Terms & Conditions
You will be provided with a car by us either directly or as agent. The capacity in which we act depends on our relationship with the car hire company.
These terms apply to any booking that you, the renter, make with us on or through this website, so you should make sure that you are aware of their contents. Both our terms & conditions and those of the car hire companies we work with contain some exclusions and limitations of liability.
Your booking on this website is conditional on you, the renter, accepting our terms. If you, the renter, do not agree with any part of them, you must not proceed with your booking. By confirming that you wish to book a car through this website you, the renter, indicate that you have read and understood and accept the relevant terms. If there is any part that you, the renter, do not fully understand, or if you have a query about the car hire or any other product, please Contact us.
There may be some circumstances in which we do not know whether or not the car hire company has a particular car class available. This will be clearly indicated either before or after you, the renter, have sent your request through. In these cases we will put the car ‘on request’ with the car hire company. This means that although we cannot immediately confirm to you, the renter, that your requested car is available, we will use our reasonable endeavours to find it for you and will inform you of the outcome within 48 hours of your request. Where you, the renter, offer to hire a car or other product on this website at the suggested price, it may be accepted within 48 hours of you submitting your order (or up to 1 day before pick-up, if earlier). We will notify you, the renter, by return email and by emailing a booking confirmation if your offer has been accepted. Please note that you, the renter, will not have any contract for car hire at the price offered until your booking has been confirmed and the necessary payment received. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Please note that any contract entered into will be with the individual actually booking the car and all correspondence will be sent to that address given, even where a third party actually pays for the hire. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing contained in our terms shall entitle any third party to any benefit or rights pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.
Accuracy of Information
Although we strive to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, neither we nor our affiliates, suppliers or agents can be held responsible by you for the accuracy of such information. It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all information provided on this website.
The Rentalcars.com voucher / eVoucher must be presented to the car hire company when picking up your hire car. We cannot be held responsible for rentals rejected if a voucher / eVoucher is not presented.
We cannot accept liability for any charges incurred as a result of documentation signed for and accepted at the car hire counter.
We will not be held responsible for anyone driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, causing wilful damage, driving off-road or driving without due care and attention. You, the renter, will accept full responsibility in respect of such claims. This list is not exhaustive.
What is included / excluded in the price?
Please read the specific terms & conditions relating to your car hire, which you will see during the booking process.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
Collision Damage Waiver reduces the renter's liability from the total cost of the damage to an excess amount, where applicable, unless the renter intentionally causes the damage, is under the influence of drink or drugs, or uses the car in a prohibited or negligent way – such as driving off main roads or hiring to other parties. CDW covers liability for damage to the car or its parts. In most locations, windscreens, tyres, undercarriage, replacement locks, replacement keys and towing charges are not covered under the CDW policy. Other exclusions may apply and can differ between car hire companies, so we recommend checking these exclusions with the car hire company when picking the car up.
Theft Protection (TP)
Theft Protection reduces the renter's liability in the event of theft or damage caused due to theft or attempted theft of the car to an excess amount, where applicable. Negligence connected with the theft of/damage to the car may lead to the car hire company requiring the full amount for the cost of the car.
Please check carefully the details of the cover provided by the car hire company. It is not unusual for third-party cover to exclude members of your immediate family or members of the same home address who travel with you, the renter, in the car. Top-up policies will normally be available to purchase directly from the car hire company, or such cover may already be included in your holiday insurance. For peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you, the renter, familiarise yourself fully with the extent of the cover provided with any rental and, where necessary, take out additional cover in respect of your spouse and any children or close relatives who will be accompanying you in the car.
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
This optional insurance may be covered by your holiday insurance (please check before you, the renter, travel). If you require PAI, it can be purchased at the car hire counter when you pick the car up.
Rentalcars.com protection waiver products
When you pick your car up, the car hire company will require you to leave a deposit in case the car is damaged during your rental. As long as you purchased one of our protection waiver products before your rental began, we will waive your liability (and refund you) for any charges withheld from your deposit / excess, subject to the terms described here.
