What to take with you when you pick up your rental car
Being turned away from the car hire counter because you don’t have the right paperwork is no fun. Use this guide to help you enjoy a smooth start to your trip.
The main driver – and any other drivers you’d like to add – will need to have their full driving licence with them. The main driver is the person whose name the booking is in.
If you only have a paper driving licence – without a photo card – the car hire company staff will also ask to see your passport as proof of identity. Some drivers will need an international driving permit to hire in some countries.
Check the specific Ts & Cs of your booking to find out whether you need one so you can order it before you go.
Proof of ID
The car hire company staff will ask to see some proof of your identity. This could be your passport, or proof of address if you’re hiring in your own country. Some car hire companies ask for two separate proofs of address. These could be a utility bill and a bank statement, for example, both in the main driver’s name.
You will need to take a credit card in the main driver’s name. This is because when you hire a car the car hire company will ask for a deposit to cover the cost of any repairs should you damage the car while out on the road.
Rental firms usually take this deposit by ‘blocking’ an amount on a credit card. This means that money can’t be spent elsewhere. Because money can’t be ring-fenced in this way on a debit card – where the money comes straight out of your bank statement – you will need a credit card to pay the deposit. It is rare that car hire companies accept debit cards, so do take a credit card.