Car hire in UK

Old May 18, 17, 2:30 am
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Car hire in UK

I've travelled to the UK from Australia many times and hiring a car has always been simple.

I'll be flying there again at the end of June, but read on a car booking web site something about new requirements for overseas visitors, e.g. International Drivers "Licence" (though as far as I can tell there is no such thing - only an International Driving Permit) plus Passport and Oz Driving Licence and a number of documents to prove address.

Unfortunately the instructions here are vague and confusing - in one place it says the documents should not be more than 2 months old, in another it says 3. In one place, 3 documents, in another 2.

Can anyone shed any light? Thanks.
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Old May 18, 17, 3:12 am
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Oh, I nearly forgot ... I did phone the car hire company but they weren't sure either!
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Old May 18, 17, 3:22 am
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That sounds odd. An IDP is normally for when you have a licence in a different language, to allow it to be interpreted in the country you're visiting. The rule for the UK is that you can drive on a foreign licence for up to a year. I'm assuming your licence isn't in broad Strine?

A number of car hire companies insist on additional ID, including proof of address. Generally, I only come across this when hiring a Luton van or the like, but they may be stricter with overseas visitors.

Do you have a link to the site?
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Old May 18, 17, 3:34 am
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Thanks! Getting the International Permits is no drama, only about $30 each, so we're getting them anyway. Will see if I can track down that web page ...
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Old May 18, 17, 3:43 am
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Not sure I can post link because it's from the Manage My Bookings link on the rentalcars.com web site ... I'm reluctant to post personal data on line.

But here is the relevant paragraph:

"Identification
Three forms of identification are required and can be: bank statement, utility bill, credit card statement, or other official letter stating home address, posted to the customer's current address within the last 3 months."

Then, on the rental agreement itself ....

"Identification
Two additional forms of ID are required to confirm home address, one of which must be a statement for the card being used for the deposit at the car hire counter. The other should be a formal document (utility bill, council tax bill, etc). These must be dated within the last 2 months.

A Passport is required."
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Old May 18, 17, 4:13 am
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Ah, OK. Personally, I don't think you need an IDP (the only place I've ever needed one to drive is Japan) - just the documents.

(As a side note, I do find this kind of thing very annoying, as 90% of my bills are online now, but anyway...)

Out of interest, is this one of the major car hire companies, or a lesser known one?
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Old May 18, 17, 4:37 am
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I know. I'm having to phone banks, etc and ask them to post me hard copy ... when I tell them why they act as if I'm crazy (or at least weird)

Two separate companies ... Thrifty in Edinburgh and the somewhat inappropriately namedc Easirent at Heathrow.
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Old May 18, 17, 4:40 am
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Ah, then that sounds about right. It's normally the smaller ones that ask for this - have had the same experience at Thrifty in Glasgow. Worth contacting them and asking if they accept printouts, I suppose.
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Old May 18, 17, 4:44 am
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Thanks!
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Old May 18, 17, 8:38 am
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The brokerage sites often ask for absolutely everything as it's easier for them than tailoring their requirements to what the particular rental company needs.
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Old May 18, 17, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
The brokerage sites often ask for absolutely everything as it's easier for them than tailoring their requirements to what the particular rental company needs.
Ah that makes sense. Thank you.
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Old May 18, 17, 8:35 pm
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I'm wondering if other O/S travellers to the UK have experienced this recently?
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Old May 19, 17, 3:07 am
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Car Hire in UK

It requires only a valid international license which can be used for visitors to get the car
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Old May 19, 17, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by samtrait View Post
It requires only a valid international license which can be used for visitors to get the car
The rental company could actually let you have the car without seeing any documentation. It would not be wise, but it could be done.

What each rental company requires is a matter for them to specify. I would not rely on getting the vehicle if you did not meet their minimum specified requirements. Those are the terms of the contract.
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Old May 19, 17, 4:42 am
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Originally Posted by antichef View Post
What each rental company requires is a matter for them to specify. I would not rely on getting the vehicle if you did not meet their minimum specified requirements. Those are the terms of the contract.
Thanks. To be safe, we'll take with us enough documentation and ID to get into the Bank of England if we wanted to.

It just seems a bit strange that passport, DL and valid credit card aren't enough. It has been everywhere else we've been!
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