Insurance Requirements for Car & Van Hire

UK DRIVER'S LICENCES All British drivers need to hold a full current driving licence, be aged over 21 (except certain categories - see below*)  Customers can either obtain a DVLA check code from the on-line "Share Driving Licence Service" which you can access yourself or at our office. Please remember to bring your NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBER in with you to do this.

FOREIGN AND EU DRIVER'S LICENCES Hirers with a foreign driving licence visiting this country may hire a vehicle, providing they have had previous driving experience in the UK or in a country that drives on the same side of the road as the UK. A valid International Driving Permit is required should a foreign licence be in any language other than English. Non-EU licence holders who have resided in the UK for more than 12 months continuously, will need to have passed their driving test is the UK and posess a full UK licence.

*N.B. For cars 1600cc and above, MPVs, Minibuses and 7.5 tonne vehicles, hirers need to be aged 25 or over. For Prestige Cars of 2500cc and over, the minimum age is 30.

DVLA If you have mislaid your UK driving licence, if it is illegible or has been defaced, we may be able to contact DVLA to verify your details using their premium telephone call service which costs £3.60. This service is generally available during our office hours except for Sundays but cannot always be relied upon due to factors beyond their and our control. Please contact us in advance of your hire for further details.


Cars - For cars of 1400cc and under,you need to be aged 21 or over and have held a current full driving licence for 2 years if you are under 25.  You only need 1 year's driving experience if you are 25 or over. For cars over 1400cc you need to be 25 or over and have held a full current driving licence for at least 1 year.

People Carriers & Minibuses- You need to be over 25 and have held a full current driving licence for 3 years or more.

Prestige Vehicles - You need to be aged 30 or over and have held a full current driving licence for 3 years or more to hire these types of vehicle.

Vans, Trucks & Tippers (except 7.5 tonne vehicles) - You need to be over 21 and have held a full current driving licence for at least 1 year (2 years if under 25).

7½ Ton Vehicles - You need to be over 25 and have held a full valid current driving licence with category C1 for at least 3 years. 

 LICENCE CATEGORIES The following explains the types of SSD vehicles that can be driven depending upon the categories listed on the driver’s licence:-

  • Category B - Cars, 4x4s, People Carriers & Minibuses with no more than 8 passenger seats. Vans & trucks upto 3.5 tonne gross vehicle weight.
  • Category C1 - Vans & trucks between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight. 
  • Category D1 - Minibuses with no more than 16 passenger seats*
  • Category E - allows you to tow trailers over 750Kg, and is combined with another category, for example B+E, C1+E or D1+E.

ENDORSEMENTS  SSD's insurers can accept up to six points for the more minor offences such as parking, speeding, construction and use and certain other offences. If you are aged 23 or under, an unendorsed or "clean" licence is required. If you are unable to satisfy these requirements, please contact us and we will provide you with a quotation for alternative comprehensive insurance cover.

INSURANCE All vehicles are covered on the public highway comprehensively with an accidental damage excess.

COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) limits your vehicle damage liability to between £1000 in most cases and is also subject to endorsements, previous accidents and driving experience. You can purchase Excess Protection Waiver (EPW) to further reduce your liability (see below). CDW will not cover you for the following:-

  • Windscreen, glass, mirrors and tyre damage.
  • Interior damage eg. cigarette burns
  • Roof or overhead damage above the height of the windscreen
  • Damage when the vehicle is not on the public highway
  • Theft of the vehicle
  • Damage or theft caused by the negligence of the hirer
  • Damage caused by racing or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Vandalism
  • If the terms and conditions of the rental agreement are breached.

EXCESS PROTECTION WAIVER (EPW) reduces your excess contribution in the event of a motor accident from £1000 to £250 in most cases. EPW does not cover you for above windscreen height damage. This can be covered by taking out Super Protection Waiver (SPW) or SPW Plus. Theft cover will be withdrawn or limited if the vehicle's keys are given to an unauthorised driver, lost or stolen.The refundable deposit is £150 for small cars, vans & minibuses and £200 for large cars.

