Hiring a car in the UK –frequently asked questions.

Know before you go! Image courtesy of Kaboompics .com from Pexels

The wealth of historic castles, majestic manors, gripping natural location and beaches plus a pulsating art and music scene is bound to greet you wherever your travels around the United Kingdom lead. Road trips are an increasingly popular way to tour the beautiful countries of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Foreign nationals favour road tips for their authentic, unhurried view of Britain. Local or newcomer, these car hire tips will help simplify the process of car hires.

The basics

Different car hire firms have different hire policies so don’t assume they all operate in a like manner. Research what type of model would suit your car hire purposes, be it long distance travels or out-of-town business meeting. Keep an eye out for the gas-guzzling engine models. Book your car hire in advance as many lenders offer an early bird discount. Finally, don’t place your trust in one car hire firm. Shop around for more competitive rates.

What paperwork is required to hire a car?

  • A legal driver’s license
  • A valid ID/ Passport
  • Proof of address (Printouts of online statements all car hire firms will ask for this)

Non-EU Drivers

  • An international driving license
  • Passport
  • Proof of return travel and address of residence (again, some firms will not require this information)

What is the rental car age limit?

Age limit will vary from firm to firm. One firm may rent out a car to a young driver of 17 while another may set the age limit to 21 and over. Generally, the additional rental fees for young drivers could cost an eye-watering £ 40 or more per day.

Is an excess deposit mandatory?

All firms ask for a deposit. The deposit amount will vary from firm to firm and refunded when the rental car arrives in the same condition it left.

Will I need insurance to rent a car?

Again this will depend on the car hire firm. Most companies offer Collision Damage Waiver that’s attached in the overall car hire. The excess added on a Damage Waiver is the sum you will be liable to pay in the event of theft or accidental damage to the vehicle. Per vehicle, the excess cost ranges between £500 and £2,000.  Car hire firms provide additional protection like breakdown covers, at a price. Some firms may employ hard-sell tactic promoting waivers at the initial booking and again when you come to pick up the rental vehicle. Don’t be pressurised into purchasing a pricey, inferior waiver.

What is the fuel policy available on my car hire?

Depending on your car hire firm and the fuel policies presented, you will be given one of the below:

Full to full fuel policy
Your vehicle is offered with a full or half full tank of gas. Replace the fuel consumed during your travels and the fuel cost will not be included in your car hire costs.

The car hire company will rent out the vehicle with a full tank. You are expected to finish all the fuel as the firm will not offer refunds o unused fuel. The cost isn added to your car hire bill.

Pre-Purchase (Part refunds)
You will pay for the fuel in the tank plus a non-refundable charge that covers the car hire firms refuelling costs. Plans for unutilized fuel are provided.

Free Tank
A full tank is presented when you pick the car up. The cost is added to the rental fee.

Don’t part with a penny for mileage costs as mileage is free.

Will there be additional costs my rental 
will  carry?   

Unless you are paying for late returns, damage traffic violations, fines, or additional costs for hiring from the airport, your car hire should be free of hidden charges. Go over the charges section of your rental agreement and question your car lender if the details remain puzzling.

Will I be charged more if I return the car late?

An hourly charge is applicable. Some firms offer a grace period, however, the grace period, and the hourly cost will depend on your car rental company.

Can I add another driver to my car hire?

An additional driver may can be included provided the other driver :

  • meets the requirements of the lender
  • is in possession of a valid driver’s license and a credit card
  • appears alongside the primary rental when picking up the vehicle

Again, the requirements may vary from company to company, and an additional daily fee is added to your rental price.