If you’ve got questions about how we work, this is the right place to find the answers. We’ve tried to think of everything you might need to know – but if there is something we haven’t thought of drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help you. Alternatively, you can ask us via the live chat facility.
FAQs are for guidance only, please refer to our terms and conditions for full details.
Can equipment be hired by private customers?
While private customers can hire from us, Expo Hire UK Ltd is primarily a business to business supplier. Our products are commercial items and as such are not designed for domestic use or non business premises. Any private customer who orders from us must do so with the clear understanding that they will be treated as a business and will not be afforded the protection of the Consumer Rights Act. No cooling off period exists.
What does the price given next to the item include?
The prices given on our item pages are to hire the item for a standard three day hire period.
This is to give you ample time to set up your equipment and furniture before your event and to pack away afterwards. We never recommend a customer taking delivery of items on the day of the event. There are variables connected to delivery such as traffic, accidents and time taken with previous deliveries which are impossible to legislate for, which make deliveries on the day of the event instantly problematic.
The price does not include delivery, collection or VAT. There may also be additional charges for cleaning and slight damage waivers.
What can be expected on delivery?
Unless the two person carriage charge has been paid for, deliveries and collections are made by a single driver, who has 15 minutes to deliver or collect your order. They are not allowed to take items up or down stairs, and all deliveries need to be made within 50m of the vehicle. If it takes the driver longer then you will be charged £12.50 per additional 15 minutes. If a driver arrives and delivery or collection is impossible then unfortunately an additional carriage charge will be added to your order.
If there are likely to be issues with regards to location, staff onsite or the size of the order, then it's imperative you advise us BEFORE you place your order. Please note that our vans cannot go off-road onto grass or dirt areas, particularly when it has been wet due to the chances of the vehicle getting stuck.
As our drivers are multiple drop drivers, any issues with your delivery or collection of your order could result in issues for other customers. We ask that you are mindful of this when we are delivering or collecting your order.
Delivery has been taken, what should be done now?
It's important when you've received your items to have a quick check to make sure everything is there, and that you set up electrical and gas equipment to at least test as soon as practicable. That way, in the unlikely event of there being problems you can contact us immediately we have the maximum amount of time to fix them.
Are Expo Hire Thames Valley open on a weekend?
We do deliver and collect on both Saturdays and Sundays; however there are additional charges. Delivery or collection on a weekend day will cost an extra £20 plus VAT.
Availability can also be tight on weekends, so if at all possible it's easier to book a weekday delivery and collection - remember our three day hire period covers Friday to Monday.
Does Expo Hire Thames Valley offer charity discounts?
While we have no doubt that your charity does sterling work and is running to a tight budget, we must be fair to all customers and as such we cannot offer charity discounts. The Coronavirus pandemic placed an incredible strain on the hospitality industry which we have had to deal with while receiving minimal help; consequently we have a duty of care to our own staff first.
Are glass hire and cutlery hire polished prior to delivery?
The short answer is no.
All of our glassware and cutlery go through our commercial dishwashers and are checked to make sure that they're clean before being sent out. However, this does not mean that glasses or cutlery will arrive at your venue polished.
The only way to properly polish these items is by hand. As you can imagine given the prices we charge and the number of items we supply this is realistically impossible. If you're having a formal occasion then we suggest you set aside some time during setup to give these items a little polish if needed.
How long can items be hired for?
Our standard hire period is three days and our most frequent period of hire is from Friday to Monday. However, we understand some customers may need to hire items for a longer period of time.
As long as we have items in stock for the dates requested we can accomodate hire requests for longer periods of time. You can check availability on the product page; simply enter the dates you wish for delivery and collection and the quantity needed and our automatic stock system will confirm if we have the stock required.
Extended hire charges are shown on the product page. They are also itemised in the checkout for you prior to making payment.
When is the best time to place an order?
The easiest answer to this question is as soon as is practically possible. All stock and drivers are subject to availability and as one can imagine at peak periods in the year that availability can get stretched very quickly.
If you require items for delivery within seven days you must contact our office either via our live chat facility or by emailing email@example.com to place your order, so that we can confirm we can fulfil your requirements.
