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The Complete United Kingdom Driving and Rental Guide

Consisting of England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland, the United Kingdom is renowned for its beautiful natural sceneries and a wide mix of architectures, making it an attractive destination country to discover by car. Here are a few basic driving instructions and tips to help you serenely prepare your journey.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

In the United Kingdom, driving is on the left-hand side of the road and overtaking is on the right. Mobile phones cannot be used to call or text while driving. On Roundabouts, drivers on the right have right of way. 

Drivers should remain alert on countryside’s roads, as farm animals and agricultural vehicles can turn out to be difficult obstacles to pass. 

Speed Limit

There are speed limits of 30 mph(48 km/h) on urban areas, 60 mph(96 km/h) in rural areas and 70 mph(112 km/h) in motorways unless signs say otherwise. 

Traffic Signs

Traffic signs used in the UK include signs giving orders, warning and indicating direction or information. Here are some frequently used signs in the UK. 


Regulatory signs feature a circular shape with some exceptions. 

UK Traffic Sign Give Priority to Vehicles from Opposite DirectionGive Priority to Vehicles from Opposite DirectionUK Traffic Sign Give Way to Traffic on Major RoadGive Way to Traffic on major roadUK Traffic Sign No Vehicles Except Bicycles Being PushedNo Vehicles Except Bicycles Being Pushed UK Traffic Sign No OvertakingNo OvertakingUK Traffic Sign No WaitingNo Waiting

UK Traffic Sign No StoppingNo Stopping
(Clearway)

Warning signs are mostly triangular with a red border.

UK Traffic Sign RoundaboutRoundaboutUK Traffic Sign Uneven RoadUneven RoadUK Traffic Sign Two-way Traffic on Route Crossing AheadTwo-way Traffic on Route Crossing AheadUK Traffic Sign Wild AnimalsWild AnimalsUK Traffic Sign Level Crossing WIth Barrier or Gate AheadLevel Crossing WIth Barrier or Gate AheadUK Traffic Sign Level Crossing Without Barrier or Gate AheadLevel Crossing Without Barrier or Gate AheadUK Traffic Sign Level Crossing Without BarrierLevel Crossing Without Barrier

Information signs in the UK are rectangular with various colour backgrounds.

UK Traffic Sign Primary Route Forming Part of a Ring RoadPrimary Route Forming Part of a Ring Road

UK Traffic Sign Entrance to Congestion Charging ZoneEntrance to Congestion Charging ZoneUK Traffic Sign Hospital Ahead with Accident and Emergency FacilitiesHospital Ahead with Accident and Emergency FacilitiesUK Traffic Sign Tourist Information PointTourist Information Point

Click here for a complete road signs guide in the United Kingdom.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

All passengers over 12 or 13 years, or over 135cm tall must wear a seat belt at all times. Failure to do so could result in a fine up to £500.

Booster Seat Laws

Children until the age of 12th or the height of 135cm should be placed in an appropriate seat for their height and weight.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

· Forbidden Parking


Finding parking space in town and city centres can prove difficult, especially in the centre of London. Parking your car in the following spots is strictly forbidden and could result in a fine:


- Beyond the time restriction marked on poles, lampposts or even screwed onto adjacent walls of buildings with a single, continuous yellow line along the kerb


- With double, continuous yellow lines along the kerb, which indicates no parking at any time

United Kingdom Double and Continuous Yellow Lines(Image from alphamarkingservices.co.uk)


· Paid Parking


White marked bays with white markings indicate a metered street parking. These are generally "pay-and-display" parking for which a ticket needs to be purchased from an adjacent machine, and displayed on the car’s windshield or dashboard. 


Be careful to check the "controlled hours" which are marked on the payment machines and on adjacent signs (again, usually on lamp posts and on walls). Parking outside the controlled hours is free.

United Kingdom Paid Parking Signs

(Image from eppingforestdc.gov.uk)


When finding a parking spot, we strongly suggest you not to let the absence of yellow lines lull you into a false sense of security, and always look for parking signs or meter machines.

Fuel Prices

The average value for the United Kingdom gasoline price during the period from August to November 2017 was 1.21£ per litre, while diesel is 3 cents higher.

Toll

Currently, there is a single major road - the M6 Toll - and a small number of bridges and tunnels where tolls are collected. Each toll road and bridge in the United Kingdom has its own fee, varying and depending on the type of vehicle you are driving. Fees are collected at toll gates and can be paid in cash or by credit card or by fuel equipment for automatic toll payment.

