Supercar Hire FAQs / Useful Information

arrowWhat is the minimum age limit to drive a supercar?

arrowSecurity Deposits

arrowHow many people can drive the car?

arrowHow should I pay for the hire and my security deposit?

arrowWhat documents do I need to provide when hiring a supercar?

arrowThe hire firm has asked me to provide a credit card statement and front and back copies of my credit card, is this normal?

arrowWhat sort of charges can I expect if I damage the car?

arrowWhat advice can you give before signing the Hire Agreement / Damage Assessment Paperwork?

arrowWhat happens if I exceed the national speed limit?

arrowWhat happens if the car I have booked is written-off, sold, or in the garage with mechanical problems/damage on the day of my hire commencing?

arrowWhere do I stand if someone deliberately damages the car whilst I have it on hire?

arrowWhat happens if someone goes into the back of me and the accident is not my fault?

arrowAre self-drive hire vehicles tracked?

arrowReckless Driving

arrowCan the cars be taken into Europe?

arrowI have a fleet insurance policy; can I permit friends/family to drive the hire car if I add the car to my own insurance?

arrowWhat happens if someone takes the car keys and drives the car without my permission?

arrowCan the cars be taken onto racetracks, airstrips or private land?

arrowWhat’s it like to drive a supercar?





What is the minimum age limit to drive a supercar?

In the majority of cases, 25 tends to be the minimum age insurance companies are willing to insure on performance vehicles, such as a Mercedes C63 AMG, with ages 28+ or 30+ becoming more of the norm for actual supercars (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin) as insurance terms are becoming tighter with each successive year which goes by. Proceed with caution if a hire company is offering insurance to you under this age threshold. 24 year olds can be considered if the driver is close to their 25th birthday but if you the driver is aged 23 or below, it may be worth asking to see a copy of the supplier’s insurance policy. This should state the minimum and maximum age of drivers and give you the re-assurance you are correctly covered.




Security Deposits

In all cases, a security deposit would be required whilst the vehicle is on hire. For supercars, this ranges from around £2,000 to £10,000. The average security deposit amount is either £3,500 or £5,000. This is basically the insurance excess the supplier has to pay in the event of an accident and is determined by the value of the car. Security deposits tend to be taken within 24 hours of the hire start date and are refunded within 24 hours of collection. Payments can take 3-5 working days to be processed by the card merchants so please allow for this when budgeting around the chosen hire dates.

Do not confuse security deposits with liability. It is worth checking that the security deposit is your maximum liability, should the car be damaged. In some cases, hire firms may charge a £3,500 security deposit (to help with credit card limits) but the vehicle will carry a £5,000 liability. If, however, it transpires you have open-ended liability, walk away.




How many people can drive the car?

For insurance purposes and risk, two drivers tend to be the maximum parties insured on supercars. Hire firms can permit 2+ drivers but they may have to refer this to their insurers first before a final answer can be given. Additional driver charges may also be applicable. IN ALL CASES, ONLY THE NAMED DRIVERS ARE PERMITTED TO DRIVE THE VEHICLE.




How should I pay for the hire and my security deposit?

We will obtain your card details and forward these to the supplier for payment. At no stage does the money exchange hands with us, it is a direct transaction between you and the supplier. We advise the use of credit cards for greater protection. If you are paying for the hire months in advance, your credit card will offer a higher level of cover than a debit card or bank transfer, should the hire firm go out of business. It is worth checking your level of protection with your credit card provider to see what their relevant clauses are. Debit cards and bank transfers offer no protection but avoid handling fees, which can be a temptation. Although credit cards tend to carry a handling fee of 2-5%, this is a small price to pay for peace of mind.




What documents do I need to provide when hiring a supercar?

These slightly vary from supplier to supplier but general items include:

  • Passport
  • Driving license (photocard and counterpart). Old style licenses are generally still accepted.
  • Proof of residency – usually dated from with the last two months. Examples include utility bills, council tax bills, bank statements and credit card statements. Mobile phone bills and motor insurance certificates are not accepted.
  • Completion of insurance form / underwriting questions.

The above items may need to be scanned/photographed and emailed to the supplier for approval by their insurers, prior to your hire commencing.

