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There are many advantages to hiring vehicles, but soon those wishing to hire a car or van could come under increased scrutiny.
Senior police officials and industry leaders from the sector are looking at ways to improve security and identity checks following a spate of attacks where hire vehicles were used as weapons.
Tighter controls relating to vehicle hire could require any individual wishing to hire a car or van to provide details in advance, with all of the information than checked against national databases.
The system would potentially mimic that used by airlines, whereby anyone looking to fly must provide certain personal information before making their trip.
Three major terror attacks in London in 2017 all made use of hire vehicles which has led the police to consider how further attacks could be prevented.
Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, one of the UK’s leading counter-terrorism police officers, has acknowledged that it is currently an area of focus.
“We are looking at how we can share data better between the police and that industry [the car hire sector], in the way that we do in the airline industry,” he explained.
Such calls for increased security are nothing new, as former terror law watchdog Lord Carlile called for identity checks in the wake of the van attack in Barcelona.
Welcoming the concept of airline-style checks, he spoke of the potential for a watch list system that would be “easy to administer”.
Any new proposals will need to comply with data protection laws and must be wide-ranging so they can be used by a variety of car hire firms, according to British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association chief executive Gerry Keaney.
While existing checks exist to shield car hire firms, counter-terrorism police have long been looking at ways of increasing protection for the public.
A number of proposals are expected to be put forward for consultation in the coming months that cover public events, the transport network, travel and cyber security.
When hiring a vehicle drivers also need to ensure that they have the necessary insurance cover, both in terms of the basics and any added extras.
For instance, car hire excess insurance can cover against the excess that would need to be paid should a vehicle be damaged or stolen when being hired. Get a quote today for car or van hire excess insurance to see how much the added cover could cost.
Date Created: 29/03/2018