Renting a vehicle may have just gotten harder in Europe. After a string of terrorist attacks involving using vehicle rentals as a weapon to harm people have forced some the government in Britain to look into more safety procedures before allowing people to rent vehicles. Car rental companies in the past have enjoyed allowing anyone with a credit card, a valid driver's license and properly insured to rent and operate their vehicles. Terrorists have abused that and turned an innocent market into a threat to public safety. By using car rentals to run into unsuspecting patio diners and pedestrians have caused many lives to be lost. Some government officials want information handed over to car rental companies, which includes names, addresses and financial details, to be cross-checked with criminal watch lists.
Potential renters could face additional personal information details handed over as officials consider whether more information could help spot likely attackers. The latest attack in Spain was a string which followed similar incidents in Britain, France, and Germany. Last week in Barcelona, attackers rented two vans, one to run over pedestrians and another suspected getaway vehicle to murder 14 people and leave over 130 people injured. A statement from a government spokesperson said "the threat from terrorism is changing and so must our response. That is why we are reviewing our counter-terrorism strategy and powers and why we have ploughed extra resources into counter-terrorism"
She also confirmed the Department for Transport was working with police and the car rental industry to look at what else they can do together to thwart potential terrorist attacks. "The Department for Transport is also working with the police and the vehicle rental industry to explore what more can be done to prevent the malicious use of hire vehicles. This includes looking at what more rental companies could do before an individual can hire a vehicle." The British government has also revised guidance for armed police officers. Previously, officers with firearms had the option of shooting at a moving vehicle, but it was discouraged as it was felt it could increase the risk of public safety. However, it has been revised so that firing at a moving vehicle is now an accepted tactic.