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Car Rental in UK-driving license question

Car Rental in UK-driving license question

Nov 3rd, 2006, 02:27 AM
  #1  
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Car Rental in UK-driving license question

hi

can we rent a car in UK if we do not have UK or international driving license. We only have our home country driving license (malaysia)? anyone has answer to this question?

cheers
firedrago is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 02:40 AM
  #2  
 
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You can hire and drive a car with any foreign licence for up to 12 months from your arrival in the UK. There's no such thing as an international driving licence anyway: International Driving Permits - which are merely assertions by trusted authorities that you have a licence in your own country - aren't required in the UK.

This, by the way, applies to everyone, and not just to people (like Malaysians) with licences in English.

Fuller details at www.dvla.org.uk
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:39 AM
  #3  
 
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My parents and I rented a car from Enterprise in October to do a drive tour of Cornwall. I reserved the car online and the contract specifically stated that renters not holding an EU drivers license were required to have an International Drivers Permit. My parents had EU drivers licenses but I didn't so I obtained one from AAA. That's what I presented when I picked up the car. I don't know what they would have said if I'd only presented my US driver's license, but why risk it when the Internation permit only cost me $18 and is good for one year?
Roundtrip is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Good point, Roundtrip.

I've merely quoted the law. Individual car hire companies are quite entitled to impose any further restrictions they like.

In a country with such loose and complicated rules about long-stay visitors, it's very difficult to devise a foolproof way for every employee to check that a non-European has been here for less than 12 months. If they've been here longer, and were driving on their foreign licence, an insurance company would refuse to pay up in the event of an accident.

So firedrago needs to doublecheck with his hire company, as well as check the law.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 01:13 PM
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"the contract specifically stated that renters not holding an EU drivers license were required to have an International Drivers Permit. "

This is very odd, since the IDP has no legal standing,itself, and basicaly serves as a translation of your "Real" license. It seregs no useful purpose when visiting a country that speaks (roughly) the same language that your actual license was issued in.
Anonymous is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 01:32 PM
  #6  
 
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Re Enterprise in the UK -- this came up a few months ago here on Fodors. Having lived in the UK and having rented MANY cars from probably 10 or 12 different companies, I could not believe Enterprise required an IDP. The poster insisted that is what the website said. So, I e-mailed Enterprise UK directly and asked them. The Customers Services manager was basically flabergasted. They do not and never have required an IDP. Don't know if the website was updated. But think about it - what earthly use would an IDP do if a license is in English? It is merely a translation of the info on your license.

I posted the info on here and a couple of others confirmed they had received the same info directly from Enterprise.
janisj is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 04:37 PM
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Enterprise is simply anticipating the revival of the Cornish language or that you may wander into one of those enclaves where it is still the language of choice.
jsmith is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2006, 11:44 PM
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Anonymous:

IDPs do have other uses. They indicate that a trusted authority, outside the UK and almost always in the hirer's home country, has seen the underlying licence within the past 12 months.

Licences can last for decades. A foreigner presenting an IDP (which is valid only for a year) to a UK hire company is therefore unlikely to have been in the UK for more than a year.

An insurance company receiving an accident claim relating to a non-European driver will immediately check (far more rigorously than a desk clerk can) whether the driver was driving legally. If he's the archetype Aussie who's been here a few years and hasn't bothered to get a UK licence, the insurance co will reject the claim - leaving the hire co with a write-off equivalent to several years' hire revenue.

Insisting on an IDP isn't an infallible way of stopping this. But, since it's more trouble for an Aussie to go home and get an IDP than to sit for a UK licence, an IDP requirement limits hiring by people with invalid licences.

Whether a hire company has this requirement or not is up to the company. It might well vary from location to location. Which is why firedrago does need to check.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 4th, 2006, 09:05 AM
  #9  
 
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Here's the Enterprise rental contract wording:

ALL DRIVERS MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. 21 TO 24 YEAR OLDS MAY RENT UP TO CLASS D/STANDARD VEHICLE. YOUNG DRIVER FEES APPLY. * * * * ADDITIONAL DRIVERS MAY BE ADDED TO YOUR RENTAL. PLEASE CONTACT THE BRANCH DIRECTLY. ADDITIONAL DRIVER FEES APPLY.
ALL DRIVERS MUST HAVE A VALID DRIVER'S LICENCE HELD FOR A MINIMUM OF 1 YEAR TO BE PRODUCED AT TIME OF RENTAL. TWO PART LICENCE HOLDERS MUST PRODUCE BOTH PARTS. INTER NATIONAL DRIVER'S PERMIT REQUIRED WITH ALL NON-EUROPEAN LICENCES.* * * * ALL UK RENTERS MUST PRODUCE PHOTO ID (DRIVERS LICENCE OR PASSPORT), AND PROOF OF ADDRESS (BANK OR BUILDING SOCIETY STATEMENT NO MORE THAN 3 MONTHS OLD). ALL OVERSEAS RENTERS REQUIRE PASSPORT AND DRIVER'S LICENCE.* * * * ALL DRIVERS MUST PRESENT A MAJOR CREDIT/DEBIT CARD IN THEIR NAME AT TIME OF RENTAL FROM WHICH A SECURITY DEPOSIT WILL BE TAKEN.* * * * IF YOUR CREDIT CARD COVERS DW, WRITTEN VERIFICATION IS REQUIRED FROM YOUR CREDIT CARD PROVIDER AT TIME OF RENTAL. * * * PLEASE REFERENCE 'OPTIONAL PROTECTION PRODUCTS' LINK ON THIS PAGE"

What else can I add? I didn't call Enterprise to "confirm." I simply followed the instructions as stated when I orderd the car online.
Roundtrip is offline  
Nov 4th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Wouldn't an Aussie and other foreigners have to produce a passport? And wouldn't the passport be stamped with their arrival date? And before anyone says passports don't get stamped these days, ours have been on arrival at LHR.

Do UK drivers' licenses still last for decades? Because they don't in the US. I think it's now 5yrs in California, and they have pictures on them.

There's another reason to hate insurance companies. It's really not the rental agencies' job to figure out if a potential renter is a legal visitor or not. There's an entire area of beaurocracy whose job that is. But any way to avoid paying....
Barbara is offline  
Nov 4th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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different states have different requirements for driver's licenses. In arizona, your license is good to age 65. My 18 yr old's license expires in 2053!!!!!!!
bigtyke is offline  
Nov 4th, 2006, 12:37 PM
  #12  
 
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Yes, Roundtrip. We know that is what the website says. That is why I e-mailed Enterprise directly when this came up on here a few months ago. It simply didn't make any sense. So I decided to do some investigating.

The customer service manager of Enterprise UK e-mailed back that they would not (and never have) require and IDP from The US, Canada, Oz, NZ etc, etc. I can't find the thread now where I copied/pasted her response.

It is probably a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. It may be in the on-line details but they won't ask for an IDP when you pick up a car.

I've rented from Enterprise probably 7 or 8 times - the last less than a year ago. No IDP has ever been mentioned (and I'm one of the few who is super-cautious and recommend one get an IDP for travel to places like France even when it isn't a legal requirement) It simply doesn't make sense for the UK.
janisj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 04:05 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi, I have a driving license issued in India (and it is in Hindi - the local language) and have never had a problem renting a car with that here in the UK. I have never been asked for my IDP also (have only rented from Entreprise, 3 or 4 times)
Debub is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 06:51 AM
  #14  
 
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You can use a non uk driving licence providng the staff can read the content ie is using a alpabet with which we are familiar. If the licence is written in Arabic for example they will not accept it without an international driving permit.
JohnBhoy is offline  

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