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Top 5 Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Car Hire

Posted on by Whitgift Hire Team

If you’re not sure of your exact requirements, hiring a car can sometimes be a bewildering and confusing process. Below you will find the top 5 things you wanted to know about car hire but were too afraid to ask.

1)    Why is petrol more expensive from a car hire company?

Key to answering this question is a little perspective. Yes, the petrol you would get from a car hire is more expensive than your standard petrol from a standard filling station. However, when you deliver a car back to the company you hired it from they will no doubt have to re-fill it. If you factor in the staff costs for this process you can understand why they charge a little more for petrol. The best way to avoid this is to agree with the company that you will return the car with a full tank if possible.

2)    Why should I take out insurance with the car hire company?

It is true that you might be able to find a cheaper third party insurance as an alternative, but there are benefits when you stick to taking out insurance with the company themselves. For example, if you are involved in an accident you may have to pay costs upfront to the car hire company, you can usually claim this back but it’s a lengthy process leaving you without that money on a trip or holiday. With your car hire company you will be fully covered and never be out of pocket in an accident.

3)    How old do I need to be to rent a car in the UK?

Though in the UK you can get a full driver’s licence at the age of 17, it would be will be almost impossible to find a car hire company who would hire out to someone of that age. The usual age to get a hire car can be anything from 21 years of age and upwards, having held a clean licence for two or more years – but you will usually face additional charges as a young person under 25. Should you manage to get a car hire under the age of 25, you will be limited to certain bands of vehicles which are usually smaller and less expensive.

[Whitgift’s own policy requires the hirer to be over the age of 21, having held a licence for two or more years, or over 23, having held a licence for one year or more.]

4)    Why didn’t I get the exact car I asked for?

Often people see a picture of a car and expect that exact make, model and colour to be in front of them when they arrive to pick it up. While this is understandable, most companies do try to point out that this isn’t the car you’ll get, and that what you saw in a picture was most likely an example of the kind of car in that band. Most companies will group similar vehicles by size and power in bands, so despite not getting the exact car you’ll get something very similar. If you do have exact specifications then you should enquire with a company before you book.

5)    Can I still collect my car if I am late?

It’s not uncommon for people to turn up late, whether it was their fault or the fault of the airline, but car hire companies will work on a 24 hour contract basis. If you’re late to collect the car then you’re usage of the car may take you past your window and that will mean you incur additional fees. If you can collect late but still return within a window then you’ll be much better off.

Whitgift Hire
These are just a few handy insights into how car hire companies operate and why. If you’d like more information on hiring a car in the UK then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Whitgift Hire.

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