Car hire near me: Can you hire a car in lockdown?

With the UK currently in lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many people have been wondering whether they can still hire a car. The government has ordered the population to stay at home, with only essential travel permitted.

Can you hire a car in lockdown?

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) says it is continuing to provide cars, vans, minibuses and trucks to key workers during the lockdown.

BVRLA Chief Executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “Many people think of vehicle rental as the car that they pick up from an airport on their annual holiday.

“In reality, around half of all vehicle rental transactions are with businesses supporting the transportation of people and goods.

“In these challenging times, vehicle rental is focussed on its most important customers.

“Right now, our members are providing cars to police forces, district nurses and Ministry of Defence sites; vans to plumbers and gas engineers; refrigerated lorries to food distributors and minibuses to schools with special educational needs.

“They may not have flashing lights or logos, but tens of thousands of rental vehicles across the UK are helping to keep our infrastructure running, our food stores stocked and our families safe and well.”

If you are planning to hire a car, or have already made a booking, check with the booking company to see if your local outlet remains open.

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Some rental companies are only keeping a limited number of their outlets open during this time.

Avis said in a statement: “As part of the global efforts to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus, recent government measures may have led to us closing some of our rental stations.

“In the unlikely event a rental station closes during your booking, you will be contacted by the team to make suitable arrangements.”

Car hire companies have also enhanced their cleaning protocols and products.

Zipcar said on their website: “We have stringent checks in place to ensure all of our vehicles are cleaned thoroughly, and have further enhanced cleaning protocols and products.

“We’ve also enhanced the vigorous cleaning techniques of our vehicles, paying close attention to the hard surfaces people touch, such as steering wheels, door handles, mirrors and key fobs.

“We’ve also promoted additional hygiene and safety practices within the team that works behind the scenes to care for our vehicles.”

Additionally, many car hire companies are also waiving cancellation fees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Europcar said the company “provides both flexible adjustment or cancellation free of charge for all of our customers”.

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