Upon delivery of the vehicle, the delivery driver will want to see the original documents as proof of authenticity and to make a positive ID check. Please bear this in mind as they may not release the car to you without sight of these documents.




The hire firm has asked me to provide a credit card statement and front and back copies of my credit card, is this normal?

Credit card fraud is common in the self-drive hire industry and, with large volumes of money at stake; the suppliers want to ensure you are the registered owner of the card and holding it in your possession. This may be uncomfortable to provide but they have to make sure they are satisfying the necessary card fraud checks.




What sort of charges can I expect if I damage the car?

Alloy Wheels

Charges are down to each individual hire firm and the type of alloy wheel the car is fitted with. Minor damage, such as curbed alloy wheels vary, depending on the type of alloy wheel which is on the car. For example, the following rates can be used as a guide:

Standard alloy wheel - £200+VAT

Diamond Turned alloy wheel - £250+VAT

Painted alloy wheel - £300+VAT

The above prices should be used for illustration purposes only. Prices are charged at the supplier’s discretion and are also determined by the extent of damage to the wheel. If the alloy is buckled or slightly bent from hitting a curb, the chances are it will be a safety hazard and you would incur the cost of a new alloy wheel. Prices can vary and start from around £1,000+VAT per wheel.

Windscreen

It is unfortunate but if a stone catches the window at the wrong angle, it could be irreparable. If this is the case, you would incur the cost from your security deposit. Some insurers do provide windscreen insurance with their hires but you will still have to pay a certain percentage or the first £100, for example, of the repair cost. Supercar windscreens are likely to leave little, if any, from your deposit so be sure to read the terms and conditions. Although this situation is very rare, you should take this onboard when considering a self-drive hire.

Bodywork

This is a difficult area to categorise as it depends on the type of damage i.e graze or dent, the type of paintwork on the car, the make and model of vehicle hired, and the man hours required to repair the damage. An administration fee would also be applicable by the hire firm.

Stonechips

This is a very grey area and is always a high concern for people hiring cars. Charges are down to the supplier’s discretion and bills can vary hugely on where the stone chip is on the car, the size of the chip and the degree to which it has broken through the paint. Minor stone chips on the front bumper can be ignored but if a large stone chip appears on the bonnet or a central focal point, this may have to be repaired. This will be charged at bodyshop prices with an administration fee added on top. In our own personal experience, there have been very few instances where charges have been brought forward.




What advice can you give before signing the Hire Agreement / Damage Assessment Paperwork?

When the car is delivered to you, the hire agreement and damage assessment paperwork will be completed and require a signature.

When the delivery driver unloads the car, they will walk around the car with you and note any small marks which are present on the car. DO NOT FEEL RUSHED. Be confident that you have not missed any marks/damage when you sign the paperwork. If the delivery driver is quick to go around the car, ask them to wait until you are happy you have thoroughly checked the vehicle.

Tips:

  1. Take your time and don’t feel rushed when completing the damage assessment form.
  2. For your own piece of mind, take photographs and/or video footage of the car when the delivery driver is present and use it as a point of reference if a claim for damage is made.
  3. Check the door sills and front & rear bumpers for stone chips/scrapes/cracks.
  4. Check under the front bumper for scratched engine protection covers or broken plastic. As supercars are lowered, this is a very common area for scratches and broken plastic panels from speed bumps and curbs.
  5. Be comfortable with the controls and ask where the petrol cap release button is located. This is a very common area which is overlooked and causes confusion at the petrol pumps.
  6. Gain a contact number for out-of-hours service, should there be a problem with the car.
  7. Ask the delivery driver if the car comes with breakdown assistance and gather the necessary details.



What happens if I exceed the national speed limit?

Although these cars are designed for speed, UK traffic laws still apply. High speed driving also increases the risk of an accident and will not be ignored by the hire firm. Don’t be surprised if you get a telephone warning immediately after an episode of excessive speed, the hire firm will be looking after your safety, those around you, and protecting their asset.




What happens if the car I have booked is written-off, sold, or in the garage with mechanical problems/damage on the day of my hire commencing?

