Hiring a car? Be prepared

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
download a code or the open road might not see your hire car

download a code or the open road might not see your hire car

There were two parts of a driving licence, the plastic credit card, sized item with your photograph on it and the paper part that lists any convictions that you might have.

From today, only the credit card size document is legal.

Which gives a slight problem if you are hiring a car. How does the car hire company know about any convictions? They don’t so many will require you to go to an online site, complete a few questions to identify yourself and download a number which can be understood by the car hire company and explains any points you have. The number is only valid for 72 hours and can only be used once. If, for example, you hire a car to get to an airport and then another once you arrive, you will need two codes each of which can only be used once.

Some people will book a care in advance and the car hire company will tell you where to go to download the code but what happens if you desire to hire at the last minute? Some companies will have a facility whereby you can go online and download the code there and then. What that means is allow a little bit of extra time just in case there are queues at the hire car office when you get there. It shouldn’t take too long but don’t plan on breezing in and out of the place; you may not be so lucky.

Remember, don’t apply for a code if you book  a hire car a long way in advance because the code will expire. Only download the code within three days of picking up the hire car.

Whilst all car hire companies should be ready and able to cope for this change it might be a good idea not to throw away the paper part of your licence just yet. It could be that some car hire companies will accept it – although no longer legal to have one – until they are used to the new system as well.

Incidentally, this doesn’t apply to all UK drivers. If your licence was issued in Northern Ireland, then you are unaffected by these changes and of course, if you live in the Republic of Ireland, then neither are you.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,