Welcome, This handbook provides you with, policies, requirements, rules and regulations about the operation of Locar vehicles and provides operational information and procedures.

This handbook contains general information and guidance only and may be superseded and / or subject to amendment without further notice.

This handbook is kept under regular review and was last updated 03/05/2021.


You are responsible for driving safely and looking after your car as if it were your own.

Locar’s Comprehensive Insurance Policy covers the car both for business and for social, domestic and pleasure purposes.

You are expected to maintain the car in good condition and ensure it is roadworthy at all times.

This guide details use, servicing, running and many other aspects of maintaining the car. Please read it carefully and make sure you understand the contents fully. If you have any questions please contact your our operations team.

We wish you trouble-free and safe motoring.


You are responsible for the car and for conforming with and carrying out the instructions explained in this handbook. You are also responsible for ensuring that no unauthorised person drives the car whilst it is in your care.

The only additional persons who are permitted to drive the car are those named and authorised drivers, such as the driver’s spouse/partner, under the following conditions:

  • Your partner must be over 21
  • They must fill in a Driver Application Form, which is held by the Company
  • They must have a full and valid driving licence with the relevant categories for the vehicle to be driven
  • They are permitted to drive the vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure purposes only
  • They must not use the vehicle for their own business purposes

Even under these conditions, Locar’s insurers reserve the right to refuse insurance if the risk is considered to be unacceptable.

Provisional Licence holders are never allowed to drive Locar cars.

If an unauthorised person drives your vehicle, neither the car nor the driver is covered by Locar’s Motor Insurance. You should note that any person driving an uninsured vehicle is liable to police prosecution, as well as for any damage caused in the event of an accident.


You and all other persons authorised to Locar cars must hold a full, current and valid driving licence, which must be made available for examination when required by the Locar operations team.

You must immediately report any event (e.g. endorsements, convictions or health conditions) which could invalidate your driving licence, to the Locar operations team. All endorsements should be reported for insurance purposes.

It is your responsibility to renew the licence, including the photocard and it should be carried at all times.


The Insurance Team at Locar holds the Certificate of Motor Insurance for vehicles and copies are available if required.


Locar has arranged comprehensive insurance that covers loss of or damage to the vehicle and protects against third party liabilities.

However, the insurers may refuse cover if for example the vehicle is not maintained in a roadworthy condition and cover may also be invalidated if the vehicle is driven by a person who is not authorised or not qualified to drive it.

Locar’s accident team will deal with all claims made by third parties and so under no circumstances are you to admit liability or to make any arrangements for payment yourself.

Following an incident, any third party communication, notice of intended prosecution or summons must be passed to Locar’s accident team, unanswered, immediately.

Locar’s insurers have full discretion in the conduct of any proceedings or the settlement of any claim.

Personal belongings are not insured against loss or theft, therefore you are recommended to take out separate or additional cover especially when for example you are going on holiday.

In your own interest, please adopt the following best practice: ‑

  1. Where possible do not leave any items in unattended vehicles.
  2. If items must be left in the vehicle, they should be securely locked in the boot.
  3. Property ought not be left in the vehicle overnight.


In the event that our insurers impose an additional policy excess and/or charge additional premium in respect of an individual driver because of their record, (usually for reasons of very poor claims experience, or driving convictions), that extra cost will be charged by Locar to the driver concerned.

Your rental agreement will be terminated, if a driver is convicted of a serious (e.g. drink / drug) driving offence and/or with a very poor ‘fault’ accident record.


To comply with the terms of our motor insurance policy, it is essential that the reporting procedures detailed below are strictly observed following any incident occurring in connection with the vehicle (whether or not involving a third party).

The sooner our insurers are notified of incidents, the quicker our vehicle can be repaired and other party claims dealt with. Prompt action will undoubtedly save us money and also help to enhance our corporate image.


