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A Guide To Supercar Hire Companies - Staying Safe

Unfortunately over the last few years the supercar hire industry has seen a massive increase in "broker" style companies and "fly-by-night" firms set up with the sole intention of taking your money and deposits often without even providing you with a car and then vanishing a few months later leaving a trail of destruction. These companies have no assets, no premises and most importantly no cars and are nothing more than a fancy website and virtual phone system set up to "con" you out of money. 
 
In 2009 there were 7 supercar hire companies (us included, all of which are still trading), by December 2016 the internet showed that there were 129 websites offering supercar hire services in the UK. As of February 2019 this has reduced to 49- with the rest either being shut down by the authorities and courts after racking up massive debts and keeping deposits or multiple accidents and criminal prosecutions after hiring to underage customers.  Of these 49 still active websites, only around 9 actually exist with physical premises and own cars, have a reputable trading history and happy customers.  With recent changes to the industry we expect this to dwindle back down to the 9 or so legitimate companies over the next year or so. 

The easiest way to check a companies history is to check the WHOIS website registration service which will show when a website was created and went live.  This gives you a clear indication of how long they have been trading for. We have been in business since 16th November 2006. You can check any website domain at https://www.whois.net.   You should also check online reviews and that most importantly they are genuine , we know of one company who has been posting fake reviews to try to outweigh the negative ones they have been receiving! Always ask to visit them at their premises before paying any money over.    

Hiring a supercar is a massive occasion and often goes hand in hand with a wedding or other celebration, over the past 18 months we have received around 2-4 calls each and every Friday morning from people saying that they have let down by another company on the day of hire who have failed to supply their booked car and they are due to get married the next day. We often hear that these people never even got their money back, let alone compensation. 


Quick Checklist When Choosing A Super Car Hire Company

  • Check they have premises that are clearly sign posted by either Google maps or visiting them
  • Do a quick Google check on them- check reviews etc
  • Look at the fleet on their website in particular making sure they use actual pictures of the car not generic library stock
  • Check they actually own the cars and are not brokers or middlemen
  • Never pay more than 25% of the price upon booking
  • Never pay the damage deposit on booking
  • Never meet them away from their premises
  • Never let price or the deal they are offering outweigh the basic principles above
  • Always sign a contract
  • Always check the supercar over and video it or take pictures on check out

If you follow these simple rules your hire will be an experience you will never forget for all the right reasons!


A Guide To UK Supercar Hire - What You Need To Know

PBSH will ensure that your supercar hire is the great experience it should be. To help you decide which supercar company to use we have complied a helpful "guide to supercar hire” which you should be aware of before making any booking with any hire company.

Supercar Hire London - Premises

You should always ensure that the company you choose to hire from has physical premises that exist where you can view the cars and where you will collect and return them from. Never arrange to meet anyone on the street whatever the reason is they give you. This is the number one sign they are not a proper super car hire company with the proper self drive super car hire insurance. If they ask you to meet you at non official premises with no company signage it’s a sure fire sign that either they are sub hire you the supercar; i.e. they have hired it from PBSH under their name and then have re hired it to you acting as the supercar owner at a inflated price pocketing the difference themselves. This is greatly unethical, but more importantly invalidates any insurance on the supercar hire. This will happen even though you are totally innocent as you were told by the person who gave you the car it was insured for you.

If they don't have dedicated premises, it's very risky handing over thousands of pounds in deposits as you have no physical premises to seek redress if they fail to return the deposit, or make up supposed damage - an ever increasing issue in our industry.

PBSH is based just off the A13 in Limehouse, Canary Wharf, London, and has a secure gated 24 hour CCTV storage facility and office premises, all of which are branded with the PB Supercar Hire signage and logos. We also have an onsite car wash and 24 secure parking facilities for our customers own vehicles.

UK Supercar Self Drive Hire Insurance

If you drive a hired supercar without self drive UK insurance, you will not be covered so if you get stopped by the police when you are cruising though the Surrey countryside you will be charged with driving without insurance and receive 6 points on your licence or even a driving ban, not to mention be held personally liable for any damage you cause. Self drive UK insurance is extremely hard and expensive to secure these days. Between 2010 and 2013 it was relatively easy for anyone to get set up a company and take self drive insurance at around £2000-£5000 per vehicle per year. However with the massive increase in so called supercar hire companies being formed by people with no experience who thought it was simply a good way to pay for use of their supercar, and hiring to anyone who could afford it, the insurance industry subsequently saw a massive rise in claims, even putting four out of business. The whole industry tightened up, and in 2015 unless a company or person could prove they had experience running a supercar type company, self drive sports and luxury car insurance was no longer available. The self drive super car hire insurance industry went a step further in late 2016 and would not offer existing self drive super car hire companies a new policy unless they could show 3 years of clean claims history. In 2018 all but two self drive insurance companies had pulled out of the market leaving only established companies like PBSH with the correct type of insurance. This however has not stopped many rogue outfits opening up, running on "motor traders" policies which allow employees of the company to drive their supercars. So if you turn up to hire a car and the company informs you to tell the police to say you "work" for them if you are stopped, alarm bells should ring and we suggest not handing over any money or hiring the supercar.

