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Picking Up a Rental Car in the United Kingdom

Guide to rental car pick up in the UK guide banner

With plenty of things to prepare as well as options and terms to learn before you pick up a rental car, we at VroomVroomVroom have put together a quick guide to help you better understand and navigate the process of picking up your hire car in the UK with ease.

Which documents do I need to bring?

Before picking up your vehicle hire, you will need to bring your identification documents with you. Below is a list of documents you must prepare:

  • Valid driving licence (and an International Driving Permit if necessary)
  • Credit card (in the name of the renter to cover the cost of the hire and deposits)
  • A third form of ID, such as a passport or utility bill.
  • Full driving licence and additional ID for any additional drivers.

For customers with UK Driving Licences issued in Great Britain, there are two important things you need to know:

  1. From June 8th 2015, the paper counterpart of the UK photo card driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by the DVLA.  This change applies to Great Britain only and not Northern Ireland.
  2. From June 8th 2015 when renting in the UK, Angola, Bahrain, Balearics, Botswana, Canaries, Croatia, Namibia, Oman, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden and Tunisia, all drivers with a UK licence (Great Britain) will need to provide evidence of any driving endorsements. This also applies if you have a paper licence that was issued before 1998.

Visit here on how you can get  your Licence Summary. Also read our guide to Paperless Driving Licences.

Read more about required documents.

Can I add an additional driver to my hire car?

Yes. Additional drivers are permitted, but only if the following criteria are met:

  • Additional drivers must meet all age requirements
  • Must appear at the hire counter with the primary driver/renter
  • Holds a valid driving licence

Note that an additional fee may apply for additional drivers. Fees vary by location per supplier so make sure to check at the time of rental.

Know more about additional driver surcharge by clicking here.

Can I Pay for my Car Hire with a Debit Card?

Yes. Other car rental companies accept debit cards. However, keep in mind that conditions may still apply. Customers may not be able to rent certain classes of vehicle with a debit card, and they may be subject to additional online identification checks.  

Some major suppliers require renters to present a valid credit card. Avis and Hertz do not accept Electron or Debit Cards. 

Click here to know more.

How much is the bond for rental cars in the UK?

Please note that the deposits vary between companies and vehicle types, however, you can expect to pay from £250 to £1000 or even more, which will be taken by credit or debit card at the time of rental. Remember the deposit is fully refundable upon safe and undamaged use of the car.

Learn more about security bond here.

Read here to help you navigate the car rental insurance process.  Also learn more about the roadside assistance protection.

Other Links:

 Important:

Read the fine print

When you arrive at the counter to pick up your car hire, make sure to prepare your driving licence, an International Driving Permit (if required) and your credit card . Make sure your credit card has enough credit available to pay for the security deposit. Before signing the rental agreement, read it thoroughly and ensure you understand it. Ask about the fees and double check the charges to avoid unpleasant surprises. Once your completely satisfied and everything's clear, sign the agreement and hand it back at the counter.  
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