Our Damage Protection, Full Protection and Top-up Protection waiver products are offered to customers making new bookings. All three will cover charges for damage to the rental car’s exterior or mechanical components, including bodywork, roof, undercarriage, windscreen, windows, mirrors, wheels, tyres, hubcaps, engine, clutch, battery and locks.
In addition, Full Protection and Top-up Protection will cover:
- ‘immobilisation’ charges (for loss of revenue while the car is being repaired and cannot be rented out)
- roadside assistance charges resulting from a breakdown or accident
- charges directly related to locking yourself out of the rental car or losing its key(s)
- the amount the car hire company charges as a result of claiming on the car’s Theft Protection policy
- car hire company administration fees related to any of these points.
Note: Top-up Protection is offered to customers hiring a car with a zero-excess Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) policy.
Our waiver products will not cover:
- repairs not approved by the car hire company
- cleaning charges or damage to the car’s interior (unless caused by a collision)
- damage to / loss of child seats, GPS devices or other “extra” equipment
- costs incurred under circumstances that break the terms of the rental agreement (such as dangerous, careless or negligent driving, refuelling errors, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol).
Our Damage Excess Refund waiver product is no longer offered to customers making new bookings, but we will honour claims from people who have already bought this protection. This product will only cover damage to parts covered by the CDW (as detailed by the car hire company at pick-up).
Claiming on a Rentalcars.com protection waiver product
To claim on one of our protection waiver products, please contact Customer Services within 28 days of dropping your car off. You will need:
- Your car’s check-in and check-out documents, which clearly show the new damage being charged for by the car hire company
- Proof of repair cost from the car hire company
- Evidence of payments deducted from your payment card by the car hire company
- The car hire company’s accident report form
- A police report, if applicable
We aim to pay within 7 days upon receipt of all required documentation.
In cases where a third party has been involved in an accident we require confirmation from the car hire company that liability for the accident has been determined (and any legal cases settled) before we can process your claim.
All claim payments are processed onto the payment card used to purchase the protection waiver product from Rentalcars.com (not necessarily the payment card charged by the car hire company).
Fuel & Deposits at the Car Hire Counter
Most car hire companies require a deposit at the start of the rental to cover the liability excess, any charges incurred during the rental and, in some cases, fuel. A valid major credit card will be required in most cases (please check with our Contact Centre) and must be in the main driver's name. Provided the car and extras are returned in the same state as rented and in accordance with the fuel policy, this deposit will be refunded after dropping the car off (please note that it may take 14 days for the money to appear on your credit card again).
Some car hire companies will require you to return the car with the same amount of fuel it had in the tank at pick-up. Others operate a fuel policy where you, the renter, must purchase the first tank of fuel and may drop the car off empty – in which case, there may be no refund for unused fuel.
Where the car hire company charges for fuel, the cost may be higher than it would be at a local petrol station.
At most airport locations, flights will be met and cars supplied outside normal working hours. However, there may be an additional charge for this service, which will be payable directly to the car hire company. We will advise you, the renter, whether a charge will apply when you confirm your pick-up times in your booking request. In the event that a flight delay causes the car pick-up to fall outside a car hire company’s normal working hours, the car hire company may agree to provide an out-of-hours service – in which case they will advise you of any fee. We can accept no further responsibility where there is no out-of-hours service available – and it is therefore recommended that you, the renter, take independent travel insurance. Non-airport car hire counters may also provide an out-of-hours service.
Minimum / Maximum Age Limitations
In most locations, the minimum hiring age is 21 years. Additional fees can apply with certain car hire companies and in certain countries for drivers aged under 25 years or over 65 years: where the correct driver age has been submitted with the booking request, we will advise of any likely fees. Minimum age requirements on larger cars may also be higher at some locations. Please check with our Contact Centre if you, the renter, have any questions or concerns about this matter.