SUPER PROTECTION WAIVER (SPW) reduces your excess to £150 in most cases and caps damage to glass, wheels and tyres at £50. The refundable deposit is £150.

SPW PLUS reduces your excess to £50 in most cases. The refundable deposit is £100.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Full terms and conditions are published on this website and printed on the reverse side of each rental agreement. All hirers are asked to read these carefully. 

IDENTIFICATION Hirers are required to supply additional identification when hiring a vehicle. As a minimum we will require 2 additional forms, made up of address identity and personal identity. Acceptable forms would be utility bills (no more than 2 months old), credit card statement, council tax bill etc.

V.A.T. will be charged at current rates on rental, fuel, waivers, delivery and collection charges.

PAYMENT The cost of the rental and any fuel is required at the commencement of hire. Payment can be made by Debit Card, Mastercard, or Visa. Amex or Diners cards attract an additional surcharge of 5%. Payment by cash is not acceptable.
RETURNABLE DEPOSIT Hirers paying by debit card or credit card are typically required to pay a deposit of £150 most vehicles or £200 for large cars. in addition to the cost of the hire. This is increased to £500 for hirers paying by pre-paid credit card or Electron. We can only accept payment by credit card for the hire of Prestige vehicles.

LATE RETURN OF VEHICLE Late returns will be charged at an hourly rate (one sixth of the daily rate) plus collision damage waiver and insurance at daily rates. SSD must receive prior notification from the hirer, otherwise a minimum of 1 day will be charged.

AVAILABILITY Whilst every effort will be made to supply the model requested, in the event of it being unavailable, an alternative model will be provided if at all possible. We will notify you as soon as possible if a similar vehicle is not available.

CANCELLATION 48 hours notice of cancellation is required. If cancellation is made within this period, we reserve the right to charge a 20% cancellation fee.

OPERATORS LICENCE The Hirer must be in possession of a current and suitable Operator's Licence if vehicles in excess of 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) are to be used for hire or reward or in connection with the hirers trade or business.

TRAVELLING OVERSEAS Vehicles may be taken out of mainland England, Wales or Scotland, provided this has been agreed beforehand and in these cases there will be additional charges. We will arrange green card insurance and for our vehicle to be covered by AA 5 star cover or similar and Bail Bond if appropriate. We will be happy to provide you with a detailed quotation on request. For further information please go to our Continental Hire page. Minibuses with more than 9 seats (including the driver) must be fitted with a tachograph and can be taken abroad providing the driver has a digital tachograph card as this is a European requirement.

LOADING THE VEHICLE The hirer is responsible for not exceeding the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of the vehicle.

EXTENDING THE RENTAL The facility is available providing we are informed prior to the expiry of the agreed rental period (as shown on the rental agreement) and the required additional payment is made so that the insurance cover may be extended.

UNLIMITED MILEAGE means Unlimited Fair Mileage. The Company offers Unlimited Fair Mileage on its vehicles for periods of hire from 7 days and over (including hires of 1 to 7 days which extend). Unlimited Fair Mileage excludes excessive mileage. For the purpose of clarification, the Company offers the following guide:- 

Period of Hire   Unlimited Fair Mileage
 1 to 6 days  250 miles per day
 7 to 14 days  1750 total miles
 15 to 28 days  2240 total miles

Unlimited Fair Mileage for hires in excess of 28 days will be calculated by multiplying the number of days hired by 80 (2240 divided by 28).Excess Mileage Charges will be levied according to the vehicle type hired and are published in the Vehicle Details section for each vehicle on the Company's website.

If you are likely to go over the above guidelines, please speak to us first as we are be able to adjust the hire charge accordingly. This will always be more economical than paying the excess mileage charge at the end of your hire.

RETURNING THE VEHICLE Vehicles must be returned to the office from which they were rented unless they were delivered at the start of the hire.

OUT OF HOURS RETURNS There are facilities for returning vehicles after normal business hours however, theft of and any damage caused to the vehicle after its return, is the responsibility of the hirer until the vehicle has been checked in by a member of SSD's staff when the office next opens.