In the event of an impact or injury

  1. At the scene, make sure that the emergency services are contacted if required.
  2. Provide any person having reasonable grounds for so requiring, with our driver, vehicle and insurer details using the ‘Exchange of Information’ form (included with this handbook). At no stage admit responsibility and make no comment or statement regarding the accident (except to a police officer).
  3. If a camera or camera phone is available, photograph the incident location from a number of different directions and take pictures of any vehicles / property damaged. Road measurements may also be useful to record.
  4. Complete an ‘Incident Recording Form’ (also included within this handbook)
  5. Notify the matter by telephone immediately, to Locar’s Accident Department on 020 3778 1570 to receive further instruction.

In relation to all other instances of loss or damage (including theft, malicious damage, fire etc) contact Locar’s Accident Department on 020 3778 1570.

Minor repairs that affect roadworthiness e.g. broken headlamp, bulb, may be carried out immediately but must still be reported.

NOTE 1 – incidents involving personal injury must be reported to local police within 24hrs and it is also necessary to notify police of damage to lamp posts, telegraph poles, bollards, manhole covers, road signs or other public property. Remember that if you fail to stop after an accident and fail to notify the other party or the police, you may be prosecuted.

NOTE 2 – In order to better understand the causes of motor accidents and with a view to improving future health and safety, you may Locar to contact you following any incident.

NOTE 3 – If, because of the deliberate late supply of, or inaccurate nature of the information surrounding an incident, the company is involved in additional costs, the driver may not be supplied another vehicle.


The vehicle must only be used for normal road travel. The vehicle must not be used for, racing, pace making, trials, hill climbing, sprinting or in any competition, or any off-road event. We do not allow any form of driving tuition in Locar vehicles.

The vehicle must not be over laden or used for a purpose for which it was not designed.


In general there are no restrictions on transporting passengers other than Hitchhikers, who should not be carried. However, at no time must the seating capacity of the car be exceeded and passengers must occupy a factory fitted seat fitted seat equipped with a seat belt. Passengers should not be carried for hire or reward under any circumstances.


All children aged under 12 years who are also less than 135cm (4’5’’) tall must use an appropriate child restraint when travelling in cars. Children aged 12 years or over (or over 135cm tall) must wear a seat belt.

For all children under 14 years it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate restraint or seat belt is being used by the child.


Unrestrained loads in cars – especially estates – can cause major accident damage and personal injury by becoming a missile ‘flying’ through the vehicle if the driver brakes or swerves suddenly; please ensure that any load restraining features fitted to the vehicle, are utilised.

When carrying any type of load and this can include documents, sales literature and samples, IT equipment, tool boxes and personal items, they must be restrained. Load carrying risks can be minimised by ensuring that your vehicle is capable of safe load carrying.

This means the need for restraining hooks, straps and cargo nets. Smaller items should be inside a storage box, secured in the boot. These requirements apply to all motor vehicles used on company business, regardless of size and use.

A risk assessment of load carrying by vehicles should be completed to identify safe work practices and drivers who may need additional training. Any additional equipment required such as straps, storage box’s or nets are available from the fleet/transport office.


It is a legal requirement that smoking is not permitted in licensed taxi’s.

Smoking is not prohibited in any Locar vehicle. 

Stock photo showing the view from the interior of a taxicab driving through rain, No smoking symbol sign on passenger window


It is an offence for a driver to:

  • Speak or listen to a phone call on a hand held phone.
  • Send or receive text messages or images.
  • Use any hand held device to access data, including the internet.Hold any electronic device used for “accessing” oral, textual or pictorial communications.
  • Driving is defined as sitting at the wheel of the vehicle with the engine running.

Using a mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle is an endorsable offence (CU80), where 6 penalty points will be applied in addition to a fine.

As a consequence we prohibit all use of hand held mobile phones whilst moving.  Receiving and reviewing trips should be performed when the vehicle is parked in a safe and legal place. The use of mobile phones to access the internet/social media is strictly forbidden whilst driving.

These rules apply to the use of all types of mobile or fixed communication or other electronic equipment including satellite navigation and telematics equipment.