Fees may apply for additional drivers, payable at the car hire counter (unless otherwise specified on the Rentalcars.com voucher / eVoucher). Please check with our Contact Centre.
Daily Rate Calculations / Periods of Hire / Period of Hire Extensions
The price of your car hire will be confirmed at time of booking and calculated on the basis of 24-hour units. If you, the renter, wish to extend the period of hire after picking the car up, or if you drop the car off later than stated on your voucher / eVoucher, the contract for such an extension will always be with the car hire company directly and the extra time will be charged for by the car hire company at the local daily rate, which may be higher than the rates agreed with us at the time of booking.
Late Pick-ups / Early Drop-offs
Your rental starts and finishes according to the pick-up and drop-off dates and times detailed on your voucher / eVoucher. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide refunds for unused time if a car is picked up late or dropped off early. If you are unable to pick the car up at the agreed time and date, it is essential you contact us as soon as possible. If you do not, there is no guarantee that the car will still be available – and you will not be entitled to any refund.
One-way rentals must be confirmed in advance and may be subject to one-way fees, payable to the car hire company. We will advise you, the renter, of the approximate costs after we receive your booking request and receive confirmation from the car hire company regarding the one-way rental.
Child Seats & Special Requests
Child seats, roof racks (not available on some cars) and other ‘extra’ items are available on request in most locations, although they cannot be guaranteed. There is usually a fee payable to the car hire company. In most locations, child seats are required by law. Please note: rear seatbelts may not be provided in all cars. Please check with our Contact Centre regarding these items. Requests for these items should be made at the time of booking.
Deliveries & Collections
Some car hire companies will agree to deliver your car to / collect it from a specified address. If so, there may be a fee for this service, payable to the car hire company. We will advise you whether a fee will apply when you confirm your pick-up / drop-off times, along with the full address details, in your booking request. Please note: car hire companies generally do not deliver to or collect from private accommodation.
Restrictions may be applicable when taking the hire car to a different country/state/island; our Contact Centre must therefore be advised at the time of booking whether you, the renter, intend to do this. Additional documentation may be required and local charges may apply for travel to certain countries. Restrictions may also apply in remote areas such as the Australian outback; please check with our Contact Centre.
If You, the Renter, Wish to Make Changes to Your Booking
No charge will be made for amending your booking before the start of your rental. This excludes any cost increases caused by a material change to the booking, such as its duration or the car class – or by the car hire company changing its rates following the original booking. With certain car hire companies, amending the driver’s name or the pick-up location may require the cancellation and re-booking of a rental. To cancel your booking, please log in to the Amend/Cancel Booking facility, and click Cancel Booking. Terms & conditions vary per car hire company and will be clearly communicated during the booking process.
If We Make Changes to Your Booking
Occasionally it may be necessary for changes to be made to your booking (after acceptance) by us or by the car hire company. In all such cases we will advise you, the renter, as soon as reasonably possible before pick-up and, if the proposed changes are unacceptable, you will be offered a full refund. However, in such circumstances, we shall have no additional liability in respect of any direct or indirect losses you may suffer as a result of such changes.
Your voucher / eVoucher will normally be available once full payment has been received and the car confirmed by the car hire company. Please note that certain ‘request’ cars may take longer to confirm and we will advise you, the renter, if this is the case. Where the car cannot be picked up due to insufficient documentation or failure to provide a valid credit card, this will be treated as a ‘No Show’, which means you will not be entitled to a refund of money paid. Please ensure that you, the renter, travel with your voucher / eVoucher, your full valid national driving licence and other identification – please check the ‘What You'll Need To Take’ section of your voucher / eVoucher once the car is confirmed to see if any other documentation is required.
Every driver must have a full, valid driving licence they have held for at least 1 year (2 years at certain locations; this will be confirmed during the booking process). Expired or provisional licences will not be accepted.
When booking the car, our Contact Centre must be advised of any endorsements / points on a driving licence; we reserve the right to refuse the booking on this basis, according to the terms & conditions of the car hire companies we work with.
