Renting a car or other type of vehicle in the United Kingdom follows many of the same rules of renting a vehicle in the United States
or any other country. These rules cover areas such as the rental process and what happens in case of an accident. American drivers renting in the UK should make sure they know the rules before signing their rental agreement.
Car rental agencies in the UK place limits on the ages of all drivers renting a vehicle in their country. The driver must be at least 25 years old or older and younger than the age of 65. However some companies may be willing to rent a vehicle to someone who falls outside of that range, particularly independent rental car companies that aren't affiliated with a larger chain.
Anyone who rents a car in the UK is responsible for the vehicle and any damages. This is similar to how the process works in the United States -- a driver must sign a waiver in order to rent a car. The waiver states that the driver is responsible for the car while it's in his or her possession. The car rental agencies offer their own form of insurance for renters, with the price based on the length of the rental. American drivers should check with their own auto insurance company to determine if their policy covers damages on rental cars in the UK.
Proof of Identification
The UK also requires that those renting a car show the proper form of ID. If the person isn't from the UK, they need a valid driver's license and passport from the country of their residence. They also require that all drivers use a credit card to hold the car and protect against any damages and most rental car agencies don't accept debit cards.
In the UK, the government imposes a 17 percent tax on all rental vehicles. This tax is non-refundable and applies to any type of rental vehicle, including cars, trucks and vans. It's in addition to any fees charged by the company or area.
Rates in the UK are set by the individual rental car agencies. Like rates in the United States, they offer discounts based on the length of the rental and the days of the rental. For example, renting on the weekends is typically more expensive than renting during the week. Renting a vehicle for one week or longer will gain the customer a discounted per-day rate.
Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.