Portable in-car driving aids such as satellite navigation and mobile phones can be business-efficient but simultaneously, hazardous.

Vehicle manufacturers’ systems are fitted to the highest standards in order to help drivers concentrate. But there are concerns about the fitting of aftermarket devices.

For example, satellite navigation systems and speed camera detectors can be fitted on a vehicle’s dashboard or windscreen, often obscuring clear vision. Also, some systems can be adjusted by the driver, so diverting attention away from the primary task, that of driving safely.

Poor location of devices can also affect safety features, such as airbags, or injure the driver in a collision. Those without a dimmer light facility can also reduce driver vision at night. Incorrect fitting and placing of brackets for mobile phones – often at a driver’s knee level – can be potentially lethal in a road crash.

Therefore Locar’s policy is as follows;

  • You must obtain Locar’s permission before any ancillary equipment is fitted to a vehicle.
  • The positioning of aftermarket equipment should be compliant with vehicle manufacturer guidelines.
  • Finally, drivers should minimise use of all in-car devices while driving.

You must refrain from eating and drinking in the vehicle unless it is parked safely.


Driving when tired significantly increases the risk of being involved in a collision. Up to one fifth of accidents on motorways and other types of roads may be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel; however, all drivers who fall asleep at the wheel have a degree of warning.

To minimise the risk of fatigue, you should follow the following guidance: 

  • Ensure wherever possible that you plan work patterns to minimise the likelihood of fatigue.
  • You should not drive for more than 2 hours without having a break. Ideally you should take short, frequent breaks.
  • It is a well-known fact that certain activity such as walking and stretching triggers the sympathetic nervous system and helps keep you alert. Some foods and substances can also temporarily increase alertness.
  • There are a number of measures that you can take to decrease but not prevent the onset of fatigue on a journey.
    • Temperature: Cool dry air, especially on your face, helps keep you alert.
    • Sound: Irregular or variable sounds e.g. conversation can stimulate alertness.
    • Environmental light: bright light tends to increase alertness while dim light leads to drowsiness.
    • Aroma: Studies have found that some smells, e.g. peppermint, make people more alert. Others, like lavender, have a sedative effect.
    • When you feel sleepy, instead of fighting it, you should stop at the nearest safe place:
      • Stop and park safely, fully applying the handbrake.
      • Have a high energy or caffeinated drink
      • Set your alarm or mobile phone
      • Take a ‘powernap’ for no more than 15 minutes
      • Do not drive until fully alert


We are committed to reducing the risks which our drivers face and create, when on the road as part of their work. You should ensure that you practice safe methods of driving at all times.

Locar’s insurance require that telemetry and in-vehicle CCTV is installed in all vehicles. The primary aim for this is to reduce incidents, injuries and costs, but could also include identifying higher risk drivers and vehicles reducing exposure to high risk driving situations, identifying driver training needs, reducing vehicle costs and improving collision investigation. We ask that you support such initiatives.

All Locar staff are duty bound by law to ensure that you “drive” safely and must not knowingly do something or omit to do something which may put yourself or others at risk.


There are strict legal alcohol limits for drivers, but it’s impossible to say exactly how many drinks this equals – it’s different for each person. The limits in Scotland are different to the rest of the UK. If you drive or attempt to drive, while above the legal limit or unfit through drink you may get:

  • 6 months’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)

Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink can lead to;

  • 14 years’ imprisonment
  • an unlimited fine
  • a ban from driving for at least 2 years
  • an extended driving test before your licence is returned


It’s illegal to drive if either:

  • you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs
  • you have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood (even if they haven’t affected your driving)

It’s an offence to drive if you have over the specified limits of certain drugs in your blood and you haven’t been prescribed them.

