Car hire checklist

If you’ve not done it before, hiring a car can be quite daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this car hire checklist to help you know what information you need when hiring your vehicle. We’ll also highlight what you need to do before your bring the car back. 

Pre car hire checklist 

There are a few things you need to do before you book yourself in to a hire car. 

Do your homework

Before you confirm your booking, you need to do your homework. Car hire companies vary massively in price and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Shop around, visit different sites and find different quotes for your journey. 

At Meashams Self Drive, we offer the lowest prices in the area. If you happen to find a cheaper deal, we’ll match it. 

Have your personal information to hand

Car hire companies are going to ask you for a lot of information. We need to make sure you’re allowed to drive our vehicles and we need to get you insured. If you can have all the documentation together before you get in touch, the car hiring process will be much easier. 

Typically, a car hire company will ask for:

  • Your age – certain vehicles have age limits on them, and you usually have to be over 25 to be able to hire a car
  • Your driving licence – naturally, we need to have proof you’re allowed to drive
  • Your identification – we ask for three forms of ID to make sure we’re hiring to the right person. Things like your photo driving licence, utility bill, passport, or national insurance number are perfect

laptop, papers and car keys creating a car hire checklist

Make sure you’ve got the deposit 

All car hire companies take a deposit. What that price is will vary with your age, occupation and licence endorsements. 

Typically, you can expect to pay a deposit of £200 for cars and vans, and £500 for trucks and minibuses. You’ll of course get that back when you return the vehicle in the same condition you received it in. 

Review the insurance, breakdown and accidents policy

You’re not expecting the worst to happen, but it’s handy to be informed just in case it does. Make sure you understand what’s covered by your hire insurance and breakdown cover, what the excesses could be, and what you need to do if an accident does occur. 

You can find out all this information for Meashams Self Drive on our FAQ page. We can also talk you through it if you’d like to give us a call on 0208 578 6858

Book early 

Some car hire companies charge more for last minute bookings. When you know you’ve got to travel, get the hire confirmed as soon as possible and you could save. 

Collecting your car

When you come to collect your car, make sure you note down anything you notice about the vehicle that is not 100% perfect. It should all be written down in your hire paperwork, but checking before you drive away can save you any conflict later down the line. 

car dash board

Take dated pictures of:

  • Scratches or dents
  • The windshield wipers and sprayers
  • Tyre pressure
  • Fuel level  

Post car hire checklist 

To make returning your car simple and to ensure you get your full deposit back, make sure you follow the steps in our post car hire checklist. 

Fuel up 

You’ll have driven your car away with a full tank, and all car hire companies expect a full tank when it’s returned. Of course, we do allow for the drive from the petrol station to the return point!

If you don’t return the vehicle with a full tank, you’ll have to pay a refuelling charge.

Basic car checks 

Make sure that the water levels, oil levels and tyre pressure are as they should be before you return the vehicle.  

Take more pictures 

When you drop the car off, take the same pictures you did when you picked the vehicle up. That way you can match the two and be sure you’ll get your full deposit back. 

woman driving a car

Get back in time 

Vehicle hires are charged per 24 hours. That means if you’re over on your return time by just half an hour, you could have to pay for a full day. If you hit traffic, make sure you let us know early and we’ll see what we can do. 

Hand the keys over 

If you can, hand the keys over to a representative. They can help you check over the car and fill out your return paperwork. Out of hours return options are usually available, but it’s best to speak to one of the team if possible.  

Deposit return 

Depending on the company you use will factor in how quickly you get your deposit back. It can often take up to 15 working days to see the money reappear in your account.  However, if 30 days go by and you still haven’t received your money, you’ll need to get in touch and find out what’s causing the delay. 

We hope that makes the hiring process a little clearer for you. If you have any questions about any part of your hire, don’t hesitate to get in touch. At Meashams Self Drive, we want to make your hire as straightforward and hassle-free as possible.