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All British drivers need to hold a full current driving licence, be aged over 23 (except for certain categories - please see below). Customers need to obtain a DVLA check code from the online 'Share your driving licence information' service.


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 if a foreign licence is 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 in the UK and possess 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.


If you have difficulty obtaining a DVLA check code over the web, 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.


Hirers are required to supply additional identification when hiring a vehicle.

1. Driving Licence (with photographic identification.

2. DVLA Licence Check Code

3. A second proof of address dated within the past 3 months.

Examples of acceptable forms would be; utility bills, credit card statements, council tax bills etc.


If you require more than one driver, they will need to produce their driving licence and a DVLA licence check code.

*N.B. There is an additional charge for extra drivers. 



For Mini, Medium and Large Economy cars, you need to be aged 23 or over and have held a current full driving licence for 2 years. For larger cars (except Prestige) you need to be 25 or over and have held a full current driving licence for at least 2 years.

People Carriers & Minibuses

You need to be 25 or over and have held a full current driving licence for 3 years or more. 17 seater minibuses require you to have a category D1 on your licence or for you to have passed your driving test before 1997.

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. 


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 up to 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 generally 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. If you have endorsements for drink driving or whilst under the influence of drugs, driving without due care and attention, reckless driving, driving whilst uninsured, theft or unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle or if you have been banned from driving within the last 5 years, we will be unable to provide you with insurance cover. In these cases, you will need to obtain your own separate comprehensive insurance cover and provide an Insurance Cover Note with our vehicle's details on it.


Please inform us if you have had any "at fault" motor accidents within the last 3 years as this may affect whether we can arrange insurance for you.


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


In most cases, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) limits your vehicle damage liability to between £1000 and £1500 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.


EPW reduces your excess contribution in the event of a motor accident in most cases from £1000 to £250 or £1500 to £500. 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 or are lost or stolen. The refundable deposit is £150 for small cars, vans & minibuses and £200 for large cars.


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


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. 

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


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.

Hirers paying by debit card or credit card are typically required to pay a deposit of £150 for 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.


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.


We are required to supply the appropriate authority with details of the hirer in the event we receive notification of a parking, speeding, congestion or other offence committed whilst any of our vehicles are on hire. A minimum administration fee of £30 plus vat is charged per incident.


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.


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 hirer's 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) and 7.5 tonnes Box Vans 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 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.


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


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.


In the event of an accident please call us as soon as possible. Instructions of what to do are supplied on collection of the vehicle.


In the event of a breakdown, please call us or the emergency number listed in the breakdown instructions supplied on collection of the vehicle. Certain circumstances such as running out of fuel, using the wrong type of fuel, lost or broken keys, batteries flattened due to lights left on, towing out of soft ground and negligence by the driver or hirer will incur additional charges. 


if you wish to complain about our service, please provide details of your complaint to a member of our reception staff. Should your complaint not be resolved to your satisfaction, please email us at with full details quoting your rental agreement number.