Talk to your doctor about whether you should drive if you’ve been prescribed any of the following drugs:

  • amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam

You can drive after taking these drugs if:

  • you’ve been prescribed them and followed advice on how to take them by a healthcare professional
  • they aren’t causing you to be unfit to drive even if you’re above the specified limits


If you’re convicted of drug driving you’ll get:

  • a minimum 1 year driving ban
  • an unlimited fine
  • up to 6 months in prison
  • a criminal record

Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving. This will last for 11 years

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Any driver who seeks help and guidance in overcoming a drug or alcohol problem will be treated positively by the company, but only if this is before being selected for a screen or test, for any reason.

Failure to disclose the use of legal or illegal drugs will result in your rental agreement being terminated. If this is discovered by any enforcement agency such as the police this will also result in loss of driving licence and a fine.

Locar reserves the right to carry out screening;

  • at the start of employment
  • with cause
  • with suspicion
  • randomly


It is generally appreciated that driver fatigue and tiredness compromise safety. It is important however to be able to recognise “Sleepiness” where it is due to an underlying medical condition such as OSA (Obstructive sleep apnoea)

Many drivers with OSA have had a motor vehicle accident due to falling asleep at the wheel. Most sufferers do not realise that they have the condition.

Invariably, OSA victims suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and other symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring (With periods of silence followed by gasps)
  • Generally restless sleep
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating/forgetfulness
  • Irritability and or mood/behaviour changes

If any person suspects they may have this condition they should contact their GP. The condition is generally fully treatable without the need for surgery.


DVT can affect individuals who are seated in a confined space for extended periods of time.

To minimise the risk, it is recommended that both drivers and passengers take the following precautions;-

  1. Stop and take a break at least once every two hours where practical
  2. Get out of the vehicle, walk around, exercise the lower legs and take in fresh air.
  3. Drink plenty of water, to stay hydrated
  4. Wear loose fitting clothing.

Symptoms of DVT may include;-

  1. Swelling of the legs
  2. Redness and an increased temperature of the leg
  3. Noticeable pain

If any person suspects they may have this condition, medical assistance should be sought immediately.


The manufacturer’s handbook as supplied with the vehicle should be read carefully, even if you may have driven a similar model previously. Vehicle technology is continually changing (hybrid and electric vehicles for example) and this may highlight the need for different methods of operation or safety procedures.

The handbook should be kept in the vehicle at all times as a point of reference, for technical data; e.g. tyre pressures, and general maintenance information.


It is your responsibility to ensure that the vehicle allocated to you is kept in good working order and is operated in a safe and legal manner at all times.

The vehicle may be liable to spot checks periodically by Locar. The following sections detail the main elements of personal car management.


Modern vehicles often benefit from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and speed sign recognition. These systems are designed for your safety and must not be disabled or tampered with.


To minimise this risk of suffering from back, neck or shoulder problems and also provide you with improved neck and spine protection, the following seating position should be adopted.

  • The lower chest should come forward and up in order to relax the shoulder blades back and down
  • Shoulder blades should be in good contact with the back of the seat. The lower spine should not push into the back support.
  • The back of the head should be lightly resting on the head restraint.
  • Hands should be in the ten to two position with arms relaxed.
  • The steering wheel should be directly in front of the driver and the driver should be able to rest their wrist on top of the steering wheel without stretching.
  • The driver should be able to reach and operate all the controls without effort.
  • Unless there is a specific exemption, seatbelts must be worn at all times.


To be effective, a head restraint must be as close to the back of the head as possible (touching is best) and the top of the restraint should be as high as the top of the head. Remember it is a head restraint, not a headrest.

For more detail on whiplash protection and seat ratings visit Thatcham Research


For your own safety and to ensure that the best reliability is obtained from your Locar vehicle, get into the habit of making the following checks detailed below.


  • Check tyres visually
  • Ensure that all lights as operating correctly. It is an offence to drive if your lights are not functioning properly.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient fuel

Clean the windscreen, all windows, mirrors, headlamps and all other light lenses and number plates.

  • Check the brakes for operation (including the parking/hand brake). 