When does payment need to be made?
Payment needs to be made when placing an order to confirm unless an account is already in place with us.
Payment can be made by credit or debit card when going through the checkout procedure. Should you select the “Pay Deposit” option, please call us within 48 hours if you have not received an email with payment details. We cannot hold goods if you do not pay us; any unpaid orders will be cancelled and the items released back into general stock.
Please note that while we can look into credit facilities for repeat customers, in every case the first order must be paid for prior to delivery. It can take up to 28 days for a credit account to be put into place.
Payment for orders can also be accepted by card at our secure online portal pay.expohire.com
How can the suitability of equipment from Expo Hire Thames Valley be checked for an event?
This is a very hard question to answer for us, because the basic fact is that it cannot be up to us what you choose to hire. Like when hiring a vehicle, it's imperative you know how to use a piece of hire equipment before hiring it. We have attached manuals to product pages to help people understand how to use equipment; likewise we have listed technical specifications wherever possible. You can use our live chat facility to confirm dimensions or power supply, but we can only offer objective and factual information.
Is it possible to set up a credit account with Expo Hire Thames Valley?
For our larger, repeat customers there is a possibility to set up a credit account.
To qualify for an account, a business must be hiring £5,000 worth of equipment from us per annum and have filed accounts with Companies House in the last 12 months. A full credit check will be undertaken and it can take up to 28 days to set up an account.
Regardless of outcome, we insist that the first order with a customer is paid prior to delivery even if a credit account application has been made.
Is it possible to amend an order?
We cannot amend an order once placed. You may be able to add additional items, subject to availability, as long as you make this amendment at least 7 days prior to delivery. To do this simply log into your account in the backend and click the ‘add to my order’ button.
The reason we have to be so strict regarding this is that during busy periods we are always booked to capacity both for stock and for van space. Once you place your order with us stock, drivers and van space are automatically reserved for you, meaning these items aren’t available to other customers.
How much does delivery cost?
It's easy to find out how much delivery will cost using the carriage calculator page. When you enter your venue postcode, it will calculate which of our branches is closest and give you an accurate standard carriage charge for that venue.
Some larger and more awkward items require two persons to deliver and collect; this charge is itemised when checking out. Likewise, should a morning or afternoon slot be required there are additional charges which will be shown when requested in checkout. These charges are also listed on our carriage calculator page.
Deliveries to many large exhibition centres and conference centres have a fixed mileage charge of £100 plus VAT, with no additional fees for timed deliveries or collections. However, there is a minimum order value of £500 to most of these venues.
Where do we deliver to?
Expo Hire Thames Valley is part of Expo Hire UK, the largest online only supplier of event hire, exhibition furniture and catering equipment hire.
Expo Hire UK has eleven branches throughout the country.
Expo Hire Bristol and Avon - based in Bristol serving Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and the Bristol area.
Expo Hire Birmingham - based in Birmingham serving West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire
Expo Hire London – based in Harrow, serving North and West London
Expo Hire Chiltern – based in Milton Keynes, serving Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire
Expo Hire Cotswold – based in Cheltenham, serving Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire
Expo Hire East Midlands – based at East Midlands Airport serving Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Expo Hire North West – based in Manchester serving Lancashire, Cheshire and Merseyside
Expo Hire Solent – based in Southampton serving Hampshire, Dorset and the South Coast region
Expo Hire South Wales - based in Cardiff serving Glamorgan, Swansea and the South Wales area
Expo Hire Thames Valley - based in Henley-on-Thames serving Berkshire, Surrey and the Thames Valley region.
Expo Hire White Rose - based in Leeds serving Leeds, Sheffield and Yorkshire
When is it best for an order to be delivered and collected?
From our experience with catering equipment, event and exhibition hire we cannot recommend strongly enough that you book for items to be delivered at least the day prior to your event.
Sometimes things out of our control go awry, and having 24 hours to fix them is preferable to having 24 minutes. We can’t be held responsible for problems with an event if we are delivering on the day of an event itself
Can orders be collected from the warehouse?
Unfortunately not. We're set up only for deliveries and collections.
Are timed deliveries possible?
