Let us know if you need to cancel your rental


Let us know if you need to cancel your rental

With most Covid-related restrictions now lifted and the peak holiday period upon us we are experiencing very high volumes of bookings, especially for people carriers.

However, given the very high numbers of people reportedly receiving text notices at short notice telling them they must self-isolate we are appealing to customers to please let us know if they cannot take up an already-booked vehicle as a result.

For several weeks now we have been asking customers to give us as much notice as possible to be sure of getting the rental vehicle they want, so demand has been at a peak.

So if you unfortunately have been told to self-isolate and you can therefore free up a vehicle for another customer we would appreciate your letting us know.

We hope everyone has a very happy and safe summer.

Leave plenty of time to rent a minibus


Leave plenty of time if you need to rent a minibus

If you need to rent a minibus, particularly if you need a 17-seater, please be aware that they are in very short supply.

Since the DVLA changed the rules in 1997, when the 17-seater category DI was removed from the standard driver’s licence, drivers have been required to take a minibus test, so anyone whose licence was issued after that year will no longer automatically be able to drive one.

If, however, you have an older licence that is still valid it will still include the DI category and you can still hire and drive one.

Since 1997 almost all of the larger rental companies have ceased to hold these larger minibuses, but some local independents, like Robertsons, still offer them.

However, demand for all sizes of minibus is always high, not only for private groups but for organisations like schools, colleges, the police and businesses needing to transport groups of people for a variety of purposes. Drivers of school or college parties have to have done the minibus test and have DI category on their licences.

We always do a pre-rental DVLA check, so we will need the licence numbers of any proposed minibus driver to do this.

If you belong to a club, group or other organisation that has a trip planned, please give us as much notice as possible.

We never like to let people down, but the lack of availability of minibuses is becoming a serious issue.

Help us to help you!


Help us to help you!

While we are delighted that demand for our vehicles is extremely high, we never like to let any of our customers down.

But the long period of sunny weather seems to have persuaded people to take more day trips than would normally be expected even at this time of year and so demand for cars for a day has never been higher.

This is only likely to become more intense once the school holidays have started.

But it’s not only demand for cars, it’s also vans as people take advantage of the good weather to have a good clear-out, catch up with the D.I.Y. and sort out their gardens then want to rent a van for a short time to cart away all the rubbish.

So, on a few occasions recently when people have popped in hoping to be able to instantly rent a vehicle we have been in the unfortunate (or fortunate depending on your point of view) position of having to tell them that we have absolutely none available.

Therefore, we are asking all our customers to please call us and give us some warning of when they’re going to want to rent a vehicle.

You won’t have to wait too long because short term rentals will turn over quite quickly, but it helps us to ensure that there’s a vehicle ready for you when you are going to need it, and of course, when you do pop in to collect it the paperwork only takes on average 25 minutes to complete.

Long may the good weather continue!

How we take care of all our rental vehicles


Renting a vehicle for a self-drive holiday overseas

It is important that our clients and customers feel safe and comfortable in any vehicle that they rent from us, so inspection, care and maintenance are all carried out regularly.

For the 7.5 ton lorries, there are very strict rules including a PMI (Preventative Maintenance Inspection) check every eight weeks and these are very extensive.

They are done to a strict schedule and the check includes the vehicle’s fuel system, exhaust system, electrical system, steering, suspension, brakes, mirrors, windows, wipers, speedometer, plugs and cables, emissions, tire wear, lights, seat belts, airbags, gear shifts, indicators and air conditioning.

If a lorry is out with a customer, we arrange to collect it and supply a substitute while the check is being carried out. This check is in addition to the usual annual MoT and the servicing whose frequency depends on the specific mileage each vehicle has done. Generally, we will replace lorries every ten years or sooner if the mileage requires it.

Our rental cars are replaced every three years, when the warranty runs out.  This is partly because it is more cost effective and partly because we find that customers generally do not want to rent a vehicle that is more than three years old.

Every time a rental car is returned to us we check the tyres, water and water bottles, ensure all the light bulbs are working properly and do a thorough clean both inside and out.

Servicing again depends on the mileage reached and our system alerts us to when a service is due, so that even if a car is with a customer it can be recalled to the depot for a service.

As you can see we take our customers’ safety and security very seriously.

How insurance works on a Robertsons rental vehicle


Rental Vehicle Insurance and Claims

Given that there has been some adverse publicity about customers being overcharged on insurance and damage repair particularly by rental companies with a European connection we thought our customers would like to know exactly how we handle the whole issue.

We have a damage report for every vehicle, detailing its general state of repair. When a customer comes in to rent a vehicle we give them a copy of that report and ask them to also walk around the vehicle themselves and tell us if they spot anything not already listed in the report.

Vehicles are often returned out of hours at the end of rental periods, and the keys posted through our letterbox, so if we find additional damage on a returned vehicle our first action is to speak to the customer about it.

We insure all our vehicles but customers can choose the level of excess they are willing to pay.  The minimum level is £200 and the highest is £750. Customers can pay a little extra on the rental if they wish to reduce the level of excess payment.

Obviously if there has been a collision, we would expect our customer to exchange insurer details in the same way as if they owned the car, and to get the contact details of any other party involved in the collision.

If the car has been in a collision, or sustained other damage, during the rental period customers are asked to fill in an accident form, which we then send to our insurers.

 If the customer is considered not to have been at fault for the damage the excess payment deposit is returned to them by our insurers.

We take care of any damage repairs.  We don’t have “preferred suppliers” who have to pay for the privilege.  We prefer to get estimates from local companies that we know and trust and we then supply them to our fleet insurers.

Our system is therefore as cost-effective as possible for our customers and we have confidence that repairs are carried out by trusted, local suppliers who we know will do a good job at a reasonable price.