  • Check and correct the tyre pressure and tread wear including the spare wheel (if fitted). Keep to the pressures recommended in the manufacturers handbook. It is an offence to have defective tyres.
  • Check the engine oil level and also before setting out on a long journey
  • Check the battery and ensure that all connections are secure.
  • Check the radiator coolant mixture level and also before setting out on a long journey. To avoid injury, this should be carried out when the engine is cold
  • Top up the windscreen washer reservoir. Check the action of the windscreen wipers and the condition of the wiper blades at the same time. It is an offence if your windscreen washer is inoperative for any reason.
  • Check the clutch fluid and brake fluid reservoirs (where fitted)
  • Complete a visual check of the vehicle and report any defects


Preventative maintenance through inspection and regular servicing can reduce the defect rate and help improve reliability and safety. It is therefore important that your vehicle is properly maintained.


Locar vehicles must be serviced in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. These are shown in the service book, which accompanies each vehicle.


All work must be carried out only at a Locar authorised supplier; otherwise problems will arise in connection with repairs carried out under warranty. Drivers may be liable for any costs incurred if this instruction is not strictly adhered to.


A chip in your windscreen will only get worse if neglected and cracked windscreens are a major reason for MOT failure. However stone chips can be repaired by means of resin injection and our insurance company will pay the full cost of a windscreen repair. This not only prevents the damage from getting worse, it also saves the expense of having to pay any glass excess required for a replacement windscreen.

Where replacement is necessary Locar has arrangements for the replacement of windscreens with our nominitated suppliers if you have a chip in your windscreen please contact the Locar operations team.


The life of tyres depends to a large extent on the manner in which the vehicle is driven. Excessive speed, braking or acceleration will cause tyres to deteriorate. If they are repeatedly driven against kerbs or large stones the walls of the tyres will weaken.

Similarly, if tyres are not maintained at the manufacturer’s recommended pressures accelerated wear will occur. You are required to pay particular attention to these points.

You should regularly check tyres and, if there is doubt, our authorised tyre supplier will check your tyres and advise on replacement as necessary.

To have tyres which are defective for any reason constitutes an offence for which the police could prosecute you. Each defective tyre can be penalised with 3 penalty points and/or a fine.


In case of a puncture when on the road do not attempt to change the wheel at the roadside under any circumstances. Contact us for roadside assistance

Secure the vehicle and move to a safe area and wait until the assistance arrives


Should you experience any problems with your battery contact our operations team for support.


It is an offence to drive the vehicle when the speedometer and/or odometer are defective. It is your responsibility to ensure that the speedometer is in proper working order at all times. If the odometer is faulty then this must be advised to Locar immediately as we are under legal obligation to provide an accurate mileage record when disposing of the vehicle



New cars and light commercial vehicles usually have a good level of engine immobilisation fitted as standard. It is becoming very difficult for thieves to “hot wire” a vehicle. This has led to a rise in theft of keys and car jacking.  In the unlikely event that a person forces you to hand over the keys to your car, do not resist. You are more important than the car. Phone the police and try to give a clear description of the thief.


You should take all sensible precautions regarding parking. At night, garage the vehicle if possible; do not leave property in the vehicle overnight especially laptop computers, mobile phones and portable satellite navigation systems, always apply the handbrake and lock the vehicle (even at fuel service stations). Do not park it in the more vulnerable positions in car parks; try and park in a well lit area so it is safer when you return to your vehicle.


One vehicle is stolen every two minutes of every single day!

This statistic shows that although vehicle crime is falling, your vehicle could still be stolen if you do not take sensible precautions to secure it. Vehicle manufacturers, in conjunction with insurance companies have worked very hard to develop more effective security systems to prevent vehicle theft. However, criminals are constantly finding new ways to steal vehicles.

As a consequence, drivers should be alerted to the increased number of thefts from homes and workplaces, where the prime object is to obtain the vehicle keys and subsequently the vehicle. Once they have the keys, it only takes a few seconds for them to jump in and drive away with your vehicle.

