UK van hire rules could be tightened after terror attacks

After hired vans were used twice by terrorists in London, the capital’s most senior police officer has hinted at new regulation

Car hire 1

Stricter rules on van hire may be needed in light of recent terrorist attacks, London’s police chief has said.

Rental companies have been told to be more aware of who is getting keys to large vehicles after hired vans were used twice by terrorists in the capital.

According to The Times, Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick told the London Assembly: “Should [van hire] be regulated in any way? There’s a whole big review to be done. I don’t know. It might require some tweaking of legislation.”

Can i drive a van? The vehicles you can drive on your licence

On 4 June three men in a 3.5 tonne Renault Master van hired from Romford, East London ran pedestrians down on London Bridge, killing three, before attacking more people in Borough Market. They had tried to obtain a 7.5 tonne lorry but failed because payment was declined.

Two weeks later a man drove a rented Citroen Relay box van into a group of Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park, killing one and injuring 11, after driving it to London from Cardiff.

A Hyundai Tucson SUV, hired from Birmingham, was also used to kill four people and injure 50 more in the Westminster attack in March.

Soon after, car hire companies were told to report customers suspected of using vehicles for criminal activity to the police.

4x4 vans and commercial vehicles explained

Ms Dick acknowledged that regulating van hire would be “very hard” but added “the key to this for me is absolutely in our communities”.

Toby Potson, of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, told The Times: "We have a long-established set of protocols to enable the efficient reporting of any suspicious activity and many operators have specialist security managers that regularly support the police with inquiries.

"We are exploring ways in which we can share information more effectively with law enforcement organisations."

Do you think there should be stricter rules on hiring a van? Let us know in the comments.

Recommended

Long wheelbase vans: payloads, licences and how to choose one
Vans

Long wheelbase vans: payloads, licences and how to choose one

If you want to carry a lot of cargo in your van, a long wheelbase model could be just the ticket, we explain all...
22 Sep 2020
Killer drivers will face life sentences from 2021
Speed camera accident
Consumer news

Killer drivers will face life sentences from 2021

Government promises to introduce legislation to reform sentencing for drivers who cause death or serious injury next year
14 Sep 2020
Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X: long-term test review
Long-term tests

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian X: long-term test review

Third report: Does our Mitsubishi L200 pick-up live up to its predecessors?
10 Sep 2020
Over half of drivers break 30mph limits
Increased speed limits helps to cut accidents
Consumer news

Over half of drivers break 30mph limits

Official figures show drivers are most likely to break 30mph limits, closely followed by 70mph motorway limits
9 Sep 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home
Electric cars

Energy firms want the right to switch off electric cars charging at home

New powers being sought to allow energy providers to turn off high-drain devices to manage electricity network
18 Sep 2020
New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review
Honda Civic Type R

New Honda Civic Type R 2020 review

We find out if the revised Honda Civic Type R can stay at the top of the hot hatch class
22 Sep 2020