First Time Hirer? Here’s Some Handy Tips/Checks
First time hirer? Handy tips / checklist
It can be a daunting task choosing the right supercar hire company. Select the wrong one and it will end in an expensive mistake! Therefore, to help you through the process, we have produced a check list & handy tips to make sure (even if you don’t use us) you find the right company and have a supercar experience of a lifetime.
Do your background research!
Supercars are not cheap to hire and rightly so. You will be spending a lot of money including a deposit (some companies do everything they can to keep some or all of it), so its well worth doing your due diligence. Lots of companies set up, offer crazy prices and then vanish after 6 months in this industry. Check companies house to find how long the business has been trading for. Do they use an independent Reviews site? When was the website registered? All this information you can find easily.
We have been trading since 2003. We have over 200 honest and real customer reviews (Every single review is from a verified hirer). Whilst we may not always be the cheapest, we are one of only a handful of companies that actually own our own cars and have over 16 years experience in this sector.
Getting a quote – Key questions you need to ask!
We recommend getting 2-3 quotes from different companies not just to compare prices but also how professional their response is.
Key questions you should ask:
- Be specific about the car you are interested in i.e. age, condition, colour, sat nav (if the supplier cant tell you this info straight away, it’s either not their car or it doesn’t exist).
- Confirm total price including what your total mileage allowance will be.
- What is the deposit amount?
- What is the total excess amount (this amount may differ from the deposit i.e. its your total liability in the event of an insurance claim).
- What are the extra mileage costs (pre paid / after hire)?
- How much will delivery / collection be? (if required)
- Am I insured under a commercial self-drive hire policy? (You’ll be amazed at how many companies we’ve seen over the years operating on a normal motor trade policy meant for car dealers, which essentially means you are driving around in a £100,000+ supercar without insurance!)
Comparing a quote – Make sure you ask detailed questions.
Even though you might be doing a ‘like for like’ quote, cars differ massively when comparing i.e. age, condition, mileage on the car, hence always ask those questions. If you have a cheap price then you have to question why? Supercars are not cheap to buy, maintain, insure etc, therefore are not cheap to hire generally (we constantly check our prices against market rates).
We tend to keep our cars for no more than 2 years so our cars are always the latest models available. Some companies try to hire out 12 year old cars that may look great on the outside but they’ll never drive anything like a much newer model.
Do you really want to be hiring an old unreliable car for something as important as a wedding for example.
Brokers – Understanding who they are?
As of 2019, there are about 10 companies in the UK (including us) who actually own the cars, the rest of the companies you see are basically brokers who don’t own even one car.
Coming direct to a company like us will likely work out cheaper as the brokers still need to make a profit from each hire. Another issue is when you need to be very specific about the car you want, they won’t be able to confirm anything without having to speak to the actual car owners first.
Deposits – Understand the difference between a deposit and an excess.
This is always one of the biggest factors to consider when hiring a car. We’ll address this in two main parts:
This is a deposit we hold on a card while the car is on hire. This is done to cover any incurred costs (parking tickets/speeding fines etc) or in the event of damage, to cover those and if necessary most of the companies insurance excess.
Any good company will only do a pre authorisation meaning we don’t actually take the money, it’s just held against your account. When the car comes back off hire and there are no additional costs this simply just expires (normally 5 working days after the pre-auth was taken).
Sometimes you’ll see that this may be higher than the actual deposit. The excess is just like having to pay an excess on your own insurance in the event of an ‘incident’ just ours is slightly higher. Typically, this is usually around £10,000 for most supercars but some companies have some cars that are over £40,000!! So make sure you fully understand this bit before you book your hire.
One the biggest issues in our industry.
‘This company withheld my deposit’ is one of the many problems we hear. Any reputable company should do a pre authorisation and once the car has been properly inspected and no damage or additional costs, that deposit should end.
DO NOT hire from a company that a) takes the money then refunds and b) asks you to do a BACS payment. Also check the bad companies t&c’s, some have 28 day return of deposit, which is just completely unnecessary and unprofessional.
Insurance – Always check you covered under a commercial Self Drive Hire (SDH) policy?
Reports from the insurance industry suggest 3 in 10 of car hire companies don’t have the correct insurance…Do you want to risk driving an expensive supercar with out insurance, we spend a huge amount each year to make sure our customers and cars are covered properly. Please do ask for our insurance details during any stage of the hire process.
We even know one company who hires their cars out on a 3rd party basis, so any accident you are involved in, you would not be covered for your damages.
Damage – Make sure you check the car over for pre-existing damage.
This is another big issue we have come across. These are expensive cars, which sadly means repairs also are expensive. On every hire, we have a fair wear and tear policy so that if you get a stone chip on the bonnet for example, you aren’t going to be charged. (Some companies actually do this!)
If you curb a wheel or scuff the bumper, you pay for just that, you don’t lose your deposit for a £300 repair. We had one customer that returned a car back to a competitor of ours after scratching the mirror casing and curbed two wheels. They took his whole deposit! How is that acceptable??
The most common types of damage are wheel scuffs and bumper scuffs which is why we clearly state the cost of repair on each contract. This is why it’s so important to thoroughly check the whole car (even underneath) before signing the contract/ handover form. If you miss a scratch for example, it would be very easy for them to state you caused the damage during you hire.
99% of our cars are delivered/collected looking like new so it’s easy to spot any damage but in the instance of it being delivered dirty (raining on the way to you), it’s even more important to check it over properly. We even recommend doing a video around the car.
This is an important part of the hire experience. Every single hire we do, we spend 20-30 minutes on the handover, showing you how everything works and little tips for each car (like how to use the nose lift or to warm up the ceramic brakes). Hiring a £200,000+ car is a very daunting time for most so making sure you’re happy and comfortable with everything is not only a benefit for you but also for us. If we know you’re relaxed and comfortable, we know the cars are in safe hands.
Unlike some companies, we will not leave or let you go until both parties are 100% sure you are ready.
If you have any questions about any of the above, then please just get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to answer them.