As of June 8th 2015, any driver with a driving licence issued by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) in England, Scotland or Wales must visit View Driving Licence no more than 21 days before the start of their rental. Any driver with a new-style photocard driving licence must also produce the accompanying paper counterpart at the car hire counter.
When picking up the car, every driver must present their licence. They must also keep their driving licence with them at all times throughout the rental, for perusal by local authorities.
No refunds will be given if a car hire company refuses to supply a car because of undisclosed endorsements – or because you cannot provide a driving licence, its counterpart, or the required information about endorsements.
Please note that an International Driving Permit (often referred to as an International Driving Licence) does not replace the requirement for a regular driving licence: a full driving licence in the main driver’s name will still be required in order to rent the car, and every driver requiring an International Driving Permit must keep both documents with them at all times.
All drivers must read the terms and conditions of the car hire company providing their car prior to pick-up, as certain companies and locations may have additional requirements.
Important Information Regarding Exchange Rates
Due to the fluctuation of exchange rates, please be aware that the amount charged to your credit card may differ from the price we quote when you agree to pay for a product or service. The difference (if any) will depend on changes to exchange rates during the period between the moment you book and the moment the charge is reflected in your credit card statement. Similarly, should we refund any money to your account, we will refund the exact amount initially charged – and will not be responsible for any fluctuations in exchange rates that lead to you receiving a larger or smaller refund than expected.
Car Capacity & Car Class
All cars are insured for a maximum number of passengers. We cannot accept liability for the car being unsuitable for all passengers and luggage. As a guide, please refer to the Rentalcars.com website for approximate capacities of the various car classes. We cannot accept responsibility if the car hire company refuses to supply a car because the party size is too big.
We are unable to guarantee a particular make or model of car. The car shown on your voucher / eVoucher is for guidance only and the car hire company may instead provide a different car which is deemed to be similar or superior.
Provision of Cars
Car hire companies reserve the right to refuse a car to any person who is considered unfit to drive or does not meet eligibility requirements. We will not be liable for the completion of travel arrangements, nor for any refund, compensation or any other costs you, the renter, may have to pay in such a case.
If you, the renter, are dissatisfied in any way with your rental, please report this to the car hire company as soon as feasible. It is difficult for us to assess any claim regarding your rental if this action is not taken at the time. If you, the renter, wish to make a complaint, please ensure you contact our Customer Service Team within 3 months of dropping the car off.
We know that on occasion, you may feel that your complaint has not been resolved to your full satisfaction, so if you are not happy about the way in which we have handled your complaint, you may refer your complaint to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider; Small Claims Mediation (UK) Limited is accredited by the Civil Mediation Council and listed on the Ministry of Justice online directory of mediation providers. As we aim to resolve all of our disputes internally, we are not obliged to submit to an ADR procedure operated by any independent ADR provider. You may use the European Commission’s online platform to resolve your dispute, which can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/
Mechanical Difficulties / Accidents
In the case of breakdown or mechanical difficulties, you, the renter, must call the car hire company immediately. The car hire company must give authority for repairs or replacement cars. If you, the renter, are involved in an accident, the local police and the car hire company must be contacted. Keep copies of all relevant documentation you are asked to complete. This may be needed if you, the renter, wish to make a claim.
Your hire of any car is subject to the terms & conditions of car hire imposed by the car hire company and to the corresponding laws of the country and/or state in which the rental takes place. You, the renter, will therefore be subject both to our terms and to those of the car hire company. We accept no responsibility for and shall not be liable in respect of any loss, damage, alterations, delays or changes arising from civil strife, industrial disputes including air traffic control disputes, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire or adverse weather conditions, unavoidable technical problems with transport, closure or congestion of airports or ferry ports, cancellation of scheduled flights or financial failure of airlines.
Terms of Your Contract with Rentalcars.com
However you, the renter, choose to book, it is important to understand how and when a contract is formed. The technical steps required for a contract to be formed are as follows. When we quote prices over the telephone or place our services on our website, we are inviting you, the renter, to make an offer for their purchase. You, the renter, do not make this offer until you do so verbally or by clicking ‘Book Now’ on our ‘Payment Details’ page.