We can offer morning or afternoon time slots for delivery which can be selected in the checkout. However, there are charges for these and they can make smaller orders prohibitively expensive.
Our drivers are multiple drop drivers, doing many deliveries and collections per day, and that combined with the legal limit on the number of hours that they can work means that we have to schedule them as efficiently and as economically as possible. This means that it is impossible for us to meet strict times for delivery and collection.
It's imperative to get items dropped off the day before an event, as there are many factors beyond our control that can affect the time we can get to you on the day such as traffic jams, accidents and vehicles breaking down.
We appreciate that this can make things difficult with venues with strict timings; however, from experience we understand how difficult it can be to make those timings and want to be honest about our limitations up front to help you make an informed decision.
The one exception to this is exhibitions, where there are defined set up and breakdown times. When an order is placed for an exhibition, we will email you to confirm the show name, hall number if applicable, stand number, and details for setup and breakdown as well as any specific venue protocols that need to be followed. There may be additional charges applicable for these events; if you are unsure please email firstname.lastname@example.org before placing your order.
Can delivery drivers go up or down stairs to complete a delivery or collection?
The short answer to this question is no, as our insurers will not allow it.
Does a customer need to be present for delivery or collection?
In the majority of cases the customer will need to be present to sign paperwork for hire equipment received. However, if notified beforehand (and given approval), we can liaise with venues with respect to delivery and collection. One of few exceptions to this is when ordering hire for a stand at an exhibition centre; as we deliver and collect directly from the stand during set-up and breakdown we do not need the customer to be present.
Something has gone wrong - what does a customer do?
Sometimes, problems occur. The most important thing for a customer to do in this situation is to make contact - either by calling 0800 910 1015, email@example.com or via our live chat facility. The sooner we are aware of an issue, the sooner we can fix it.
Please be aware that we can only service equipment at the location we have delivered it to. We cannot be liable for any damage that may have been caused under subsequent transport.
Is there a damage deposit?
We do not charge a damage deposit when hiring items out. We do have a free damage waiver program which covers normal wear and tear.
However, please be aware that should breakages or losses occur then you may be liable for a replacement fee for the item, which is 10 times the hire price as standard.
Do items need to be cleaned prior to return?
Items need to be returned to us clean and in a condition to be rehired again immediately.
We require our send it back dirty service to be paid for on some items such as crockery. cutlery and glassware. For these items, we ask that they are free of liquids and food debris and are placed back in their packing crates for us to clean on their return. Other items have an optional send it back dirty service; should this not be taken up we expect them to be returned in a condition to be rehired straight away.
We do not charge a cleaning service for our linen; all we ask that it is returned dry and in the bags supplied. Linen should not be placed in a box with dirty crockery or cutlery.
Can electrical equipment be used in an outdoor setting such as a festival?
In theory, yes, but the practicality is that we strongly recommend using LPG equipment at any outdoor event that is using a temporary power supply such as a generator. This is because temporary power supplies are not designed for appliances with high power ratings such as turbofan ovens, fryers and griddles. Using these kinds of appliances on temporary power supplies will cause the supply to trip and the appliance to not work properly or at all.
Please check the power rating of the supply you using, paying attention to the amperage and the wattage allowed. If our equipment is rated higher than these numbers, it won't work on your power supply.
What does two person delivery and collection mean?
Two Person delivery and collection ensures that the delivery driver will be accompanied by a second person to ensure efficient delivery of heavy or awkward items. In addition, it will increase the allotted time for your delivery and collection from 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
Two Person delivery and collection is required on certain items as they cannot be carried by a lone driver; while we are grateful that our customers offer to help our drivers they cannot be indemnified in the event of an accident or injury, and regretfully we cannot accept this help.
What happens if a customer needs to cancel?
Once your order is confirmed and booked we regret we cannot offer a full refund should your event be cancelled, postponed or moved.
Our refund policy is as follows.
More than 28 days prior to your delivery date we are able to offer a 75% refund.
28 days – 14 days prior we can offer a 50% refund.
Anything below 14 days prior to delivery, we unfortunately cannot offer any refund.
We also cannot offer refunds for part cancellation of orders, or removal of specific items.