United Kingdom Toll Road(Image from alamy.com) 


Some car hire companies will debit your credit card in order to pay the tolls on your behalf if you missed paying one (depending on different car hire companies). If you have any questions concerning toll fee billing, feel free to contact QEEQ' 24/7 customer service team for help.


Additional Tips

In London, the Congestion Charge is a £11.50 daily charge for driving a vehicle within the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. Usually, the congestion charge will be collected and informed by the car hire company at the rental desk. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

Except for Scotland – whose limit is set at 0.05%, other locations within the UK have a legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08% per driver. Driving over the alcohol limit can result in a penalty up to six months of imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and a minimum of twelve months' disqualification. 

Traffic Fines

The minimum speeding fine for an infringement is £100. A notice will be sent to the car’s registered keeper by the enforcement authority. In a renter’s case, the notice will be sent to the car hire company and passed on to the renter. 


Parking tickets usually need to be paid within 28 days. In some cases, the fine is reduced by 50% if the payment is made within 14 days. Failure to pay the parking tickets within the given period will result in the penalty notice being passed onto the car hire company.


In some cases, the car hire company will debit your credit card for the penalty fee and add an administration charge. It is advisable for you to contact QEEQ’ customer service team if you believe you have been charged incorrectly. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

All drivers must be in possession of a full driver's licence, many car hire companies may require driver's licence held for at least 2 years. The minimum age generally to rent a vehicle in the UK is 21 years old. But the age restrictions may vary by different car categories. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
Filippo Boscarino

May 11, 2022

Destination: Bristol

9.7Great

I had to wait and call twice for the operator at desk, because empty

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May 11, 2022

Destination: London

4Shit

Overall experience total disappointment. The worst location of all rental cars at LGW. Unfriendly staff, dishonest, pre-arranged claim of damage to the car. Falsified report. Looks like this false pre-arranged damage claim has been put in practice on regular basis. Unrealistic charge. A car rental company I will never use again and/or would never recommend to anyone.

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swanny

May 10, 2022

Destination: London

9.7good

excellent quick fast for foreign driver

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April 28, 2022

Destination: Canterbury

10Excellent

We had to wait to get the car as the car reserved for us was not returned by the previous hirer in time. The Enterprise staff was courteous and arranged a car for us and gave as an upgraded car.

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L.Edwards

April 27, 2022

Destination: Birmingham

8.3Good

The car had gps and black box was not informed of this so was a little disappointed that I could only move at 70 miles an hour on the motorway overtaking lorries was a nightmare and middle lane hoggers

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Doc

April 26, 2022

Destination: Cardiff

8Excellent

The road work were a pain in the ass both getting there to pick up and leaving back the car, but that’s beyond your control…

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M.Shaughnessy

April 26, 2022

Destination: Edinburgh

10Easiest car rental experience

Exceeded my expectations in every way. There was 4miles on the car when I got it. The customer service staff on location was extremely friendly, great to chat to and very helpful. Would recommend based on his interaction alone.

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c.bourret

April 25, 2022

Destination: Bristol

9.3I would use both the platform and Easyrent again.

The attendants both at pick up and drop off were extremely nice and friendly .

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P.Braithwaite

April 25, 2022

Destination: Leeds

9See above

Car adequate Serivice good Car NOT provide with full tank. Actually Empty Shortage of gas locally meant a stressful 45 mins after pick up looking for a gas station. This was not acceptable after a transatlantic flight with 5 tired people

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R.kehoe

April 25, 2022

Destination: Birmingham

9.3Excellent

Really helpful and friendly staff

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C.James

April 19, 2022

Destination: East Midlands

7.3Good

Counter staff could have been friendly and more helpful

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J.Baker

April 19, 2022

Destination: Inverness

10Amazing service from avis at inverness

Amazing service plane was diverted so delayed on arrival by 3 hrs outside of office hrs I rang the counter guy and he said he would wait past his finish time so we did not have to return the nxt day. He waited till 6.30 and he should have finished at 6. Wow.

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P.Winter

April 14, 2022

Destination: Penzance

10Good value, good quality and friendly efficient staff

counter staff could not have been helpful practical and friendly, giving us great advice on where to go locally - advice that we followed and were pleased to have done so. Super straightforward on the dos and don'ts including the unique aspects of a Cornwall country lane. So far as I can see the price was way below other Penzance car hire.

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April 13, 2022

Destination: Aberdeen

10Leisure trip

Easy pleasant transaction

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Maswazi

April 6, 2022

Destination: London

8.3Good

Drop off was a bit stressful and confusing.