You, the renter, will have made us an offer to purchase the services once you have either done so verbally or clicked ‘Book Now’. We will have accepted this offer once we have both received the necessary payment and made your voucher / eVoucher available to you, the renter. Where the arrangement with the car hire company is for us to act as an agent, acceptance of your offer is by us as agent on behalf of the car hire company.
We are responsible for losses you, the renter, directly suffer as a result of us breaking this agreement if the losses are a foreseeable consequence of us breaking the agreement. Losses are foreseeable where they could be contemplated by both you and us at the time our agreement is formed. We are not responsible for indirect losses which happen as a side effect of the main loss or damage and which are not foreseeable by you, the renter, and us; nor are we liable for, without limitations, loss of profits, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or consequential losses, damages or costs.
We shall not be liable ourselves or vicariously through the car hire companies for either any failure to perform or any delay in performing any of our obligations under or pursuant to this booking, voucher / eVoucher, rental or terms & conditions, if and in so far as performance is delayed, hindered or prevented by force majeure, which expression shall mean any event beyond the reasonable control of the party in question. In the event that the force majeure persists for more than 14 consecutive days, we may terminate and withdraw this booking by giving 14 days’ notice to your, the renter's, original billing address and refunding all amounts paid prior to the force majeure event.
We have the right to cancel a booking upon limited or immediate notice in certain circumstances, such as the insolvency of a car hire company. In all circumstances we will use our reasonable endeavours to arrange for the supply of an alternative car, but at periods of high demand it may not be possible. Where a customer has made a fully pre-paid booking and we notify the customer up to 48 hours before pick-up, the customer will receive a return of all monies already paid. In the unlikely circumstance we provide a fully pre-paid customer with notice of cancellation within 48 hours of pick-up, we will provide a full refund of all monies paid and cover other foreseeable losses incurred by the customer as a consequence of us breaking the agreement. Where a customer has made a deposit booking and we notify the customer up to 7 days before pick-up, the customer will receive a return of all monies already paid. Where we provide a deposit customer with notice of cancellation within 7 days of pick-up, we will provide a full refund of all monies paid and cover other foreseeable losses incurred by the customer as a consequence of us breaking the agreement.
Making Bookings and Purchasing or Requesting Products or Services
Verification of submitted data may be required prior to our acceptance of any booking, purchase or order. Except as otherwise required by law or as otherwise expressly stated by us, price, rate and availability of products or services are subject to change without notice. You acknowledge that bookings, purchases and services are subject to additional terms & conditions imposed by us or by the car hire company which supplies your car.
Website Conditions of Use
It is prohibited for anyone to use any device or software program to directly or indirectly interface, or attempt to interface, with this website to retrieve content and/or any other data, including prices. It is also prohibited to interfere, or attempt to interfere, with the normal working of this website; any activity that we consider places undue load or stress on our systems will be terminated. We constantly monitor everyone accessing our website, and the activities of any automated systems or persons conducting an unreasonable amount of searches, with the aim of accessing information and/or prices, will be terminated and those systems/persons blocked from our websites. Your use of the website indicates your agreement to be bound by these Conditions of Use.
Completed reviews may be uploaded onto our website for the sole purpose of informing customers of your opinion of the service and quality of the car hire company, and used partially or in their entirety by Rentalcars.com on our website, social media platforms, newsletters, special promotions, mobile applications or other channels owned, hosted, used or controlled by Rentalcars.com. We reserve the right to adjust, refuse or remove reviews at our sole discretion.
Reviews express the personal opinions of Rentalcars.com customers who filled out a survey after completion of their rental. These opinions do not necessarily represent the views of Rentalcars.com.
To the extent permitted, these terms and conditions are governed by English law under the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
The General Information and Terms & Conditions stated are correct at the time of going to press.