Frequently Asked Questions for consumers with vehicles on rent or lease during the COVID-19 pandemic
Frequently Asked Questions Rental
A: Yes you will need to, you may be asked to remove it to verify identity documents matching your face. When you are asked to do this staff and other customers will be more than 2m away or behind plexi-glass.
Q: I have booked to rent a vehicle from one of your members. Will I still be able to rent the vehicle during the Covid-19 pandemic?
A: Almost all rental companies and branches are now back open and operational. They are taking additional steps between rentals to make sure vehicles are cleaned and sanitised.
They are also asking health questions of customers regarding the symptoms of Covid-19 prior to and after a vehicle is returned. It is possible they may not be able to provide you with a vehicle if you or someone you live with have those symptoms.
In addition, on returning the vehicle if a hirer advises they or someone they live with is showing symptoms then further additional cleaning and sanitisation of the vehicle will take place.
A: It is safe to return the rental vehicle, provided you or a family member are not showing symptoms of Covid-19. The branch where you return the vehicle will be observing social distancing so staff should not be closer than 2m to you or 1m plus with a mask or use of hand sanitiser. You will need to wear a mask when you are in the rental branch.
Where any vehicles are returned, our members will aim to facilitate a contactless drop off and ensure they stay 2m apart or 1m plus with mitigation measures.
A: You should get in contact with the rental company and discuss options it could be that they are able to come and collect the vehicle or come to an arrangement with the rental company on returning the vehicle. Make sure you come to an arrangement about paying for the vehicle during this time.
A: You should discuss this with the rental company directly. While the cancellation policy agreed to in your booking terms and conditions will still apply, BVRLA members may have alternative policies in place including the potential to postpone the booking to a future date.
Frequently Asked Questions Leasing
Q: My agreement on my leased vehicle has come to an end and I am due to return the vehicle. Will they still collect my vehicle?
A: It is best to discuss this directly with your leasing company. Vehicles are being collected now, however, there are some delays due to a backlog across the sector as vehicles were not collected during the lockdown.
In addition, new measures to keep everyone safe are now operating, but they do mean that things take a little longer than usual. The safety measures mean:
- Drivers are not able to use public transport to the same degree, so our suppliers have fitted out minibuses with Perspex screens to enable them to transport up-to-three drivers at a time
- All inspections are done in a distanced way and keys are being placed into bags so no contact is made. In some instances we are inspecting and collecting separately
- Where possible and safe for all parties, bulk vehicle collections are being scheduled
Q: The leasing company have advised they are coming to collect/deliver my vehicle, how will this be done safely?
A: The leasing company or their collection agent should be in touch prior to the collection or delivery to advise you of the process, this may include:
- What you should do with the keys or documentation (ideally these should be placed in an envelope)
- Alternatives to signing anything, this may include recording your verbal consent to the vehicle being removed and or acknowledging any damage
- Advice on sanitising surfaces in the vehicle
Q: If I am asked to keep hold of my vehicle until it is safe for the vehicle to be collected, will I continue to be charged?
A: Your leasing company will be able to clarify how the extension to the agreement will work. It is best to take pictures of the condition of the vehicle and the mileage of the vehicle once the agreement has ended and to cease use of the vehicle unless agreed otherwise with your finance company.
A: Vehicles are being delivered but as with collections there is some delays due to a backlog of vehicle deliveries from the lockdown and the need to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Leasing companies are working with their dealer networks to get vehicles delivered as soon as possible but there might still be a delay.
Q: I am in financial difficult due to income shock as a result of Covid-19. Can my finance company support me with my monthly payments?
A: You should contact your leasing company directly and at the earliest opportunity if you are experiencing or anticipating difficulty in paying your monthly payments as per your agreement.
The FCA has introduced a package of measures for consumers having difficulties paying their motor finance, including personal contract hire products.
If customers are experiencing temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus, the FCA expects firms to:
- offer a 3-month payment freeze or another alternative which is in the best interests of the customer
- not take steps to end the agreement or repossess the vehicle
We would advise going to the leasing companies website in the first instance to see what their procedures are as many of them are operating with a reduction in call centre staff and therefore may take long to answer calls.
If you are facing financial difficulty because of Covid-19, contact your insurer to discuss the best way forward.
Q: I’ve extended my lease for a short time as my new vehicle can’t be delivered do I have to buy another 12 months of insurance?
Insurance policies are normally for a duration of 12 months. If you have extended your lease and need temporary cover, speak to your insurer to see if they can offer a short-term product or look for an insurance provider who can provide temporary cover.
Q: I was due to take delivery of a new leased vehicle at the end of March/April and my financial situation has changed due to COVID-19. Can I cancel the vehicle?
A: You should get in touch with the funder or broker who you placed the vehicle order with as soon as possible to discuss your options. It will depend on where you are in the contract process as to whether you can cancel or defer your new vehicle lease until your financial situation improves. Email communication is probably best at this time as some brokers and funders are operating with reduced staff levels.