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We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand self-drive hire insurance. Use the links to the left to navigate through the different question sub-categories.

Commencing self-drive hire insurance

What is self-drive hire insurance?

Self drive hire insurance is a specific insurance for vehicle hire companies. Businesses that want to rent out their vehicle(s) must have an insurance policy to cover them when a vehicle is out on hire and give cover when it’s not on hire as well. Something a standard vehicle policy cannot offer. A vehicle rental company must have self-drive hire insurance.

What sort of vehicles can you cover with a self-drive hire policy?

We can arrange self-drive hire insurance for most types of vehicle including motor homes, motor caravans, camper vans, horseboxes, splitter vans; everyday car and van rental. We can also consider some prestige vehicles and supercars, although these are subject to more stringent terms and conditions.

What does fully comprehensive insurance cover?

Fully comprehensive insurance will cover your vehicle if it is involved in an accident. You are covered for damage caused to other peoples’ vehicles/property or for injuries they sustain. In addition you are also covered for the loss of or the damage caused to your vehicle by fire or theft as well as any damage your vehicle sustains in an accident or for any damage caused by vandalism.

How quickly can I obtain a self-drive hire insurance quotation?

We will normally be able to indicate a premium immediately by call or use our online quote form to receive a quote via email.

Will I have to complete lots of paperwork if I have one of your self-drive hire insurance policies?

No. We realise that you need to concentrate on hiring your vehicles and don’t want to be swamped by paperwork so we try to keep this to a minimum. In most cases you will be able to continue to use your standard hirers form but the insurer may want to vet this to make sure it contains acceptable and compliant wording.

How many vehicles can be insured on a policy?

There is no limit to the amount of vehicles on a policy.

Can a financed car be rented out?

Yes, as long as you have made the finance provider aware of your intentions to hire the vehicle.

Does the make, engine size, mileage and year affect the premium?

Each vehicle is rated individually meaning make, engine size and value can affect its premium.

Premiums and the types of vehicles covered

What factors affect the premiums that self-drive hire insurers charge?

The main factors include the type of vehicle involved, the value of the rental vehicles, the area of the country in which your operation is based and the claims history of the business.

What is the process for family members wanting to rent out using my policy?

Please refer to our Self-Drive Hire Process attachment which explains what must be completed each time the vehicle is hired out. The hire process is the same for family members and hirers unless the family member is a permanent named driver.

What does ‘off-hire cover’ mean?

‘Off-hire cover’ means insurance for your hire vehicles when not on hire – for example, when being driven by an employee of the business or when parked at your premises. We automatically include this cover at no cost to you.

Can you insure self-drive hire operators in all areas of the UK?

We can cover self-drive hire risks in most regions of the UK subject to insurer’s acceptance.

Do you offer fleet insurance?

Yes, we can offer insurance for self-drive hire fleets, call us to discuss your requirements.

Can self-drive hire insurance be used for cars with chauffeurs?

No, we do not offer this.

Do you insure minibuses?

On a referral basis these can be considered.

Can a campervan be covered if it isn’t classed as a campervan by DVLA?

We have no requirement for a camper to be reclassified with the DVLA, as long as it is utilized as a camper we can provide cover.

How does adding seatbelts that were not fitted by the original coach builder affect policies?

The insurers will accommodate additional seat belts. However, we must be notified and the seat belts must be fitted by a professional.

Do you insure 7.5t horse boxes?

Yes, we can cover horseboxes up to 18t.

Once insurance has commenced

Can I pay for my self-drive hire insurance in instalments?

Yes. In most cases we can arrange for you to pay for your self-drive hire policy in six or ten monthly instalments at competitive rates. Credit terms are subject to acceptance of your application and full written details are available on request.

Can the insurance be offered on daily or per hire basis?

No, we only offer annual policies.

How long can clients be insured for?

We only offer annual policies for self-drive hire which allow for a maximum hire period of 90 days.

Can my self-drive hire customers pay in cash?

As long as they pay the deposit via a cleared and traceable method. This can include PayPal, bank transfer, credit or debit card. Even a cheque is acceptable as long as it is cleared before the vehicle is hired.

Do you supply courtesy cars?

