A long-awaited and desired vacation trip can hardly be associated with possible incidents and troubles. However, no one is safe from a car accident, whether you are driving along the usual route to work or driving a rented car along the unfamiliar streets of a tourist town.
When renting a car in the United Kingdom, travelers should consider several legal nuances. The law in force provides for compulsory Third Party Liability (TPL) policy for renters. Many companies already include this option in the hire charge. But nevertheless, drivers are always free to select another insurer. In some cases, if you own the vehicle and have insurance, it may also apply to the hired car.
Before accepting one or the other insurance option, carefully read the terms and conditions to avoid unexpected expenses and hidden fees. The European Consumer Centers Network could be a useful source to learn what is consumer rights during the rental period in the UK and get acquainted with the list of consumer rights. Read the info below to play it safe choosing the right rental company and appropriate insurance!
How To Protect Yourself From Unnecessary Expenses
To make a trip as smooth and hassle-free as possible, please check out the main road laws in the UK and driving licence requirements as well. Travelling with a family or group of friends, you are responsible for other passengers too. Therefore, the first thing to begin with is to find a reliable car hire company and choose a comfortable spacious vehicle. Rental24.co.uk offers a wide range of cars for hire in the UK from world-trust suppliers at affordable prices. Whether you want to hire a 9-seater in the UK or a budget compact car, you have to purchase at least TPL coverage. Ignorance of the law does not exempt drivers from liability, so knowledge of the road rules and their rights will help to avoid many troubles. Always pay attention to the clauses about your obligations regarding damage to the car. In some cases, neglecting the terms of the rental agreement can cost you a pretty penny.
What Are The Mandatory Insurance Clauses In The Rental Agreement
The car hire arrangement should include a clause stating payment of the rental fee while the car is being repaired and the possibility of a car replacement on a free basis. Please note if you do not purchase the damage waiver upon renting and the scratch on hire car (relate that to minor damages) is discovered upon return, the obligation to pay rests with you. For example, as a rule, any scratch two inches or longer is considered as damage. Smaller scratches may also be classified as damage if there are multiple.
The CDW guarantees that a customer will be exempt from full payment for body repairs in case of damage to the hired vehicle. However, the renter is still charged the deductible, or excess, which depends greatly on the car group and the rental period. The approximate amount starts from £500 but can increase six times. To avoid extra fees, then you need to purchase a more comprehensive insurance option that will save you all hassles.
What Insurance Lets You Avoid Excess Coverage
Is it possible to avoid deductible coverage? Agencies offer car hire accident excess insurance named Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) that allows to significantly minimise the amount of the deductible, or even avoid it altogether. The most complete coverage provided by specialists includes:
- windscreen breakdown charge coverage
- damaged tyres and underbody of the vehicle
- locking out or filling the car with the wrong fuel
- forced termination of the hire
In case of an accident, insurance purchased from a rental agency is a major benefit because a customer avoids the hassle of car hire accident claims. It significantly simplifies the procedure for legally registering the consequences of an accident. By purchasing the policy from a specialist insurer, you are obligated to pay the deductible for any damage to the agency with further claiming back on your insurance. While SCDW protects drivers from excess payment.
Your Step-By-Step Actions In Case Of An Accident
Read this complete blueprint for action in case of a disaster involving the hired vehicle:
- The first thing to do is to safely pull over to the side of the road (if possible) and assess your surroundings and other vehicles involved in the accident. Even if the crash is minor damage, you have to stop, otherwise it will be considered a violation of the Road Traffic Act.
- If there is an injured person, immediately inform the police on 999 and an ambulance. If no one requires emergency assistance, call 101 instead. You also must tell the police crew if the road event interferes with the normal movement of vehicles. Or there is a suspect that the accident was deliberately staged for a fraudulent insurance claim.
- You are required to provide the contact info even if you crash into something on the road or into a parked vehicle.
- Remember that drivers have to report the crash in the allotted 24 hours, otherwise, they may be subject to fines or other penalties.
- If possible, collect personal data (first name, last name, address), as well as contact info of other participants in the incident and witnesses.
- Call the hire company and report an accident providing all details (photos from a scene, the registration numbers, make, and model of all vehicles involved, the number of the police crew that went to the scene of the accident, etc).
If you don’t drive recklessly, don’t speed, and respect signs and road markings, you’re unlikely to be involved in a disaster in the UK.
Main Rules To Remember While Driving In The Uk
Following traffic laws reduces the risk of an accident to a minimum. Here is the basic list of UK traffic rules that will ensure your safe movement on the roads of Britain:
- All vehicles in the country move on the left-hand side of the road
- The regulations for driving through a roundabout state that cars on the right side of the road have priority
- You are obliged to give way to emergency services vehicles with flashing beacons or a signal
- Forget about using your mobile phone while driving
- All passengers and the driver must wear a seat belt for safety and to avoid a fine of £500
- The use of your hired car horn is not allowed in built-up zones from 11:30 pm to 7 am
- The permissible blood alcohol level for drivers is 0.08 per cent. Exceeding this mark is fraught with imprisonment and licence withdrawal