Car Hire Tips for Drivers with Special Requirements
Driving AidsWhen planning to hire a car, it is always important to consider if you require any additional items or have needs outside of the standard optional extras offered by suppliers.
If you need to include an item such as hand controls, it is recommended that you take the time to contact the suppliers directly to advise them of your requirements. While suppliers try to accommodate all drivers and their individual needs, many do advise that items like hand controls are only available at specific locations and are compatible with certain vehicles within their fleet.
Photo Courtesy of handicaphandcontrols.com
Top Tip: If the supplier at your preferred hire location is unable to offer hand controls, ask if they are able to have them transferred from another location. You may like to also ask if another location has a vehicle pre-fitted with hand controls that can be transferred. Do not be afraid to ask about alternative solutions as most suppliers will be willing to work with you to meet your car hire requirements.
Car Features - Assist GripsAnother point to consider relates to the type of vehicles suppliers stock within their hire fleet. While most vehicles come standard with the same accessories and features, it can be small aspects that are not offered in certain makes and models that can assist in providing you with a better car hire experience. For example, certain vehicles do not have assist grips installed above all doors. While most rear passenger doors have them as standard, certain vehicles may have the front passenger assist grips installed, while the driver side does not. In these instances, there may be a provision for one, but not one installed for immediate use.
Top Tip: Ask suppliers if the vehicle you are interested in hiring comes standard with such features as assist grips for the driver. If not, and a provision is provided for one, are they able to have one installed.
Car Space for Transport of Mobility AidsStorage space within the rear of the car is another important aspect to consider. When choosing a car hire vehicle, there are many options available with respect to shape and size. When requiring space to cater for the transport of mobility aids such as a wheelchair or walking aids, ensure you look into the options available within the smaller car hire ranges.
Compact vehicles can offer just as much (if not more) storage space capacity as a larger size sedan. While most sedans offer great boot storage space, the hatchback vehicles have flexibility in how you can rearrange the vehicle to make it more personalised for your travel needs. For example, rear seats can be folded down with most offering the capability to choose between one or both seats being moved. In addition to being folded down, the rear seats in most hatchbacks can be moved forward various degrees to provide extra room without losing the seating capacity for rear passengers.
Always consider the safety options of mobility aids (and all other items) and ensure they are stored securely while travelling. While a sedan offers the ability to segregate items away from passengers and the driver, hatchbacks have the features and capabilities to allow you to safely secure your items as well. Many do have covers that protect items in the back and have the capacity to still provide protection while the seats have been moved forward to the next available position.
Top Tip: Look into all vehicle options and determine if a compact vehicle is able to meet your needs. If you don't require the full seating capacity of a larger sized vehicle, you may be able to find a great rental package in the smaller car range that can still offer you the storage space you require.