In London, navigating the city’s busy streets in a rented van can be both challenging and rewarding. However, the unexpected can happen, and being prepared for a rental van accident is crucial.

According to recent data from the UK Department for Transport, the incidence of accidents involving rental vehicles has seen a steady increase of 7% annually, highlighting the importance of understanding the proper procedures and legalities. The reason why we have prepared this important guide for you!

Speak to our van hire experts in London or Croydon directly to clear all your doubts and rent a quality van. Call 020 7277 9853 or email now!

10 things you need to know about rental van accidents

  1. Driving laws and regulations

    Familiarise yourself with the comprehensive set of driving laws and regulations in London, including the Road Traffic Act 1988.

    Adherence to speed limits, traffic signals, and parking regulations is essential. For instance, exceeding the speed limit can result in fines of up to £1,000 or £2,500 on motorways. Stay informed about any updates or amendments to these laws to ensure compliance and safe driving.

  2. Fines and penalties

    London imposes strict fines and penalties for traffic violations, governed by the Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) system.

    Understanding the fines for specific offences, such as using a mobile phone whilst driving (likely £200 fine and 6 penalty points), reinforces the importance of responsible driving to avoid financial repercussions.

  3. Crashing into a van

    In the event of a collision, the Road Traffic Act 1988 outlines legal obligations. Exchange information, report the incident to the police within 24 hours if necessary, and document the scene.

    Failure to stop and provide details can lead to severe penalties, including fines and potential imprisonment.

  4. Driving a damaged van

    Operating a damaged van is subject to Section 40A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Ensure your vehicle is in roadworthy condition, as driving a damaged van can result in penalties.

    Understanding the acceptable conditions for driving prevents legal complications and ensures compliance with the law.

    At Pace Van Hire, you only get well-maintained and quality vans. We’ll never let you compromise on the quality and state of the van. Each of our vans receives a full service every 10,000 miles from our in-house maintenance team.

    And in case you need servicing and repairs for your own van, we can provide a full service for that as well. Check out how we help!

  5. Wrecked van protocols

    In the case of a significant accident, report the incident to the police if there are injuries or damage to property. Failure to do so within 24 hours can result in penalties. Understanding these protocols contributes to an organised and legally compliant resolution.

  6. Hit-and-run incidents

    Hit-and-run incidents involving parked vans are also governed by the Road Traffic Act 1988. Report such incidents promptly to the police.

    Penalties for hit and run can include fines, points on your license, and even imprisonment. Familiarise yourself with the legal consequences and act swiftly to aid in the investigation and potential prosecution of the responsible party.

  7. Exchanging details

    The Road Traffic Act mandates the exchange of information after an accident. Share names, addresses, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle registration numbers.

    Failure to exchange details is an offence and may result in fines and penalties. Adhering to these legal requirements ensures a smooth claims process and legal compliance.

  8. Insurance coverage options

    Explore the insurance options offered by the rental company, considering regulations like the Road Traffic Act. Be aware of the types of coverage available, including comprehensive plans for damages, theft, and liability.

    Choosing appropriate coverage aligns with legal requirements and provides comprehensive protection. At Pace Van Hire, your insurance is included in the rental fee, this is with a standard excess of £1,500 however you can reduce this to £500 for £24.99/day.

  9. Returning a damaged van

    Returning a damaged van involves transparent communication with the rental company, following the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

    Report the damage immediately, ensuring the van rental company assesses and documents the condition. Understanding the company’s policies prevents disputes and potential charges, aligning with consumer protection laws.

  10. Emergency services and assistance

    In addition to legalities, familiarise yourself with the Emergency Services Act 2006. Save emergency service numbers in your phone for quick access in severe accidents or breakdowns.

    This knowledge enhances your preparedness and efficiency in handling emergencies on the road, aligning with the legal framework supporting swift responses to critical situations.

Handling rental van accidents in London – 3 crucial tips!

Navigating the streets of London in a rented van comes with its challenges, and unforeseen accidents can add an extra layer of complexity. Here are three crucial tips to effectively handle rental van accidents in the vibrant metropolis.

  1. Stay calm and prioritise safety

    In the immediate aftermath of an accident, it’s vital to remain calm. Ensure the safety of all parties involved by moving to a safe location if possible.

    Turn on hazard lights and use warning triangles to alert other drivers. Prioritise the well-being of everyone on the scene before addressing the necessary procedural steps.

  2. Document the incident thoroughly

    Accurate documentation is key when dealing with a rental van accident. Take photos of the accident scene, including the position of vehicles, damages sustained, and any relevant road signs or signals.

    Exchange detailed information with the other party involved, capturing names, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle registration numbers. This thorough documentation serves as crucial evidence for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

  3. Report promptly to authorities and the rental company

    Time is of the essence when handling a rental van accident in London. Report the incident promptly to the local authorities, providing a factual account of the situation.

    Additionally, notify the rental company immediately, following their specific procedures for reporting accidents. Quick and transparent communication with both the authorities and the rental company ensures a swift response, facilitating efficient resolution and minimising potential complications.

Frequently asked questions [FAQs]

  1. What insurance details do you give in a rental van accident?

    In a rental van accident, provide your name, contact information, and insurance details to the other party involved. Collect the same information from them. This exchange of details is crucial for a smooth claims process.

  2. What happens if you return a damaged van to the van rental company?

    If you return a damaged van, immediately inform the rental company. They will guide you through necessary procedures, which may include assessing the damage and documenting it. Transparency is key to avoiding misunderstandings and addressing any potential charges associated with the damage.

  3. What insurance options are available for a rented van?

    Rented van insurance options vary, but commonly include comprehensive coverage for damages, theft, and liability. Explore the plans offered by the rental company, considering your specific needs.

    Additional coverage may be available for enhanced protection, such as coverage for personal belongings inside the van. Choose a plan that aligns with your requirements and provides a sense of security during your rental period.

  4. What to do when someone hits your rented van?

    If someone hits your rented van, follow a systematic approach. Collect the other party’s information, including names, contact details, and insurance information.

    Report the incident to the authorities and notify the rental company promptly. Document the scene with photos if possible. This ensures a comprehensive record of the accident, facilitating a smoother claims process with your insurance company and aiding any potential legal proceedings.


Navigating the aftermath of a rental van accident in London requires a clear understanding of legalities, protocols, and insurance options. By being informed and prepared, you can confidently handle any unexpected situation, ensuring a smooth resolution and peace of mind during your van rental experience in the vibrant city of London.

Renting a van on your mind? No worries! You’ll get a van size for every need here with Pace Van Hire. Our van hire experts will explain the necessary details including what to do in case of a damaged van and the insurance options available to you. Contact us today with your message or click here to book your van hire!

Contact Pace Van Hire

Contact Pace Van Hire

Give us a call on 020 7277 9853 with any questions and we’ll help you hire a van that’s right for you.
Or if you’d prefer to just get started, you can book online and we’ll give you a call back to confirm.