on Car hire
(or Van / Motorhome /Minibus
Before you leave home -
Ensure that you are
carrying both your picture and paper driving licence
(the paper licence shows any endorsements you may have)
and your passport (if visiting another country) and travel
tickets and car hire paperwork.
you collect the car:
it might be dark and raining.....
the vehicle for damage
the spare tyre
Most car rental locations require a credit card
car rental locations will not accept debit or
Switch, Maestro cards or similar they must be a credit
card. It is worth checking in advance if they accept
American Express or Diners Club
must have held a valid driving licence for one year
UK licence holders should note that from June 8, 2015
Paper counter part licences will no longer be valid
so they might need updated info from the DVLCMore
car rental companies insist that you have held a full
driving licence for one year and also must be over 25.
Check in advance as it could mean when you reach the
car hire desk, they will not let you rent a car.
Driving Permits (IDP) This
was established by the 1949 Geneva Convention - Some
countries insist the driver has one if you are driving
in countries outside the European Union (EU) or European
Economic Area (EEA). It will be written in ten languages.
The IPD will be required in Argentina, Brazil, Burkina
Faso,Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Iraq Japan, Kenya,
Kuwait, Senegal, Somalia and South Africa. It
is advisable to check with the car hire company when
you make your booking.
ask what is included in the rates quoted
Never initial or sign an agreement without asking about
not over insure. If you have travel insurance you do
not need personal effects or personal accident insurance
or Pre-reserve your car rental
to book child seats or a roof rack in advance, particularrly
in peak holiday times,
it can be a lot cheaper to actually
bring your own child seats, even taking into account costs
the journey in advance - Some car rental companies provide
maps, some will rent you a sat-nav system
from agents within your own country in case you need refunds
you pick-up your vehicle determine where the drop off
point is for your return
if the return area has an attendant. If not, who do
you return the car to?
you leave the vehicle without check-in, examine it for
damage and photograph it from every angle.
Vehicle Condition Report (VCR) - Check your vehicle
carefully for signs of damage before driving away. This
can be difficult some times if you are in a hurry, it
is dark, it is raining, or very very hot and you are in
a hurry and have been waiting for the car to be prepared
and if it has just been washed and is not dry- however
it is very important.
If they have identified certain areas of damage on the
plan of the car and not all of them, return to the hire
desk and get the additional damage signed off.
any damaged areas when you collect the car/van/campervan.
Sometimes these are very small. This of course is difficult
to do in bad weather conditions or at night.
Examples of damage to look out for below:-
Small scratches on door handle and
dent on edge of door
Right: Scratches and blemishes on
Left: Bad scatch on door
Black scratches above tyre
Left:Damage to rental van found on
Missing section of bumper on rental
above two illustration of damage on a rental van have
been entered on the collection report for this van hire
from a major UK van hire company. It is very important
to check the vehicle at collection as you might often
find with vans the vehicle is parked close to another
rental van and there is not a great deal of room to inspect
car hire report at Dublin Airport - May 2015
collection the people hiring were told there was a scratch
on the right hand wing. Before removing the car from the
hire company's premises a further check was carried out
by the customers.
check quickly found the absence of the near side front
hub cap and another scratch at the rear. The Damage
report form was then taken back into the office for
was not discovered then was a mark below the boot catch
on this Renault Clio. So you really need to check everything
and of course if it is wet and dark the job is even
Check the rental agreement:
The rental agreement will normally include a section
for the hire company to record the damage that has been
identified. Let the car hire company know if damage
has not been recorded before you drive away, even if
you are anxious to get going. If you have identified
damage let them know.
Know your speed limits
- these vary from country to country.
Speed / Radar cameras certainly apply
to rental cars as well! The rental company will
be notified and the renter contacted by the authorities.
Speed traffic camera information is now being sent from
one country to another. e.g. someone caught speeding
with a French registered car in Italy will find that
the fine will be reported to the French authorities
if it is not paid.
in the car
You should check that there is a
full tank of fuel (Petrol / Diesel) and normally you should
return it full. Car hire companies will often charge an
administration charge to fill it up plus the price of
the fuel that might be higher than at the pump. Some companies
have even put stickers on the speedo stating to return
it empty. Take extra care here.
Make sure you fill the car with the correct fuel, most
car hire companies issue a warning either with the car
keys like the one above or
on the outside or inside of the fuel tank cap saying "Diesel"
or a green sticker for unleaded.
cut price car hire companies based in Cyprus, Spain
and Portugal are now offering cars with a full tank
of fuel which you must
pay for at their rate and
then you return it empty. There are a couple of problems
with this. First of all you must pay the amount they
are charging for fuel and this could be lower in the
open market and secondly if you are only hiring the
car for a couple of days you might not use up your full
tank of fuel you had to buy so you return it with a
lot of fuel in it, but cannot get money back on it.
