The vehicle rental market can be a confusing environment, but there’s a highly experienced local company that covers it all very simply and conveniently; we sent Robert Veitch to find out more about Parkers Car and Truck Rental
David Chewter has owned Parkers Car and Truck Rental for just over 40 years and he is as enthusiastic about the business now as he was back then.
When David purchased the company the fleet consisted of fifteen Ford Cortinas. Over time, the fleet evolved through Peugeots, Sierras, Vectras and Mondeos into the current mixed fleet, which ranges from small hatchbacks, to saloons, estates, and MPV’s. “We have something for everyone” noted David. “We are the oldest vehicle rental company in Sussex. We’re full of experience and we know what we’re doing.”
The average age of the car fleet is 2-3 years and there are plans to introduce hybrid vehicles into the fleet and fully electric vehicles a little further down the line. “Whether it’s diesel or petrol, manual or automatic, a luxurious driving experience or an economic runabout, we cover all bases.”
“We have around 180 vehicles in total,” said David, including 15 and 17-seater minibuses. Beyond that, there are car-derived vans, short, medium and long wheelbase transits, tippers, Luton boxes, 7.5 ton trucks and tail lift vehicles. “Our rental rates are considerably better than the multinational rental companies, they’re more than competitive,” he revealed.
With Easter on the horizon and the summer beyond that, David told me this is a good time to plan for group trips that require larger vehicles. For example, booking a nine-person multi-seater for a trip to Alton Towers or a minibus for a few days in the Lake District. Maybe even a minibus to follow the England team around Germany during Euro 2024.
For others who are keen on DIY, gardening, and building projects, that need load and capacity, the tipper range prove popular as spring approaches.
David recommends pre-booking via internet, by email, or by phone because it’s much easier than turning up un-announced, although people are welcome to do so. After a first booking, additional bookings can be secured in, “a couple of minutes,” said David.
All vehicles undergo a series of service checks between rentals, covering things like tyre pressures, oil levels, light functionality, water levels, windscreen cleaning fluid and so on. Vehicles are cleaned inside and out, and there’s a thorough check out procedure with the customer before the keys are handed over.
Rental periods are from a minimum of one day but much longer durations are also possible. Parkers hire to customers up to the age of 75, with a clean license, valid for the category of vehicle they want to hire, and one or two years of driving experience. There are no mileage charges, and European rentals are also available. All rentals come with comprehensive insurance and breakdown cover. “Most of the vehicles are ULEZ compliant. If a customer needs one, if they let us know, we’ll make sure they get one,” acknowledged David.
“We have on site customer parking,” and David advised, “collection from the local railway station is available on request.” Parkers also offer a unique airport drop off service, so customers arriving at Gatwick can be welcomed by a Parkers representative, ready to hand over the keys to the vehicle – there’s no waiting in queues at the airport car hire desk with Parkers!
Towards the end of last year, the company relocated from their old Haywards Heath home to Jupps Yard, Ditchling Road, on the periphery of Wivelsfield. “We were looking for a bigger site for a bigger fleet, plus additional space because we wanted to diversify,” he told me. Being a very accessible and easy to find location it’s clear that Parkers have made a good move.
Since relocating Parkers have introduced on site storage rental at the Jupps Yard base. Former shipping containers are offered exclusively on a minimum term of one month. They are accessible 24 hours a day and come with 24-hour security cameras. “We wanted to diversify,” he told me, “and we have the capacity to do it here.”
Parkers Car and Truck Rental have enjoyed a long and successful journey since trading began in 1949 – and there are plans in place to celebrate the 75th anniversary this September. “We intend to have celebratory rebranding on some of the vehicles, and at both premises. It’s also likely that we’ll have some special 75th offers for our customers to enjoy.”
David has been in touch with customers from previous decades, as far back in history as he can find – and is keen to take the earliest known customer for a ride in his 1934 Rolls Royce. Get in touch if you’re a customer from yesteryear and you could enjoy a chauffeured treat.
As well as the Jupps Yard base, Parkers also operate from town centre premises in London Road, Burgess Hill. Both offices are open Monday to Friday, 8am–5.30pm and on Saturdays, 8am–12:30pm. Karl Burns heads up the loyal, long serving team, with Mark Robertson and Jetmir Babiceanu based at the Haywards Heath office, and Mike Page, Callum Burns and Lyn Craddock based at the Burgess Hill office. “They all offer a great deal of expertise, coupled with excellent customer service.”
According to David, Parkers stand out because, “We have the best range of vehicles, at great prices, we’re easy to find, and it’s easy to book. Our staff are friendly and knowledgeable, and we offer great customer service.” And that’s why David and the entire Parkers team are a driving force that's full of optimism for the future.
Parkers Car and Truck Rental, Jupps Yard, Fattings Barn, Ditchling Road, Wivelsfield, RH17 7RE
289 London Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 9QU