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Four tips for booking a hire car

Posted on by Whitgift Hire Team


Whether you’ve been through the process of booking a hire car before or not, it’s always worth refreshing yourself and ensuring you’re prepared. In fact, many of the tips we’re about to share with you are applicable for any vehicle you hire, be it a light commercial vehicle or a lorry; the rules apply across the board.


You should treat your decision to hire a vehicle much in the same way you approach any other important purchase. Take a look at our carefully chosen advice below and be sure to do the following for your booking.

Choose the right hire company

The first thing to establish is whether a particular hire company is right for you. While shopping around for the best price is part and parcel of that process, you need to look a lot deeper if you want to find a company who is trustworthy and can offer you the services you need.

You can find out who is a reputable company by taking a look at reviews, testimonials or recommendations. In addition to this you can look for any relevant memberships, such as the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association), indicating that a company is held to standards and has the approval of an official organisation.

Choose the right vehicle

Once you’ve found the company you trust, it’s time to find out whether they have the right vehicle for you. As we touched upon earlier, you might think you want a simple hire car – and for many people this is the right option – but if you know you’ll be transporting anything, be it household items, items for your work or even bikes for a holiday, you might want to consider something else.

Don’t simply rush in and pick the first vehicle you see, go in with a set of requirements in terms of size and load capacity. This will ensure you don’t find yourself stuck with a useless vehicle further down the line. A professional hire company will be happy to discuss your needs and recommend the best vehicle for you.

You should also bear in mind that no two vehicles are the same; what you drive at home is different and may have different features. Check a vehicle has the correct features if there is something particular you want for your journey.

Collecting the vehicle

When it comes to collecting the vehicle, the first thing you should check is whether you can actually make it to that location. Picking up the vehicle might sound simple, but you’ll need to plan getting there – especially important if you’re switching from your vehicle to a hired one. Consider too whether the hire location is open if you’re planning to visit at a time when normal businesses don’t operate, such as Sundays, bank holidays and late at night.

There are additional factors to think about in regards to a vehicle’s collection, such as whether you are able to check to vehicle over for damage before taking it away, as well as whether it has wipers, lights and a spare wheel.

Returning the vehicle

Once you’ve established the above, you will also need to consider the return of the vehicle to the hire company. Once again, their opening times will dictate time for handing the keys back, but you should also find out whether you need to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel.

Some companies have multiple locations, allowing you to drop the vehicle back at a different site, so check your own plans and find out where the vehicle will need to be taken back to.


Here at Whitgift Hire we have cars and light commercial vehicles available for hire, with our Croydon branch open seven days a week (including bank holidays). To discuss your personal requirements, simply get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to help answer your questions.

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