Dogs in Rental Cars – What are the Rules?

Dog in carHere at Collison Vehicle Rental, we understand that your dog is a part of the family too. Our vehicle hire business is completely pet friendly, and we are always happy to welcome your furry friends into our reception area when you are booking a hire vehicle with us.  The regulations around taking your pet in your hire vehicle however are a lot more stringent.  

There are many fantastic benefits to taking your dog along for the ride and we would always advocate spending as much time as you can with your pet. However if you are planning to use your rental vehicle to take a staycation in the UK or trip to Europe, there are restrictions in place which mean that we are unable to allow dogs travel in hire vehicles.  There are a number of reasons for this as described below.

Remember: safety comes first when driving with pets

The Highway Code offers some essential reading for those planning to travel by car with dogs and other animals. For their safety and the safety of other passengers and road users, suitable restraints (i.e. the crating systems) should be used to prevent distraction or injury. Even a small dog can become a safety risk when left to roam free in a car. You are obliged to keep everyone, including your furry companion, safe by crating or using a harness throughout any vehicle journey. Adding a dog guard to the boot will also ensure your pet is safe and comfortable during travel.  The vehicles we provide are not equipped with the necessary kit to keep dogs and passengers safe while travelling, nor can we monitor customers’ compliance with any safety codes while they are using the vehicle, and therefore we cannot allow pets to travel in hire vehicles.

Keep things cool while pets are in your car

During the spring and summer months in particular, cars can become extremely hot. On a pleasant and warm summer day with temperatures of 25°C, the interior of your car could easily reach 70°C! Keeping things cool and comfortable for your dog in any car is essential by opening the window. Just a few inches will do, resist the urge to let your pet hang their head completely out of the window for safety reasons.

If you are taking your dog in your own car make sure plenty of water is also available. There are tons of great gadgets available, including pet friendly water bottles and collapsible bowls, which make keeping your pet refreshed throughout the car journey quick and easy.

Once again we cannot monitor customers’ compliance with any safety codes while they are using their hire vehicle, and therefore we cannot allow pets to travel in hire vehicles.

Pet allergies can affect some drivers

Unfortunately there are some people who are very allergic to dog hair.  At Collison we endeavour to think about all of our customers and we cannot take any risk with customer’s personal safety or wellbeing when hiring vehicles.  Because of this we are unable to accommodate dogs when hiring vehicles.

More Tips for taking your dog in your own car

1. Pack some boredom busters

Those long car journeys aren’t just boring for the kids and other passengers, your dog will need plenty of distractions to keep them entertained too. As well as packing their favourite toys, invest in some teeth-friendly chews. These offer hours of fun. Packing some home comforts, like dog beds, rugs and blankets, can add that all-important touch of familiarity to ensure a calm journey, particularly if your pooch is nervous about travelling by car.

Taking regular pit stops is another must on long car journeys. Whilst most dogs will happily snooze their way through the journey, frequent stops will prevent boredom and restlessness.

2. Preparation is key

It’s not just what you bring along on the day itself that will make your journey by car as stress-free for your pet as possible. How you prepare in the weeks before will make a difference. It’s recommended that you take your pet on a series of short drives before going on a long journey. Adapting your dog’s feeding schedule in accordance with your travel plans will also help to make the journey easier. A light meal three to four hours before departure is enough to sustain your pet for car journeys that are shorter in duration. Avoid feeding your pet in the car itself, instead use one of your pit stops and some careful timing to keep hunger at bay.

Get in touch with our team today to discuss your vehicle hire options.