Delivery and Collection

While it may seem convenient and easier to have your hired supercar delivered, this is not always prudent. Firstly you are not visiting the company’s premises, breaking the most important rule of knowing who you are hiring from.

Offering free delivery is a tell tale sign that the company you are hiring from is a broker who will take your money and then just pass the booking on to someone else who you have no relationship with. They are tempting you away from coming to collect as they do not physically exist! This more often than not results in the booking being messed up, for example the wrong car being delivered, the wrong times, the hire price and the deposit is more all leaving you with a massive headache to deal with on your doorstep on the day of hire. This also results in both companies blaming each other for the mess up with no one willing resolve it for you. Always make sure you deal with one company from start to finish.

Furthermore it is not uncommon for UK vehicle rental companies to use 3rd party collection agents, who may cause damage to the supercar after you have given it to them but before it arrives back at the owner’s place of storage. Usually your deposit will not be refunded until the car is back with the owner and then a dispute arises over who caused it.

At PBSH we generally don't offer delivery or collection so that you can enjoy your yourself knowing who we are and where we are. We will of course arrange delivery, in London, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Middlesex, Hertfordshire and other UK locations, but don't use this as sales tactic to encourage bookings! For example collecting our Mercedes AMG GTS from our London base will get you behind the wheel one of the most beautifully styled supercars around and allow you to drive the car home yourself rather than paying us to do it for you . If you hire our Mercedes AMG GTS you will hear the thundering V8, this combined with sharp handling makes our AMG GTS supercar hire options the car to have.

Supercar Hire Brokers and Real Supercar Hire Companies

There are 2 types of UK hire companies, the broker who generally offers UK wide vehicle hire and delivery, and the actual company that exists, such as PB Supercar Hire that offers a more local service to London, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent , Essex and the home counties. In 2018, 85% of super car hire companies on the internet were brokers, most which are either newly formed companies with a website, thinking it’s a easy way to earn some money with no risk or capital for simply putting two parties together, or super car hire websites that have been around a while but do no real business as they cant source the cars or gain the experience or repeat trust of customers due to the issues highlight above. As with anything a broker's price will usually always be more than going direct to the source.

PBSH does offer any of its supercars to brokers and does not allow any form of cross hiring. We only deal directly with the actual hirer from start to finish at our London office. We will also ensure that the same person who checks the supercar out to you also checks it back in. We also own all our supercars so we can be sure of the condition of the car and know it inside out.

Supercar Hire Contracts

If you hire your supercar through PBSH, you will be in contact with us from start to finish. All emails will come from our domain, all phone calls will be to our London number, all paperwork will be on our headed paper, all payment machine receipts show our name and London address. The hire contract is in our name and you will deal with us at our London premises. There is no doubt who you have hired the supercar from or given the hire fee or deposit to. Again using broker’s means that you have none of this and often many people will be involved which can make it hard to get your supercar deposit back at the end of the hire.

Super Car Hire Deposits and Excess

Some super car hire companies will offer cheap super car hire with no deposit or very low ones for the type of supercar offered - be very alarmed if this is offered as no insurance company or sensible company would do this- ask your self would you allow a total stranger to take a £100,000 asset with no deposit? The types of companies that offer this are usually "back Street" firms desperate for the hire fee, usually they don't own the supercars and are hiring them out for other people so generally don't care how they are treated or of they are damaged as they are not their assets. These type of companies are not the sort you want knocking on your door asking for the repair bill money if the worst happened. While we can’t offer a service with no deposit we do offer deposit reduction services.

Always make sure you read the small print, some companies in London and the UK will offer low deposits but fail to tell you that the excess is massive if you have an accident in the supercar. We have heard of some asking for £1000 deposits on £200,000 supercars, with hidden excesses in the hire contract of £100,000.

At PBSH the excess on the supercar you have hired is always the same as the deposit amount you have paid. PBSH offers a deposit and excess reduction scheme for all our cars to give you peace of mind. Deposits are paid on a debit or credit card and are taken as a pre authority at the time of hire and returned the moment you return the car to our London premises. For long term and short term leasing there are no age or licence restrictions as we can allow you to self insure.

Supercar Hire Payments And Non Delivery of the Supercar

Never make payment to anyone other than the company you are hiring from and if possible always use a credit card as you are then covered if the car does not turn up or there is an issue with the hire. Never pay the full hire fee or damage deposit upon booking, no established London hire company should ask for this. At most a deposit of 25% should be paid on the phone at booking, with the balance and deposit paid when you arrive at the hire companies premises.

As you can see there are many pitfalls and possible issues when hiring a supercar, whether it is incorrect self drive supercar insurance, and non return of deposits or non delivery of the supercar you made payment for. Our advice at PB Supercar Hire is to always research the company you wish to use and find out the answers to the above points, before you hand over any money. Never pay the full hire price to anyone who asks for it on booking and never pay the damage deposit until the time of hire once you have seen and checked the supercar over. If you follow these great tips to super car hire you will have an amazing experience.


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