Setting up a rental company

Legal implications

There is no statutory requirement setting vehicle standards other than general product liability legislation and general consumer protection legislation such as the Supply of Goods and Services Act and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations which govern what terms may be used and will be upheld in contracts entered into with consumers.

There are no special legal requirements for setting up a rental company beyond the normal legal requirements when starting up any other type of business.  There is more information available on the GOV.UK website. Information is also available to assist from Companies House.

Statutory requirements
There is no statutory regulation or licensing scheme for the rental industry other than the nature of a hire agreement may require your company to hold a consumer credit licence.
You may need a consumer credit licence if the hiring agreement is capable of lasting more than 90 days or other aspects of the Consumer Credit Act such as a deferment of payment mean that the nature of the agreement is regulated by the Act.  

For further information visit the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) website, ‘Do I need to be authorised?’  or contact them on their firm helpline on 0845 606 9966 or 0300 500 0597. 

Buying a franchise/licensee
You may decide that the best way of entering into the rental industry is by way of a franchise agreement where vehicles systems and financing support are available.  Companies who offer franchising arrangements in the rental industry are set out below.
Park Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 2BW
tel: 01344 484100       fax: 01344 668700
Europcar House, Aldenham Road, Watford, Herts, WD2 2LX
tel: 01923 811000
Durrant House, Holywell Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 7SJ
tel: 01246 282000
21-23 Little Broom Street, Camp Hill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B12 0EU
tel: 0121 772 8599        
The Court Yard
18 Station Parade
Beaconsfield, Bucks HP9 2PB
tel: 01494 678949 
Hertz House, 11 Vine Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1QE
tel: 01895 6270
Specialist insurance companies
The following companies specialise in rental company insurance or brokering and can advise on risk issues and the level of cover required for self drive vehicle hire insurance.
  • Arthur J Gallagher Insurance Brokers - tel: 0208 018 7455
  • Martinez & Partners Ltd t/a M&P Insurance Solutions - tel: 01256 355656
  • MS Automotive (London) Ltd – tel: 0207 480 5461
  • Towergate Insurance –  tel: 0844 8921434
  • Sentinel Insurance Solutions Ltd – tel: 01189 311008
Specialist business administration and computer software companies
Jaama Ltd – tel: 0844 8484 333
Nexus Business Solutions (RentMan) –tel: 0870 787 2211
Prohire Software Systems Ltd - tel: 01795 434000 
Membership of the BVRLA
The BVRLA is the trade association representing and regulating the rental and leasing industry. The benefits of membership are set out hereIf you are setting up a rental company, please contact the BVRLA’s membership department on 01494 545705.
The BVRLA’s Code of Conduct sets out minimum standards of vehicle operation.  
Model terms and conditions of rental approved by the Plain English Campaign are available to members of the BVRLA.