Most of us at some point in our lives will need to rent a vehicle for a variety of reasons. However, this task is not as straightforward as walking in the shop, picking up the vehicle, signing an agreement (if necessary) and hitting the road. Just as buying a new or used vehicle requires meticulous detail and planning, renting a vehicle is also something that requires the same level of meticulous thinking. This guide will highlight the things that you need to do when renting any vehicle.
Read the fine print!
This is the first thing that you should do before deciding to rent a vehicle. Check the policy on damages, accidents, theft and any restrictions the rental company may place for example, no one other than you may be able to drive the vehicle. Ensure that the agreement is a fair one for you. Also, check for the hidden costs attached to renting the vehicle, for example, extra may be charged to drivers below a certain age threshold.
Don’t just settle on the first rental agency you find. Check and compare prices, agreements etc., so you can make a cost-effective choice.
Inspect for scratches, dents and other damages on the exterior of the vehicle
This is very important. Some agencies may try to pull a fast one and charge you for a scrape that was there before you rented it. Make sure all damages to the vehicle are recorded and noted by the rental agency so that you will not be charged for damages you did not cause when the vehicle is returned.
Inspect inside the vehicle as well for damages
Just as you will carefully inspect the outside of the vehicle, the same should be done for the inside as well, more specifically for stains and damages. Ensure that everything is documented so that you will not be charged for pre-existing damages later.
Check the gas and fluid level
This is dependent on the rental agency. Some require that the vehicle is returned with the same amount of fuel it had when it was first rented to you (if it had any significant level to begin with). Although, some agencies may throw in a full tank of gas as part of the package, so therefore in this case you aren’t obligated to return it full. Similarly, check oil levels, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid and any other necessary fluid levels to make sure they are filled to a decent capacity.
Carefully test all equipment inside the vehicle
This includes the air conditioning, heating (if necessary), radio, switches, indicators and the brakes etc. to ensure that there are all functioning and working efficiently.
Inspect the external equipment as well
Check the tires, including the spare (very important!!), lights, windscreen wipers etc.
This is crucial. As one of the most vital aspects of safe driving, making sure this isn’t faulty in your rental vehicle is a key task when inspecting the vehicle.
Now…you are ready to hit the open road.
Remember, drive responsibly!