In Portugal some are now using the "On all rentals
of six days and over the fuel policy is collect
full - return empty process so look at the
wordings before you book that car hire. CHECK
THE CAR HIRE COMPANY's FUEL POLICY BEFORE YOU BOOK.
also Make sure you check the fuel guage on
the car that you hire - April 2013
yourself with the vehicle - Make sure you know where
the controls for essential instruments such as headlights,
hazzard warning lights and the horn are located. Adjust
your seat and wing mirrors accordingly.
border travel: Check
with the Hire company if you can take the car out of
the country you are renting in.e.g. Going from France
into Italy or if renting in Ireland can you take the
car into Northern Ireland or into the Republic of Ireland.
You will probably have to pay for crossing the border
in Ireland, but some companies
do not make you pay an additional charge and
you should usually be able to find out at the time of
When dropping of the car make
sure you remove or personal belongings and have it checked
in and signed off.
majority of vehicle hire companies class snow chains
and winter tyres as optional extras on winter holiday
above information has been supplied by a third party and
jml Property Services (insurance4carrental.com /
jml Property Insurance.co.uk / jml insurance.co.uk) takes
no responsibilty for it's accuracy - September 2009
wear and Tear
following information is provided by a major UK Car hire
It should not be relied on for accuracy as other companies
would have different definitions. When you go to collect
the car you might want to find out the individual company's
Uk Company say that they do not regard the items listed
below as damage, but "fair wear and tear" therefore
it is not required to be recorded
Boddy, Bumper and Rubbing Strips
and surface scratches of less than 25mm that do not
penetrate the top coating and can be readily polished
out (such scratches cannot be felt with a finger nail
and will not be visible if water is rubbed across)
chips of up to 2mm without a dent
Glass and Lamp lenses
that can be readily removed
chips not exceeding 2mm in diamater
wheels, Trims and Tryres
and surface scratches that do not penetrate the top surface
and can be readily polished out. (Such scatches cannot
be felt with a finger nail and will not be visible if
water is rubbed accross)
tyre wear appropriate to the mileage of the vehicle
and luggage area
to trims, seats and carpets that can be readily cleaned
or polished off
Before you book -Pay
close attention to what is and isn't included in the reservation
fee. For example, some rental companies charge extra if
you can't return the vehicle to the same rental branch,
are leaving the country or are under or over a certain
sure you read and understand the terms and conditions
of your contract with the rental company. Ask for a copy
prior to your rental, so that you have plenty of time
to read it through.
Check if there are any exclusions to your loss/damage
waiver insurance. For example, in most cases windscreens,
tyres, roof damage and undercarriage damage are not covered.
The BVRLA has a guide to damage protection programmes
and insurance available by clicking on the image below
Fuel - Your
car rental quote will not include fuel. Most companies
will give you the option of buying a tank of fuel from
them and returning the car empty or returning it with
a full tank. Remember what you agreed to, otherwise you
could end up gifting the rental company a free tank of
fuel or paying an extra charge to have the tank re-filled.
Going abroad -Make
sure that you tell the rental company if you are planning
to take the vehicle abroad and that you familiarise yourself
with the driving regulations at your destination. You
may also need to take additional documentation, such as
The collection -
Do a thorough inspection, inside and out, walking all
the way around the vehicle. Note every single chip, dent
and scratch. Pay particular attention to the wheels, windscreen
and lights, which are common damage areas. Before you
drive the hire vehicle away, familiarise yourself with
all of its controls - lights, windscreen wipers etc.
The return -
Allow plenty of time, particularly at busy rental sites
such as airports. Try and return the vehicle during the
rental site's operating hours so that someone can check
it over with you. Otherwise you will be liable for any
damage that occurs between you returning it and them inspecting
Additional charges -
Rental companies will try to outline the full cost of
your rental when you make your booking. If you do receive
any additional charge upon your return, make sure it comes
with an explanation and some supporting documentation.
Road traffic offences -If
you commit a road traffic offence or fail to pay toll
or congestion charges, the rental company will chase you
for payment. You will also be liable for an administrative
fee on top of the cost of the fine.
How to complain -
If you have an unresolved dispute
with a rental company that belongs to the BVRLA, you can
get it referred to theBVRLA conciliation service here