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London Car Hire: An Overview

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Oftentimes, hiring a car would mean standing in long queues, only to find out that the car you have reserved is no longer available and the price quoted on the phone is not inclusive of other charges like refueling fees, London rental insurance, coverage for more than one driver, etc.

There’s no assurance that you’ll always have a pleasant experience when renting a car in London. However, you can lessen the issues encountered at the rental counter by knowing your rights and following useful tips.

Many countries accept valid state driver’s license using another type of photo ID. Some countries may need an International Driver’s Permit (can be obtained in AAA offices) as well. Hiring a car may depend on the duration of the rent.

If you have a personal car insurance policy, it may have some restrictions or limitations when driving in London. Make sure to check your coverage, as well as terms with your credit card policy prior to renting a car in London.

Car reservation in London

If you reserved a car and the car rental company doesn’t have that specific car you reserved, it’s the company’s responsibility to provide you an alternative car from its fleet. If the available car costs more, then you shouldn’t pay the higher rate. If there are no other options available, you can choose to rent from another company or take a cab and have the first rental company pay for the reimbursements.

london car trip

Almost all car rental companies slap penalties for specialty car rentals (minivans, convertibles, four-wheel drives, etc.) due to failure in canceling a reservation in advance or for no-shows. Some companies are implementing these policies with their regular car hires.

Car hire requirements in London

Rental car companies may refuse rent to certain group of individuals. These are the top three most common groups that may encounter issues when hiring a car:

People with no debit or credit cards. Almost all car rental companies require that their clients have major debit or credit cards to guarantee their deposits at the time of rental. If you don’t have any of these cards, you can pay the rental car company first through your travel agency using a prepaid voucher and submitting the prepaid voucher at the rental counter. However, even if you have a voucher, most rental car companies still require your debit or credit card as a deposit before renting the car.

Age-restricted drivers. Major rental car companies will not rent cars to drivers under age of 21 and sometimes 25.

People with bad driving history. In the recent years, many of the car rental companies screen drivers whenever they rent in popular vacation spots by doing a background check on their driving records. Rental companies will refuse to rent if you have records of grave offenses such as DUI violations.

Car rental rates

Generally, car hire companies charge rental rates per day of use. The rental rate may include unlimited mileage or you’ll be charged per mile driven. There are companies that offer reduced rates for week-long or weekend rentals. Members of recognized organization like the American Automobile Association can also get discounted rates.

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