This is unfortunate but it can happen. Under most hire terms, the supplier is entitled to compensate you with a replacement car from their fleet which will be as close to the make/model you have requested. This can be of a great disappointment but cars aren’t 100% reliable, especially of the supercar variety, and you should bear this in mind. It is advisable to check the supplier has a good selection of cars and will be able to provide something similar. The summer months are peak supercar hire season and, as a result, even a firm with 10+ cars might only have 1 or 2 options available to you. In extreme cases, they may not have one at all and will seek to move your hire date to the next available slot. The hire firms we use tend not to have fleets of less than 10 cars.




Where do I stand if someone deliberately damages the car whilst I have it on hire?

This is a very unfortunate situation and thankfully is a very rare event. Whilst you have the car on hire it is your responsibility to look after it and return it to the supplier in the same condition it arrived. To try and avoid any unnecessary situations it is advisable to keep the car parked in a safe location at night and/or when taking the car into towns and cities. For example, parking a Lamborghini outside a nightclub or bar at closing time would most likely increase the risk of damage.




What happens if someone goes into the back of me and the accident is not my fault?

It is advised that this is checked with the hire firm. In most cases your security deposit would be held until the insurance claim had been paid out by the other driver’s insurance company and then your security deposit will be refunded to you. Insurance claims vary and can take 8-12 weeks, or even longer, to be processed. This is all dependent on each individual claim and is difficult to generalise.

Can I be charged for loss of business by the hire firm if the car is undrivable following damage incurred whilst I have the car on hire?

Although most hire firms don’t charge for loss of business, some do. It is strongly advised that you check the terms and conditions and hire agreement. Reckless driving or breach of the terms could make this enforceable.




Are self-drive hire vehicles tracked?

Yes, the vast majority will be. It is a requirement of most self-drive insurance policies that vehicles are tracked in order for the insurance to be valid. In addition to this, the supplier will also want to know where their asset is at all times! Please bear this in mind as excessive speeding will result in a verbal warning which could ultimately result in the vehicle being collected or shutdown. If travelling into Europe, please inform the hire company so they are aware of your travel plans - the last thing you want is to be stopped at the docks by local law enforcement!




Reckless Driving

There is absolute zero tolerance on reckless driving. This is a danger to your own life and those around you. If majorly excessive speeds are recorded or tracker information indicates burnouts, donuts or handbrake turns, the car will be seized and your security deposit is at risk of being retained. All information relating to this will be located in the supplier’s terms & conditions and hire agreement.

If you want your security deposit back, simply respect the traffic laws, fellow human beings, and the car.




Can the cars be taken into Europe?

In most cases, yes, but express permission must be sought and charges are applicable for the relevant insurance, green cards and European break-down packs which are required by law.




I have a fleet insurance policy; can I permit friends/family to drive the hire car if I add the car to my own insurance?

No. Well, not unless the hire firm has agreed to this. Your security deposit will be lost if this is not pre-agreed by the hire firm.




What happens if someone takes the car keys and drives the car without my permission?

If an uninsured driver is caught behind the wheel of the car whilst you have it on hire, you will lose your security deposit as this is classed as an uninsured event as far as the supplier’s insurance goes. It is your responsibility to look after the car and the keys whilst it is on hire. There is zero tolerance on uninsured drivers.




Can the cars be taken onto racetracks, airstrips or private land?

No. The vehicles are only insured for self-drive purposes on standard roads. Unless prior permission has been sought, and specialist insurance arranged/agreed, you will lose your security deposit. The vehicles are not insured for this type of use and taking them onto private land/facilities will void the insurance cover – hence full liability for repair costs resting on the supplier if you crash the car.




What’s it like to drive a supercar?

As with everything, the proof of the pudding is in the eating of it. There is a phrase coined ’the supercar grin’ whereby you’re smiling from ear to ear, even after the hire has ended. Hiring a supercar can be a lifelong memory and is a great addition to make a weekend away, proposal, or wedding, that even more special. There is a great deal of enjoyment in experiencing highly tuned machines, which only a small percentage of the planet ever get to drive, and for under a £1,000, you can take control of some of the worlds’ finest...

Just be safe, adhere to the rules, and have the drive of your life!




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