No, we don’t offer courtesy cars.

Do you offer standalone excess cover?

No, we do not offer or recommend standalone/excess waiver polices.

What is a co-insurance clause?

A co-insurance clause makes you responsible for a proportion of any loss. For example, a 25% co-insurance clause would mean that you are responsible for a quarter of any loss with the insurer covering the remaining 75%. On self-drive hire insurance policies, a co-insurance clause is often applied to ‘theft by hirer’ and, in the case of motorhomes, campervans and certain horseboxes, fire damage claims caused by cooking or heating appliances.

Is there an additional cover to help with the additional 25% not covered in current policies?

We do not offer an additional cover to cover the 25% not covered in policies.

What is a ‘minimum and deposit premium?’

You may be required to pay a ‘minimum and deposit premium’ even if you don’t complete the first year of cover or change to a vehicle that commands a lower premium. Insurers normally remove this on your first renewal.

What sort of excess can I expect on my self-drive hire policy?

Your excess will vary depending on the type of vehicle, age of driver and the track record of your business. The minimum excess on our self-drive hire insurance policies is generally £500, which applies to most damage claims. A co-insurance clause of between 25% applies to theft claims and fire claims caused by cooking and heating appliances.

High value and performance vehicles will generally have a higher excess but these will be shown in your quote. The policy will generally include an additional excess for young drivers, typically £300 for a driver aged between 21 and 24 years.

Is there software or an app I can use?

Although we are aware of different hiring software and apps, we have no affiliation or recommendations of which ones to use.

When making a claim

How can I make a claim after an accident?

In the first instance any claim should be reported to our dedicated self-drive hire claims department however, you can approach the insurers claims department independently.

What happens if a client insured has an accident in a vehicle that’s under my name?

In the event of a claim, your self-drive hire policy will be reviewed prior to the renewal. This gives us the opportunity to market the policy and approach our panel of providers to secure you our most competitive premium. Claims from a hirer made under your self-drive hire policy should not impact your other personal motor policies.

What is meant by the term ‘theft by hirer’?

Theft may occur when a hirer fails to return a vehicle at the end of a hire period or treats the hired vehicle as his or her own property – for example by selling it to another party.

Hiring out your vehicle

Do I have to verify the ID of the driver when I hire out a vehicle?

Yes. You must verify the hirer’s identity using a form of photo identity such as a passport and two recent utility bills (dated within 90 days) sent to the same address as on the driving icence. You also need to take a copy of their photocard driving licence and a rental agreement must be completed per hire per driver. We recommend all evidence obtained is kept for a two year period in addition to the rental agreement and proof of the hire deposit payment.

Can an alternative to utility bills be accepted for ID checks?

One utility must be collected from each driver along with one other appropriate secondary proof of address, which must have the same address as the licence address. Please refer to the Self-Drive Hire Process attachment.

How many points can a driver have on their license?

We automatically cover for drivers with 2 x 3 point driving convictions. Should you have a hirer with more than 2 x 3 point driving convictions or a conviction that resulted in more than three points, please refer to us as we can have cover agreed on a case by case basis.

Will an insurer make exceptions to allow me to hire to drivers who would not generally be covered?

Yes. We realise that you need an insurance partner with a flexible and realistic approach to help you maximise value from your self-drive hire fleet. We contact the insurer directly and get a swift response so you won’t miss the opportunity to hire.

Will there be restrictions on the ages of drivers that can hire out my vehicles?

Yes. Generally, drivers aged between 21 and 75 will be accepted at normal terms provided they have held a full license for at least 2 years and have a good driving record. Drivers aged over 75 may be accepted but at a higher rate. For splitter vans, performance cars or high risk vehicles there may be further age restrictions applied.

What happens if I get clearance from the insurer that I can hire vehicles to young drivers or someone with a poor driving record?

Usually there will simply be an increased excess for the hirer, however sometimes you may need to charge an additional premium. The precise terms will be confirmed on a case-by-case basis.

Can clients be insured if they drive across borders?

Yes, all of our policies include driving within Europe.

Can drivers be covered if they have foreign driving licenses?

We automatically covers drivers from EU, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Any licence not automatically covered can be referred to the insurer.