There may be occasions when it is necessary for you to reserve and pay for a hire car for another person. You could be a secretary organising a business trip for your boss, or a parent helping your kids with their travel arrangements.
Basically, all they would have to do is turn up at the rental office, fill out the paperwork, take the keys and hit the road – in theory. But it might not be quite as straightforward as that.
Booking a Rental Car for Someone Else
If the driver will be paying when they collect the car, the online reservation part of the process should not present any problems. The rental company will need the name, address, telephone number and email address of the main driver. Because of the Data Protection Act, when you are booking a rental on somebody else's behalf, it is important that you have obtained permission from the driver to provide their personal details on the website.
It is also important to point out that it is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions of the rental and accept them on behalf of the driver. The named driver must meet the minimum requirements of the rental terms and you must confirm, for example, that they don't have too many points on their licence or any serious convictions such as drink driving.
Paying for Car Hire
Paying for car rental for someone else can be a little more complicated, depending on which company you are booking with. Some car rental companies accept payment by another party, but it will be in the terms of the rental that the driver must present a credit card in their own name at the rental office when they collect the car. Their card may be used to secure a deposit.
With other rental firms, if you have paid online through their website, it is stipulated that the driver must present the same card that was used to make the booking and which must also be in their name. You should check the terms and conditions of the company you are booking with before you confirm and pay for the rental to avoid any problems later.
Sometimes there are extra charges to pay on top of the basic rental. For instance, if you are reserving a car for someone under the age of 25, a daily young driver surcharge will be applied. Many companies require this to be paid locally at the time of collection.
Optional extras can be reserved in advance, such as additional drivers, sat nav, baby seats, roof racks, etc., but the driver will generally be charged for these extras at the rental office.
To ensure a smooth rental process and avoid any nasty surprises, or even the driver being refused a vehicle, thoroughly check the company's conditions in the rental contract.