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Hire cars and courtesy cars

There may be some situations when you are unable to use your own car for a while, for example, if your car is being serviced, repaired, or if you have broken down. We will do our best to keep you mobile by providing you with one of the dealership’s own cars (a courtesy car), arranging a hire car or finding another suitable option to keep you mobile.

Getting a hire car

Using your hire car

Frequently Asked Questions

gettinghirecar Getting a hire or courtesy car

Dealership service or repairs:

If you have given your dealer a minimum of three weeks’ notice, a courtesy car from them is guaranteed. If you give less notice than this and the dealership does not have a courtesy car available, your dealer may be able to arrange a hire car through us. In order for your dealer to arrange this, your car must be off the road for at least 24 hours.


While attending your breakdown, if the RAC deems your car undriveable a replacement car provided by the RAC may be available as an option to keep you mobile. You need to request this within 24 hours of your breakdown or accident which was attended by the RAC. You can use the car for up to 48 hours initially, during which time you will be contacted by the RAC to discuss your ongoing mobility, should your car require more time to repair.

Insurance claim:

If your car is being repaired at a RSA Motability (RSAM) recommended repairer as part of an insurance claim, you will get a courtesy car until your car is fixed, or RSAM will contact you to discuss alternative arrangements. If your car is stolen, you may be required to provide additional information, for example a Crime Reference Number.

What type of car will be provided

Most courtesy cars are small 5-door cars such as a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa. If this type of car is not suitable due to your disability or adaptations, please mention your needs when asking for a courtesy car. In some cases your dealer will be able to arrange for a bigger hire car. If you have adaptations fitted and your vehicle is off the road for 48 hours, we may be able to offer you a courtesy vehicle with similar adaptations. We will do our best to help you but your contract doesn’t guarantee a like-for-like replacement.

WAV customers

If you cannot drive your WAV for more than 48 hours due to it being repaired we aim to provide you with a courtesy vehicle to suit your needs. However, please note that due to the specialised and converted nature of WAVs, it may not be possible to provide you with a like-for-like wheelchair accessible courtesy vehicle. If a hire vehicle is not a suitable option, or your WAV is likely to be off the road for less than 48 hours, we will try to find an alternative solution to support your continuous mobility.

usinghirecar Using your Hire car

Things to consider

If you are being provided with a courtesy car by a repairer or dealer you will not be asked to pay anything, unless they require a fuel deposit. In most cases, the courtesy car will usually be supplied with a certain amount of fuel and you will be asked to return it with the same amount of fuel. However, for hire cars, there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • Fuel deposit: Any hire car provided by the RAC, RSAM or Motability Operations Ltd will have a full tank of fuel. You will need to pay a fuel deposit to the hire company (this is usually £50 if you pay the deposit in cash, or £1 if you pay the deposit by card, but can vary between companies). As long as you return the hire car in good condition, and with a full tank of fuel, this deposit will be refunded to you once the hire car has been received at the branch, and will be refunded either by card if you paid using this method or cheque if you paid by cash.
  • Fuel charges: If the car is collected from you, the cost of the fuel used to get back to the depot will be taken off your deposit. Hire car companies charge top rates for fuel plus an administrative charge. If the tank is empty the fuel deposit may not cover the full cost and you will be invoiced for any outstanding amount
  • Liability: You will need to sign a rental agreement and extension liability form. This means that you are responsible for any loss, damage or charges to the hire car
  • Mileage: Please check whether there is a mileage limit. Some hire companies charge if you exceed this limit.
  • London Congestion Charge – If you are planning to travel in London’s congestion zones, you will need to register with Transport for London (TFL) prior to using your hire car. To do this, visit their websiteOpens in new window .
  • Dartford Crossing charge – If you are going to be using the Dartford Crossing with a hire car, the only way that you can become exempt from the toll is if you register the hire car with the DVLA. It can take 10 days to register – please be advised that there is a fee unless the car has been registered with the DVLA. This fee is dependent on the type of vehicle that you drive. Further information can be found hereOpens in new window .
  • Penalties, fines and charges – you are responsible for any fines, charges or penalties incurred.

In all instances, replacement cars are subject to availability and the terms and conditions of the supplying rental firm and your agreement with Motability Operations Ltd. These will include:

  • Only those named as permitted drivers on your Certificate of Motor Insurance are insured to drive
  • Your permitted drivers must be able to produce a valid driving licence
  • You are not permitted to smoke in the hire car

When you collect the car you need to check that any damage is recorded on the rental agreement – if you notice any additional damage that is not recorded, please call First Call Assist on 0800 0280 999 within 24 hours of taking delivery. You will be responsible for any unrecorded damage and may need to pay an insurance excess. 


FAQs Frequently Asked Questions  

I need to extend my hire car agreement, who should I speak to?

If you need to extend the hire, please contact Motability Operations Ltd, RAC or RSA Motability, depending on who is managing the car hire, and they will discuss this with you. Please do not negotiate this with the Europcar branch or repairing garage, as they cannot affect any changes to your car hire. If you do not speak with the team who are managing your car hire, for example Motability Operations Ltd, RAC or RSA Motability, you may incur extra charges.

What should I do if the car is damaged?

Before you signed the rental agreement the Europcar representative should have highlighted any existing damage on the car. If you notice any damage which is not recorded on the rental agreement, it is important that you call First Call Assist on 0800 0280 999 within 24 hours of taking delivery. If any additional damage is noted when the car is returned to Europcar, you will be responsible and may be required to pay an insurance excess. If you have an accident or sustain damage to the car during the hire, you will need to call First Call Assist on 0800 0280 999 and RSA Motability on 0300 037 3737 to log a claim.

I’ve broken down – am I covered?

Yes, you are covered in the same way as you are for your Motability car. If you break down, please refer to your ‘Useful Numbers card’ which was given to you when you first took delivery of your vehicle.

Is there a mileage limit?

If the hire lasts for 27 days or less, you will have unlimited mileage. However, if it lasts more than 27 days, you mileage is restricted to an average of 75 miles per day for the total duration of the hire period. If you exceed this mileage then there is an additional charge per mile and this charge is dependent on the type of hire car you have (please refer to the Responsibility / Extension form that was given to you at the handover of your hire car for further details).

Can I travel abroad in the hire car?

You will need to get permission from your local Europcar branch and obtain the free Vehicle on Hire certificate before you travel. It is also recommended that you purchase the Europdrive breakdown cover from your local branch so you are covered if you break down.

How do I register my hire car as exempt from the London Congestion Charge?

In the majority of cases Motability Scheme vehicles have a disabled taxation class which means they are automatically registered as exempt from the London Congestion Charge. (If you choose to arrange the vehicle tax privately for your Scheme vehicle, you will need to follow the process below to register yourself for exemption of the congestion charge.) This exemption only applies to the vehicle leased through the Scheme, so if you are ever without your Scheme car and have a hire car as a replacement, this automatic exemption won’t apply.

If you regularly travel within the London Congestion Zone, you may want to consider registering yourself with Transport for London (TFL). This will mean you can apply to register up to two vehicles (excluding your Scheme vehicle) for the exemption.

The registration process can take up to 10 working days, so we recommend you do this as early as possible in your lease. However once you are registered you can make changes to your exempt vehicles at any time by calling TFL and any changes you make will take place immediately.

If you receive a penalty or fine as a result of the London Congestion charge and wish to make an appeal, further information can be found hereOpens in new window .

How do I register myself for the London Congestion Charge exemption?

Information on registering can be found on the TFL websiteOpens in new window or by calling 0343 222 2222. You will need to complete a ‘Blue Badge discount registration form’ and provide a copy of your Blue Badge.