While a lot of drivers have never had any endorsements or penalties applied to their licence, many do for one reason or another. Where, why or under what circumstances are not what we want to explore in this month’s article. What we do want to look at more closely are what repercussions such actions may have when it comes to hiring a vehicle. Whether you are considering van or car rental with points, it can be equally difficult to hire each vehicle, so you will want to be aware of the possible implications. Car hire with endorsements is not impossible, but it can affect your ability to hire a vehicle depending on how many points you have. We explore the types of penalties that are in operation and what impact they may have on your ability to hire a van.
Points on your licence
When you break the law while driving you will receive points on your licence for a range of offences that may differ in severity. They include things such as speeding, using a mobile phone, traffic light violations, driving in ways that are not in accordance with your licence, pedestrian crossing offences, and driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Typically, these types of offences will attract a fine and you can get a varying amount of points on your licence. For example, being caught speeding can carry a minimum penalty of three points on your licence and a £100 fine. These points, otherwise known as endorsements, will also stay on your licence record for a number of years. For those less serious offences it is usually four years but can go up to 11 for more serious ones. If you accumulate 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period, you can be disqualified from driving. We have included a list of some common offences that can result in points on your licence and affect van hire:
- Dangerous driving – 3 to 11 points
- Driving whilst above legal alcohol limit – 3 to 11 points
- Driving whilst disqualified – 6 points
- Failing to stop after an accident – 5 to 10 points
- Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks – 6 to 8 points
For a full breakdown of the types of offences, number of points and length of time they will show up on your licence, visit the DVLA’s website.
If you are unsure whether you have any points on your licence or if ones you had have been removed yet, you can check online to see your records. It is important to be aware if you have any points on your licence, as this could affect many aspects of life such as employment or if you wish to hire a vehicle.
How many points can I have before I can’t rent a van?
Most rental agencies will allow you to hire a vehicle with three points on your licence. Some will be ok with six points – for example, if you have had two minor offences over a period of time attracting three points each. The severity of your driving offences will likely affect the decision of the van hire company. For example, if you have received points as a result of a minor speeding offence, then in most cases you will be permitted to hire a van. Anything more than six and there are very few companies that you can rent from.
Your van hire company has the right to refuse hire if they feel you will be unsafe operating one of their vehicles. It is always worthwhile checking first before you decide to proceed with your hire. If you have more than three points on your licence, then we recommend giving us a call so that we can discuss hire further with you.
Driving bans and disqualifications
Some offences are that serious that they result in a driving ban, or disqualification. Similarly, if you have committed a number of offences and amassed a series of points on your licence over the past 12 years then you may be banned from driving for a period of time.
If you have received a driving ban or had your licence revoked then you will not be able to hire a vehicle from any company for up to five years after having your licence returned. Any driving offence that is punishable by a prison sentence, such as failing to stop after an accident, means you are unlikely to be accepted by any van hire company. Offences such as these can result in a driving ban or a large number of points on your licence. Having any of these offences on your record can make it unlikely that you will be approved, regardless of whether you have served a prison term or not.
Why hiring becomes more difficult
All hire companies, us included, are covered by insurance which in turn covers you as the driver. Most insurers will have allowances in their contracts for a certain number of points. Anything more than that and it becomes a question for the insurance underwriters – will they cover a prospective driver? This is why it is important that each driver is treated individually, so it is worth contacting your van hire company to find out if you will be approved for hire.
Van hire alternatives
If your licence prevents you from being able to hire a van, you may want to ask a friend or family member to hire and drive the van on your behalf, so that you can complete the jobs you need without having to hire the van yourself. You may need to hire a van and driver that can drive the vehicle on your behalf. Many van hire companies don’t offer a driver for hire, so you will likely have to arrange this yourself.
At CVS Van Hire we are open to discussing each case so do please get in touch if you need to hire a van but are unsure if you can. We would be happy to speak to you regarding your current circumstances, so that we can understand your driving record and inform you of whether you are suitable for van hire. We are easy to reach and make sure that we can give you an answer as quickly as possible. Contact us on 020 8003 2785 for an informal chat or to get the ball rolling with hiring a van the next time you need one.