Van Hire Accident, Theft & Breakdown Guide

Accidents, breakdowns and thefts are fairly rare with hire vans, but they do happen from time to time.

If you are unlucky enough to have something like this happen to you when you've rented a van, then following the right procedures will make sure that you don't end up unnecessarily out of pocket and back on the road as soon as possible:

My hire van has broken down

Breakdowns in hire vehicles are rare, as the vehicles are normally quite new and well maintained by the hire company. However, it does happen and it pays to be prepared. Here is what to do:

  1. Virtually all van hire companies provide 24 hour roadside assistance - such as the AA or RAC breakdown cover. All the information you need is usually provided in the vehicle, often in the van glove box or a sticker on the visor. So, if you breakdown, call the number and wait for help.

  2. Notify your hire company, so that they are aware. Next working day may be soon enough if the breakdown is out of office hours but ensure you do this as soon as possible.

  3. Don't try to repair it yourself or have it repaired without authorisation from your hire company. Even if it is just a puncture, you may want to call out roadside assistance - especially if you're on a motorway or dual carriageway.

I've had an accident in my hire van

Accidents can happen, especially when driving unfamilar vehicles that are larger than what you're used to. Here's what to do:

  1. Stay calm.

  2. If anyone is hurt or there is any damage to other vehicles, notify the police immediately and make sure you get an incident/crime number.

  3. Get the names, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle registration numbers and any insurance details of all third parties involved in the incident. Also, get details of witnesses if appropriate. Do not admit any liability at the scene of the accident.

  4. Notify your van hire company within 24 hours.

  5. Your van hire company will instruct you on the next steps, often any mail you receive relating to the accident has to be forwarded immediately to them. You may also need to provide further assistance to your hire company, including court appearances and police statements.

Note: Failure to follow your hire company's rules in the event of an accident can result in you being liable for the entire cost of the damage/loss, including third party costs. You have been warned.

My rented van has been stolen

Theft can occasionally happen to a hire vehicle. It's upsetting and annoying. Here's what to do if your hire van is stolen:

  1. Contact the police immediately and get a crime reference number. Assist them in any way reasonably possible.

  2. Report the theft to the van rental company as soon as possible - certainly within 24 hours. Follow their directions about what to do next.

Note: If the rental company believes (or the police prove) that you did not take proper care of the van - i.e. left it unlocked or leaving the keys in while unattended - you will probably be liable for the full losses suffered by the rental company, up to and including a replacement van.

Disclaimer: All information on this page is provided as a general guide only. You should follow the exact procedures laid out by your hire company in the event of an a collision, breakdown or vehicle crime incident. shall accept no responsibility for any damage or losses resulting from any collision, breakdown or vehicle crime incident during a rental or at any other time.

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