There are some simple steps that can be taken to protect the vehicle and its contents;

Vehicle keys should be kept in secure position at all times and not left within easy reach such as on a table or key board overnight or when the premises is unattended. Never leave the keys in an obvious place, be vigilant at all times and remain key aware by following these simple steps:

Always take and keep your keys with you, even when:

  • Filling up with fuel
  • Making short stops for deliveries or to call into a shop for instance
  • Loading/unloading items into the vehicle

Never leave your vehicle unattended when:

  • Warming up your car in the winter
  • Cooling it down in the summer

Always keep you keys safe when not using your vehicle:

  • Keep them out of sight
  • In a secure place
  • Away from windows and doors
  • Do not leave keys on a desk in an open office area, especially where there is public access.
  • Avoid displaying the registration number on the key ring.
  • Consider the use of a Faraday pouch to store the keys of vehicles equipment with keyless entry/ignition


Should the vehicle suffer mechanical or electrical problems, where possible you should avoid stopping in a dangerous place (such as on a roundabout, or where other road users will have difficulty seeing the vehicle).

Do not attempt to repair the vehicle yourself, please call  >………….. <  for assistance. While waiting for the breakdown service to arrive, you should switch off the engine, switch on hazard lights and wait away from the vehicle in a safe place, away from traffic.

On a motorway this should be beyond the hard shoulder, up the embankment if there is one, or the other of any crash barrier. You and any passengers should exit the vehicle from the nearside and never cross the motorway.


Any traffic offence, endorsements, imposition of penalty points etc. must be reported to your manager, who will review the insurance implications. Failure to notify your manager may well invalidate your insurance and may be deemed as a disciplinary matter

You are personally responsible for any fines resulting from the above. If you are convicted of a driving offence and consequently lose your driving licence it may mean your suspension and subsequent loss of employment, or redeployment to another appointment within the Company at the Company’s discretion.

Company drivers are required to pay any fixed penalty, such as for a parking offence, within the prescribed time; if you fail to do so the Company is held accountable. In addition, any such charges will be deducted from your salary together with an administration charge; this administration charge will be reviewed annually. Any charge from the leasing company will be similarly deducted from your salary. You are reminded that administration charges can be avoided by prompt payment of fixed penalties, as required by law.


When returning your vehicle you must ensure that it is clean inside and out.

Please note that Locar has to rectify undue wear and tear, and any such costs may be passed on to the renter.

All original features must be present and all original equipment refitted when the vehicle is returned.

The cost in rectifying burns, tears, heavily stained areas or excessive wear to the inside of the vehicle and luggage area will be charged to the renter.

The cost of rectifying body damage, which would normally be repaired under the terms of the insurance policy, will be charged to the driver.


Locar cars may not be taken abroad.


  • Carrying spare bulbs for your car is always very handy. In fact, in Europe it’s compulsory to carry an emergency bulb kit. Just put them in your boot and make sure your owner’s manual is handy so you know how to fit them.
  • Check your car’s oil and coolant level when the engine is cold and you are parked on level ground.
  • Try to avoid hitting your tyres against kerbs, especially when parking. It can cause the tyre to weaken without showing any damage on the outside and also damage your wheel which may affect your tracking.
  • Check your spare tyre from time to time (if fitted); you never know when you might need it. And it’s an offence to fit a spare that is not roadworthy.
  • Don’t just use screen wash to stop your water freezing in the winter. It’s great at removing insects from your windscreen in the summer too.
  • We recommend you change your wiper blades regularly, even if they haven’t been used very often. This is because the rubber deteriorates over time when exposed to the atmosphere. In the interim period an occasional wipe with methylated spirit will avoid streaking.
  • Always carry a pair of sunglasses in your car even in the winter in case of need.

We’ll leave you to decide whether these tips work for you or not. However, please let common sense prevail at all times.


By signing a Locar rental agreement you confirm that you have read our driving handbook and will abide by the requirements and terms contained within it.