved in an accident. This includes Legal Liability, Third Party and Public Liability insurance.
In addition, most rental rates will also include Theft Protection and Collision Damage Waiver. You can check what
insurance is included in your rental price at the time of booking or when you reach the rental location.
You can then decide whether to purchase additional insurance, for example, personal accident insurance, to
enhance your cover, or save money with a comprehensive package. You then simply initial beside the required
insurance on the Rental Agreement - and you're covered!
Free 24 hour roadside assistance
As an added extra, some car rental companies include 24 hour Roadside Assistance free of charge in your rental
price. In case of emergency, breakdown or accident involving your car you can call a free-phone number.
The rental vehicle is normally only insured for the person who makes the rental. If others plan to drive the car,
they must be added to the Rental Agreement when the car is picked up, subject to presenting a full driver's
licence, which has, been held for at least one year. There will be a charge of around £20 to cover each additional
driver for the duration of the rental, unless you take a package that includes one additional driver free.
Airport and city surcharges
If you are renting your car from an airport or city location, you may be charged an additional amount. Details
are available at the time of reservation or by calling the rental office.
All rental cars are supplied with a full tank of fuel and should be refuelled prior to return to the office;
otherwise refuelling charges will apply. Alternatively, you may purchase your fuel in advance. Please ask at
the rental desk for details of the Pre-Paid Fuel Option.
If you are planning to return the car to a different rental location, you must let the rental company know in
advance. A one-way fee may apply. Please check with your rental location.
At some locations, it may be possible to pick-up or return your car outside of the opening hours. Charges may
apply. Please check with your rental location.
Road Fund Licence (RFL)
This is a compulsory tax to pay for road network maintenance and is charged at an additional cost of 95 pence,
plus VAT, per day.
Young driver surcharge
Drivers must be aged 23 or over to rent in the UK and have held a full, clean driving licence for at least a
year. Drivers under 25 will be subject to a Young Driver Surcharge of £10 per day up to a maximum of 10 days.
Returning your car
When returning your rental car, take your keys to the desk and have your completed rental documents handy.
Check with your location in advance if you need to return your car outside office hours.
The rental vehicle must be returned at the agreed time. Prices are calculated on a 24-hour basis, so late
returns may incur additional daily rental charges.
The majority of rental rates offer free unlimited mileage. However, some rates will include a limit of free
mileage and charge for any additional mileage made thereafter. You can check this at the rental location.
Your rental car will be inspected upon return and assessed against the condition of the vehicle at time of
rental. If any damage has been incurred during rental you will be liable to pay excess, depending on the level
of Collision Damage Waiver purchased beforehand.
Payment will be made, including any additional services and charges incurred, subject to a final audit, and a
remittance advice will be issued. Payment can be made using an accepted credit card. Check with your
location in advance should you prefer to pay by cash or cheque.
Guard against theft
Always lock the vehicle when leaving it unattended and don't leave valuables or belongings on display. If you
do experience theft, report it to the Police and obtain a crime reference number or Police Report.
If you have an accident
- Dial 999 to call the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service.
- Do not admit fault. Do not give money to anyone.
- Obtain vehicle and insurance details of any other party involved.
- Do not attempt to drive your car unless you believe it is safe to do so.
- Go to your nearest location and we will be assisted to fill in an Incident Report Form.
When renting a car in the U.K ensure that you read the hire agreement carefully and that you fully understand the
terms in the agreement. Be clear who is allowed to drive the car, and who isnít. Make sure that the car is
returned in the condition that it was hired in, and at the correct time. Failure to meet with these regulations
may mean a large fine. Do shop around and see what the different rental companies have to offer, as prices can
There are hundreds of companies that offer car rental, but before you choose which one to rent from
ensure that you get at least three or more quotations.
Websites to explore include: