Frequently Asked Questions

Equipment Hire FAQ

We have listed below some of our most popular questions. If you have not been able to find a suitable answer please do call us on 0800 328 0813 or email us on If it is a technical issue with the website call us directly.

Q: I am having trouble finding a specific product

A: If you are unable to locate a product please do call us on 0800 328 0813 or by email or use our online livechat facility.

Q: How does hiring work?

A: It is very simple and cost effective. Select the products you require and order either online or by telephone. Our live chat facility is also available during office hours (08.00 – 17:00hrs Monday – Friday) where a member of our experienced hire team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. We can also be contacted on email – or call us free on 0800 328 0813.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: We offer a simple pricing system. The prices quoted for exhibitions are for the duration of the exhibition. For events we offer a flexible pricing structure which includes 1-3 day hire, 4-7 day hire, 7-14 day hire period. Long term hire is available and prices are calculated accordingly.

Q: How are delivery and collection charges calculated for events?

A: Transportation charges are incurred for delivery and collection dependant on location and access restrictions.  Rates will be quoted at the time of enquiry. Additional charges will be quoted for mulitiple drop-offs and pick-ups, and for any out of hours work involved including weekends.

Q: How are delivery and collection charges calculated for exhibitions?

A: There are no additional transportation charges where we are the appointed contractor. Weekend and bank holiday deliveries and collections are included in the rates listed where we are the appointed contractor.

Q: Do you offer timed delivery and collection slots?

A: Timed delivery and collection slots can be booked in advance at an additional charge.

Q: Is there a deadline for ordering equipment?

A: Stock is subject to availability so we do advise clients to book their equipment as early as possible.  We can accommodate last minute bookings on-site at exhibitions where we are the appointed contractor. This is subject to stock availability and an on-site surcharge does apply.

For our bespoke Vision range the minimum booking deadline is 14 days prior to delivery to allow sufficient time for furniture to be prepped and sprayed through our workshops.

Q: What if I want to change my order?

A: Amendments can be made to your order up to 48 hours prior to delivery. Additions are subject to availability. Charges may apply for any reductions. Please refer to our terms and conditions of hire for cancellation policy.

Q: I am exhibiting for the first time – are there any popular products that you can recommend?

A: We have put together a range of stand furniture packages suitable for a variety of stand sizes. Please refer to the furniture packages section on our website for further details. Items can also be ordered separately.

Q: Is it possible to order linen too?

A: Yes, we offer a variety of linen including tablecloths, napkins, chair covers and accessories. We require a holding deposit in addition to full hire payment to secure the order.

Q: I am holding a drinks reception on my stand – are you able to supply ancillary items such as glassware, cutlery and china?

A: We have a wide selection of catering equipment including glasses, fridges and bars suitable for offering hospitality straight from your stand. Please ensure that there is a sufficient power supply available.

Q: How and when do I pay?

Exhibition Customers

If you are an exhibitor full payment is required prior to delivery. We accept payment by cheque and will confirm your order once funds are cleared. Alternatively we accept debit/credit card or bank transfer.

If you are an organiser or a stand contractor account facilities are available subject to relevant credit checks.

Event Customers

Non- account customers

A: For one off events or ad hoc requirements full payment is requested prior to delivery along with a deposit. We accept payment by cheque, *credit or debit card. (* surcharges apply).

Account Customers

A: If you are placing regular orders account facilities are available subject to relevant credit checks. Payment is due within 30 days from invoice.

Q: I am an overseas exhibitor do I still pay VAT?

A: VAT is not charged for those companies that do not have a registered UK office. Please submit your company registration number on letter headed paper for us to waive this charge.

Q: When will my deposit be returned?

A: Deposit refunds will be made within one week of the hired equipment being returned.  We will also notify you of any additional charges due to damaged or not returned items prior to issuing a refund.

Q: What can I expect on delivery?

A:We will deliver all ordered items direct to your agreed location and ask you to sign a delivery note. If there are any discrepancies at this point do highlight these so we can take relevant action quickly and efficiently.

Q: What happens if there is problem with the equipment?

A: It is advisable to check all equipment on the day of delivery. Any problems should be highlighted the same day to the office or account manager so that it will enable us to rectify the problem prior to the start of your event.  We have out of hours contact numbers and these are available by contacting your local sales office.

Q: What happens if I break, damage or lose equipment?

A: After collection your equipment will be returned to the depot where it will be counted back in and added back to stock. You will be informed within 48 hours by email, phone or fax of any items that are found to be missing, broken or damaged (including weather damaged) before charges are applied. It is your responsibility to ensure that equipment is secured when not in use and protected from the weather.

Q: Who is responsible for the equipment whilst on hire?

A: The hirer is responsible for all equipment hired from Thorns from the time of delivery  through to the collection. We advise all our clients that they should arrange adequate insurance to cover the replacement cost of the equipment whilst in your care.

Q: What is the insurance value?

A: Our paperwork automatically generates the insurance value that we would recommend you arrange to cover full replacement costs.

Q: What are the replacement costs?

A: The full replacement costs are shown on the order form. If equipment can be repaired we will advise costs accordingly.

Q: Can I purchase equipment?

A: Items are available to purchase. Please contact our sales team to obtain relevant purchase costs.

Q: Do you have emergency out-of-hours numbers?

A: There are emergency out of hours numbers in place. Please contact your local office for this information.

Q: Do you offer a polished glassware and cutlery service?

A: All items go through our commercial dishwashers and are checked prior to dispatch. Items of glassware and cutlery need to be polished by hand by the hirer at the time of set up for this finish.

Q: Do you have a showroom facility?

A: Yes, there is a showroom at each of our main depots – Hertfordshire, Birmingham and Manchester.  If you are planning to visit do let us know which items you wish to view prior to your visit.

Q: Can I collect equipment direct?

A: Clients can arrange to transport equipment direct. Please advise the date and time required so we can ensure that your order is ready for you to collect on arrival. Any hired item needs to be loaded securely on to vehicles. Failure to do this will result in equipment not being released.