UK car hire

When you use the 5th Gear online UK car hire quotation engine at the top of this page you will first be asked to select the car rental vehicle group. The choices are;

When you have selected the rental vehicle type, the next selection will be for the pick up location for the vehicle hire. Only the location with that particular vehicle will be listed. The drop off locations are then listed - one way car hire is available, so you can select a different drop off location. One way 7 seat car hire is available at many locations but one way 9 seat car hire is only available between a few locations (these will be offered to you in the list). One way van hire locations are also listed.

Next are the pick up and drop off dates and times. If the selected rental branch is not open then it will indicate that it is closed. The time box will only show the hours that the branch is open. Some locations have an 'out of hours' car hire return facility where you can return the rental vehicle to the branch even if it is closed. The hire vehicle will not be 'checked in' until the branch opens, so some customers prefer to take out extra car hire insurance to reduce or zero the excess amount in case the vehicle is damaged whilst parked at the car hire branch.

You can select your vehicle of choice, generally by 'car class,' which denotes the size of the vehicle. Mini (smallest), Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Full-Size, Premium and Luxury are the typical car hire categories. The difference between rental vehicle categories are usually the engine size, performance, fixtures, features or any combination of these.

Car rental companies have standardised codes to ensure that anyone booking a car hire will have accurate information about the rental car. These are called ACRISS codes, or The Association of Car Rental Industry System Standards codes. The nature of national car rentals means that car hire companies will have lots of different vehicles on their fleet, supplied from many different car companies. So for example someone might want to rent a VW Golf sized car hire, but the car hire company may only have Fords and Vauxhalls available, so they have to supply the equivalent sized vehicle to the VW Golf. To help this process each vehicle will be classified so that the customer will receive a rental vehicle of the group/size that they book online.

The ACRISS codes are made up of four characters that describe the type of rental vehicle:

If you cannot find the answers you need, please call us on +44 1738 450 440 - our office is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. All calls are charged at the standard UK landline rate. If the reservations staff are very busy, please use our quick response contact form.