What Are The Requirements for Hiring a Vehicle?

With the COVID-19 pandemic doing its best to disrupt our lives over the last two years, for many of us holidaying abroad has become a thing of the past.

While the world has opened up a little more in 2021 compared to last year, many people stuck with staycations are making the choice to explore British shores instead. 

With this in mind, car hire has become an extremely popular choice for both day trips and longer getaways. 

If you’re considering hiring a car for your next trip, it’s important to have an understanding of what is required. 

In this month’s article, the team here at Gatwick Car & Van Rental has put together a list of everything you need to know about the requirements for hiring a vehicle.  


intermediate size cars

Age restrictions 

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive when it comes to hiring a car surrounds age limits. There is no legal requirement on how old you have to be to hire a car, with some companies allowing people as young as 18 to hire from them. 

However, most car hire companies will likely have some kind of restriction in place. Generally, everyone under the age of 26 can expect to receive some kind of young driver charges applied when they make a booking. At Gatwick Car & Van Rental, we have a minimum age of 26 on our car hire and van hire, depending on the type of vehicle you’re looking to rent.

Recently, more and more car hire companies have also been applying a maximum age limit. Again, this is different for every company but, on average, car hire companies may impose an age limit of around 75 years old. 

Document requirements 

When you visit a car hire company, there are a number of documents that you’ll need to have with you. 

  • A full and valid driving licence

Most obviously, you cannot hire a vehicle without a full and valid driving licence. In the UK, you’ll need to have held the licence for at least two years and have a maximum of two lots of three-point fixed penalties. If your circumstances do not match these requirements, then it may not be possible to insure you to drive. 

  • DVLA Code

Usually, a DVLA code will also be required. To get your code, you’ll need to visit the GOV.UK website and follow the instructions. DVLA codes are only valid for 21 days before they expire, so make sure you don’t do it too early. 

Your DVLA code will give the car hire company a comprehensive overview of your driving history, including any disqualifications and penalty points that may impact whether you can hire a vehicle, and how much it’ll cost you. 

If you don’t have a DVLA code, then you can bring your National Insurance number instead. 

  • Proof of address 

You will also need to bring along some documentation that proves your address. This can be a bank statement or utility bill, just something that shows where you live matches the address on your driving licence. Make sure that the document is dated within the last three months. Sometimes you may also be asked to bring a credit card statement. Credit cards may be required to make a deposit, so be sure to bring a statement from the card you’re planning on using. 

If you’re hiring a car in the UK, and you’re a British citizen, all of the above should be enough to hire a car. If you’re looking to hire a card abroad, then you may need to complete an International Driving Permit (IDP). These are fairly straightforward to apply for, just visit the GOV.UK website and you can apply for one within 15 minutes.  

Hire a vehicle with Gatwick Car & Van Rental 

At Gatwick Car & Van Rental, we have a fleet of more than 300 vehicles that can meet your needs. Located close to Gatwick Airport, whether you need car hire or van hire, our team is here to help. We can accommodate commercial rentals too, so whatever you require, get in touch with our team today.