Do you want to rent a car in the United Kingdom? For example: to go away for a week, a weekend at the beach, a short vacation or to visit friends or family? There are some important issues you should consider. The following tips will help you when rent a car, pick it up and return in.
Before you rent a car
Are you thinking about renting a car? Which requirement should the car meet? How much does renting a car cost? The following issues are to be considered when booking a rental car.
Booking websites to rent a car
There a several good websites where you can compare car renting companies and their prices. For example Rentalcars.com, Cars Scanner and Kayak.com. These websites will help you to rent the perfect car for your situation.
Do note, however, that the photos on the websites generally reflect a certain class of the car. The actual car might differ from this photo. Do you have special requests? Like for example a car seat for your child or a navigation system? These are things to indicate during the booking process, to prevent that the requests are no longer available when you rent the car.
Number of drivers
Another important issue to consider, is the number of drivers. When you plan to have more than one driver to drive the rental, this needs to be indicated during the booking process. Most of the times this is allowed, but only when indicated in advance. You need to submit all the details of the driver(s) to include in the renting contract. The reason is that the car may not be insured (completely) when accidents happen while another driver than indicated in the contract was behind the wheel.
Requirements for driver(s)
Check carefully the requirements for driving the car. Some car rentals have a minimum age for drivers. Of course you need a driver licence to rent a car. Some car rentals require a certain period of time that the driver has a driver’s licence. Or in other words: the driver needs a certain amount of years of driving experience to be allowed to rent a car.
Renting a car and insurances
A car insurance is mostly obligated when renting a car. The price of the insurance is not always included in the listed renting price of the car. Also, the client is obligated to take the insurance proposed by the rental company. Therefor it is recommended to check the insurance policies of the rental agency. There is often a choice in insurances.
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When and how should I pay to rent a car?
Each car rental has its own payment policies. Some require you to pay a part when reserving a car, others ask you to pay to total amount when picking up the car or returning the car. Sometimes you can pay in cash. Other companies require credit card payments. You can check this in advance to prevent unnecessary surprises when picking up the car.
The deposit for renting a car
As far as I now, every car rental agency requires a deposit. Sometimes this deposit is met when leaving your credit card data, allowing the rental company to withhold the deposit from your credit card. Other rental companies require you to pay the deposit. They will pay back the deposit when the car has been returned properly.
Check carefully the amount of the deposit and the related requirements. Also, when returning the car, remember to receive the deposit back and a proof of returning the car properly. This proof can be a signed certificate that the car was returned properly without any neglects or damages. This signed proof or certificate guarantees you that the car rental company cannot demand a payment due to (unknown) damages after returning the car.
What are the terms and conditions?
Every car rental has terms and conditions. These are mostly available online. Read these conditions before renting the car. This allows you to be informed about your obligations and the obligations of the car rental agency.
These terms and conditions tell you, for example, whether you’re allowed to go abroad with the car, how to return the car, how the deposit is arranged, etc.
When you pick up the car
Take all the required papers with you.
All drivers are often required to show multiple identification documents when renting a car. For example: the driver’s licence of each driver and an official identity card. Or an official document of your name and address, as for example a bank statement. These requirements are mentioned in the official terms and conditions on the website of the car rental company.
Check the car
It is important to check the car thoroughly before driving it. Do you see any damages, like scratches or bumps? Most car rentals have an employee checking the car. Accompany this person and make sure he or she writes down every little issue.
I also advice you to take photos with you phone of each damage written down and of each side of the car. When doing this, you ensure that every little thing is written down and you and the car rental agree on the damages. This prevents any surprise damages or a conflict on damages after returning the car.
Do realize that you have to pay for very damage that appears when returning the car of these damages were not noticed when picking up the car.
Write down the emergency number
When something happens to the car, you need to inform the rental company. Make sure you have their contact data, like a phone number.
During the rental period
When something happens during the rental period
Did something happen to the car during the rental period, like a damage or something broke? Make sure to inform the rental company as soon as possible to discuss what to do.
What should I do when I cannot return the car in time?
I advice you to contact your rental agency well in advance to inform them about the late return and if extra costs are involved.
When returning the car
Is there sufficient fuel in the car?
Make sure to pass the gas station and fill up the car as required. This means: as agreed in the contract. Some companies require you to return the car with a full tank. If you don’t return the car with enough fuel in the tank, the rental company will have to fill up the car. This might cost more than doing it yourself.
Is there damage to the car?
When returning the car, check with the rental company for any damages. When detecting any or no damages to the car, have this clearly written down in the contact. This prevents unexpected costs of damages you did you cause.
Is the invoice correct?
In most cases you paid a deposit before renting the car. Has this deposit been returned? Or has the total payment been reduced by the deposit? Make sure the final calculation is correct.
Enjoy the ride!