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Tips for Renting a Car in the United Kingdom
Car rental age restrictions in the United Kingdom can vary. In most cases a minimus age of 21 is required. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. Some suppliers impose maximum age limits to rentals generally, or to rentals of some models of cars.
You will find exact requirements for the car of your choice under the Terms & Conditions (see Terms and Conditions | Driver's age).
The following documents are required in the United Kingdom upon pick up of the rental car:
- passport (or id card),
- valid driver's license,
- voucher, if the car is booked online,
- credit card in the name of the lead driver with a limit enough to cover the excess.
In order to rent a vehicle in the United Kingdom, you will be required to hold a full, unendorsed driving licence for at least 1 year prior to the start of your rental. Licences must be produced in person at the rental location on collection of the vehicle.
International Driving Permits (IDP) if required, must be accompanied by the original domestic licence of the driver. An International permit presented without the domestic licence, will not be accepted.
For information on insurance coverage of the rental vehicle of your choice refer to the Rental Terms & Conditions (see Terms and Conditions | Insurance coverage).
A security deposit is always pre-authorised on a lead driver's credit card upon pick up of the rental car in the United Kingdom. Make sure you have enough funds on your credit card to cover the amount of the insurance excess (deductable) of your rental vehicle.
Main credit cards - Visa, MasterCard, Eurocard, American Express and Diners Club - are accepted by most of the rental companies.
In the event that you fail to present a valid credit card, there is a lack of sufficient funds available on the credit card or the credit card is not in the lead driver's name, the car rental agent may refuse to release the vehicle. In these instances, no funds paid to car rental broker online will be reimbursed.
The vehicle displayed and models listed are the most common vehicles used by car rental companies. We cannot guarantee the make or model of the rental vehicle will be the same as the vehicle displayed on our website.
Most common fuel policy in the United Kingdom is 'full to full'. Your vehicle will be supplied with a full tank of fuel. To avoid incurring fuel charges you will need to return it full. You may be required to leave a fuel deposit reserved on your credit card, this will be released when you return the car full. Missing fuel will be charged on your return. The price per litre charged by the rental agent may be significantly higher than the price at the local service station.
Less attractive fuel policy is 'pre-purchase'. Your car is supplied with a full tank for which you will be charged at the rental desk. You can use as much fuel as you like and do not need to re-fill the tank before returning the car. Fuel charges are payable at the rental desk unless otherwise stated.
Very similar to the previous fuel policy is 'pre-purchase (partial refund)'. With this fuel policy, your car will be provided with a full tank of fuel. Some suppliers require you to leave a deposit at the service desk. In this case, your deposit is refunded upon return, minus the supplier’s fuel admin fee. For suppliers that do not require a deposit, the fuel cost is calculated when the car is returned. This cost is based on the amount of fuel used, and is added to the supplier’s fuel admin fee. The fuel admin fee ranges from a minimum of €25 to a maximum of €35. The admin fee is non-refundable regardless of the amount of fuel upon return. Fuel charges are payable at the rental desk unless otherwise stated.
Cross border travel restrictions when renting a car in the United Kingdom vary from company to company. Refer to the Rental Terms & Conditions (see Terms and Conditions | Country / State Cross Border Travel) of your rental vehicle, if you are planning to leave the country where the vehicle is to be picked up.
Your rental car may be returned in a different city or even in another country. You need to check the box 'Return to a different location' in order to get the results for such a search. One-way rentals usually cost extra and in most cases the search results already include one-way fees in the final price presented.
Children under 3 years of age may not travel in a car unless they are using a suitable child restraint. Children over 3 years old, less than 1.35m tall, and weighing less than 36kg must use a suitable child restraint when travelling in a car fitted with seat belts.
Refer to the Rental Terms & Conditions (see Terms and Conditions | Special Equipment / Optional Extras) of your rental vehicle for the rates of the necessary equipment.
Speed limits in United Kingdom are as follows:
- Urban areas - 30 mph,
- Rural areas - 60 mph,
- Dual Carriageways - 70 mph,
- Motorways - 70 mph.
There are a limited number of toll highways in the United Kingdom and all car users entering the city center of London are charged a congestion fee during week days.
Popular Destinations in the United Kingdom