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April 6, 2022

Destination: London

2Unnecessarily stressful

Arrived to collect the car 16mins late and the car was no longer available. The existing booking was void and the onsite customer service forced me to upgrade in order to hire a car. Dropping the car off out of hours also needs to include an option for when the airport terminal is closed.

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S.Bukisha

April 5, 2022

Destination: London

10Wonderful

It was great.

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March 22, 2022

Destination: Manchester

8Good pricing!

My booking said GPS navigation would be provided, but this was not so. Tank was 7/8 filled although counter staff told me I had to return it with a full tank of petrol.

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J.Socas Diaz

February 28, 2022

Destination: London

9Excellent

El depósito de la reserva me comentaron que me devolvían sobre la marcha y el Coche lo entregue el sábado a la 01:00 de la madrugada y aún no me han hecho el reembolso

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February 28, 2022

Destination: Birmingham

5Expérience très moyenne avec Green Motion

Mauvaise indications sur la réservation QEEQ pour trouver le bureau Greenmotion (il faut prendre un train en direction de la gare, pas un bus comme indiqué dans la réservation). Nous avions payé pour une réservation “full to full” pour le plein de carburant. GM nous a informe que cela n existait pas chez eux et ont imposé un “same to same”. Voiture réservée type Opel Crossland X ou equiv (volume de coffre 410l). Voiture fournie par GM était une Kia Stonic (volume de coffre 352l) qui était donc beaucoup plus petite que ce qui était prévu. Extérieur du véhicule sale au moment de la location (l intérieur était OK).

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L.Gillies

February 28, 2022

Destination: Glasgow

10Queek on Fleek!

The whole process was really easy and the gentleman who served me when I picked up the car was so friendly and helpful. The car was as per my booking request and was clean and well maintained. The drop off was super easy and again, the gentleman that served me was very friendly and courteous.

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Jacob

February 27, 2022

Destination: Bristol

9.3Excellent

Car was great and the guy was very nice. Unfortunately, as I do not own a credit card, I incurred an additional 30quid per day charge in order to facilitate holding the deposit on my debit card. There are 'good' reasons for this I understand, and I appreciate that it is not really the fault of GM themselves, but why people who choose not use credit should be punished seems backwards and controversial! Needless to say the unexpected additional expense is pretty annoying. I have not had this issue with the bigger companies and so, sadly, guess it means I will stick to those in future, when I'd much rather support a smaller business. Shame, the car and service were otherwise exemplary.

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February 23, 2022

Destination: Belfast

7.7Good

The car was visually clean but stank of dog which was very off-putting

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P.Murphy

December 7, 2021

Destination: London

9.7Excellent service and quality of vehicle. We will certainly use again.

Excellent service from Stephan at the check-in desk but he was on his own. There were 3 groups in front of us so the check in took 20-25 mins before we were seen. However, the rest of the experience with Avis was excellent.

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M.Rubery

December 7, 2021

Destination: Leeds

9.6Great experience with great value for money car rental service.

Great car. Better than expected. Helpful staff. The only problem was wrong information on where the pick up point was. Stated "In terminal" Not. It was near the long stay car park 15 minutes walk down the road in the cold weather.

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November 29, 2021

Destination: London

7.7Budget staff.....Where ?

When returning the vehicle at about 9am on a Saturday morning there was no Budget staff at all. I parked the car and left the keys in the returns box and to date (2 clear days later) I have had no acknowledgement that the car was returned and that it was in a satisfactory condition.

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G.Anderson-Cashin

November 29, 2021

Destination: Belfast

10Great value, great overall experience!

Car was great fir the money. Would never own one but it suited purpose..

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K.Promwong

November 26, 2021

Destination: Glasgow

10Seemed to be good in providing services but there was dishonesty in doing business.

Budget/Avis took an extra charge of 30 pound sterling by deducting from my credit card without noticing me the reason of such extra charge. This is not a good business practice --albeit little in amout. Because of this dishonesty and bad conduct in doing business, I think this is my last time of buying a service from Budget/Avis.

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November 17, 2021

Destination: London

10Good Experience all round

Green motion staff were very friendly and helpful

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Nick

November 10, 2021

Destination: London

7Good platform, Budget ok if you have low expectations

Car had damage to front wheel that was noted down, even though quite evident, Luckily got the exit staff to note on my departure, tank was only 7/8 full and dropped to 6/8 just after I left pick up location, took the SD card so no sat nav, comes as standard so should have been included on a K group car

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Thabo Nhlangano

November 10, 2021

Destination: Glasgow

10Great car rental experience will use them again.

