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A Guide to the Car Hire Process in the United Kingdom

Rental cars ready to be rented at the car rental office in the UK

Picking Up Your Hire Car

Arriving at the car rental depot

Take note of the time specified on your booking confirmation. This is when you will need to arrive at the depot to collect your hire car. Take your driving licence with you, and any other relevant documents. If you are not a UK resident, you may need to bring extra documentation. Always check the details on your booking confirmation before you arrive at the depot. Here is a list of supporting documents that you may be required to show:
  • A valid driving licence showing the renter's home address
  • A passport or national identity card (if an EU resident)
  • Bank statement and/or utility bill showing home address
  • A credit card in the name of the lead driver
  • Travel documents showing arrival / departure information from the UK (if visiting from outside of the EU)
Checking the details of your rental agreement

It is important to carefully check the terms and conditions of your rental and ask questions if there is anything you do not understand. Your rental agreement will contain important details about your rental car and show the excess amount of the vehicle. You will be offered excess reduction products at the counter to reduce your financial liability. 
  • If you have already purchased insurance, you may not require the excess reduction products sold at the counter. Always check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy to find out what is covered. 
  • You will need to let the car rental company know if you need to add an additional driver to your rental agreement. 
Check the vehicle for damage

Before you leave the depot, make sure you check your rental car for any damage not listed on the report. It is a good idea to take some photos if you find any additional damage. You should also report any damage so that it can be added to the report.

Returning Your Hire Car

Make sure you have a full tank of fuel

To avoid any additional charges, make sure you have filled the car with fuel before you return it to the depot. You will not be required to do this if you have pre-purchased fuel. Find a petrol station close to your depot and allow plenty of time to get there. 
  • If the tank is not full when you return the car, you will be charged at a higher rate for the cost of re-filling. 
Pay all outstanding charges

You will be charged for any extra damage caused to the rental car. You may also have to pay if you have exceeded the mileage limit, or if you have returned the car without a full tank of fuel.

Before you leave the depot, make sure you have taken all of your belongings with you from the car.