Top Things to Know Before Renting a Car

    Renting a car for the first time can be a daunting thing. Whether you’re new to the road, or you’ve got thousands of miles on the clock, it’s worth getting acquainted with the rules and procedures associated with renting. This way, you’ll avoid unnecessary expense and stress.

    Who is allowed to rent?

    To rent a car in the UK, you’ll need to fulfill several criteria. You’ll need to be at least twenty-one, and have held your license for at least a year. If you’re younger than twenty-five, you might find that certain kinds of vehicles incur an extra surcharge. You can typically avoid these costs by looking for a car that’s less powerful.

    Some companies might also enforce maximum age limits. Older drivers looking to rent might therefore explore their options. It might be that you can get special dispensation.

    Of course, it’s also worth thinking about the restrictions imposed by your license. If you’re only qualified to drive an automatic, then you’ll be unable to rent and drive a manual.

    Getting the best deal

    The cost of renting can vary considerably. Getting the best deal is often a matter of shopping around, and choosing the right vehicle. Certain companies might run special promotions on certain kinds of vehicles, just to get those vehicles onto the road and earning an income.

    If you’re violating the law while entering into the rental agreement, then you could suffer legal and financial repercussions. So, check that you are licensed for the vehicle you’re driving. This might be a concern if you’re hiring a van.

    In most cases, it’s the power and size of the vehicle that will inform the price. A car which would be expensive to buy will typically be expensive to rent. Pick the option that reflects your needs, in terms of driving experience and luggage allowance.

    You’ll want to check for damage, both immediately after you pick the car up, and immediately before you drop it off. Take photos of any imperfections, and flag them. That way, you won’t be charged for dents that you did not inflict.

    Finally, don’t pre-pay for any fuel. It’s almost always cheaper to fill up yourself.


    If you lack your own insurance, you can ask the rental company to sort it for you. You’ll usually get a better deal by shopping for your own temporary car insurance, however.

    Alternatively, you might find that certain kinds of credit card will provide their own built-in coverage. This will typically cover all of things covered by a comprehensive insurance policy. What it won’t cover is personal injury and damage to contents. Read the policy before you start driving – that way, you’ll avoid nasty surprises.

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