Great car and great experience, it was in a busy time but all staff were helpful and friendly

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November 2, 2021

Destination: London

7.7Disappointing

Not good. The car broke down. I had to get myself to Birmingham airport to pick up a new one. New one had a warning light on. Left my sunglasses - $250! in the car and no response to return them.

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B.Hoover

November 1, 2021

Destination: Edinburgh

10Wonderful service, great reliable car.

Excellent customer service! We were helped by the friendliest person who was efficient, patient and thorough. We were given a car within the class we requested, and a hybrid to boot! Would highly recommend AVIS.

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Ik from Galway

November 1, 2021

Destination: London

10Smooth painless process

Good service

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P.Littlewood

November 1, 2021

Destination: Belfast

10Great value.

Seemless service from start to finish, would definitely use this company again

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November 1, 2021

Destination: Inverness

10Everything went well

It was very trouble free

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N.Lorimer

October 31, 2021

Destination: London

9.7Excellent

Counter staff very helpful although I did have to wait to be seen. Mobile unit in car park not very professional as hotel is closed at present.

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Kelly McC

October 31, 2021

Destination: Maidstone

10Fair rate, quick and Easy

Very friendly, helpful and speedy service.

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October 31, 2021

Destination: Manchester

9.7No issues at all

Close to tram stop and airport. Efficient pickup and very efficient drop-off. Would recommend.

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October 7, 2021

Destination: Inverness

10Excellent

Customer service was excellent - very fast & efficient

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October 6, 2021

Destination: Southampton

8Very Good

Waiting time on collection was too long and meant standing in the cold. Office closed on drop off so no idea about deposit or fuel situation.

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S.Donovan

October 4, 2021

Destination: London

7Good

Long wait to collect the rental car. Make it difficult to get to the counter with infrequent busses and no rebate on the bus fare. Rude staff and extortionate insurance excess forcing us to buy additional coverage at double the initial rental quote.

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C.Chauhan

October 4, 2021

Destination: Liverpool

10Excellent

I had to extend my car for 1 week. As per there agreement the changes were £16.2 per day. So it should be £113.4 but they deducted £256.83. I am trying to contact them by customer care, waited for 40min no reply. Email them. No reply yet. Poor customer service.

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October 4, 2021

Destination: Inverness

9.7Smooth sailing!

The car provided was an upgrade on the booking due to non-availability of the booking. The car was also brand new so obviously in pristine condition! 20 minute wait for the counter but once we got served, the process was less than five minutes.

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Navin Rio

September 28, 2021

Destination: Edinburgh

10Excellent

The most amazing rental experience I’ve ever had.

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Jane R

September 26, 2021

Destination: Aberdeen

10Problem free booking and hire. Perfect car with no issues or complaints at all.

We booked a Peugot 208 or similar and received a Hyundai Kona. Lovely new car, comfortable, plenty of space and nippy. Easy to locate the pick-up location at the airport and we were on our way within a few minutes.

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Avi Kogan

September 26, 2021

Destination: London

9Budget were absolutely brilliant. But the vehicle was advertised as an SUV and no way was I given

The car was advertised as an SUV - but was a normal vehicle. 100% not an SUV

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J.S

September 21, 2021

Destination: Glasgow

6.7Appalling customer service from Easirent.

I have never left a review before (good or bad) but my experience with Easirent was so bad I had to. After experiencing an issue with my credit card I was forced to pay for added insurance that I didn't want, with no help or flexibility or suggestions from the counter staff at all, who was visibly delighted to be taking an extra £120 for a service I didn't need or want (despite me offering to pay the full £1600 deposit instead). Later, when trying to contact Easirent to confirm drop off / shuttle arrangements (on a Friday morning) no one answered any of the phone lines, despite multiple attempts throughout the day. On arriving at drop-off, we were told 'the driver hasn't turned up today, so you'll have to get yourself to the airport' - no hint of paying for the taxi, or even calling a taxi on our behalf. Genuinely the worst customer service of any kind I have ever received. I hope my experience was a one-off, but I somehow doubt it.

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Nic

September 19, 2021

Destination: London

9.3Money saving, good quality

Good car snd experience

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A.Watt

August 28, 2021

Destination: Manchester

9.3Smooth experience

I was given a complimentary upgrade but was charged £2.75 extra when I dropped off the car, which was puzzling as the staff member said it was the difference between the car I ordered and the car I was given. It wasn’t worth quibbling such a small amount but should not have been the case. There was something wrong with the car’s steering, which I reported on returning the car. It veered to the right at speed and when accelerating. Not safe.

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Best car rental deals in United Kingdom

Best rates found by QEEQ users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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