When we rent a car, we generally just take the keys and drive away without inspecting the car properly or reading the agreement. However, you should check a lot of things before you drive off the car rental lot. Here are some of the things which you must do:
1. Look for Damage: Before you sign the rental contract, it is very important to look out for damages in the car. Take your time and properly assess the condition of the car. Just inspecting the vehicle from the outside is not enough. You should also pay attention to the interior of the car. Make sure to make a detailed report of all scratches or dents before driving the vehicle. And once you are done with the inspection of the car, you should provide the car rental company a detailed report of all the things which you have noticed. Inform them about all the scratches or dents which you have noticed. Otherwise, they may charge you later for that. If possible, take photos of the scratches and dents.
2. Read the Contract Properly: Most of us don’t go through the car rental contract properly. However, it is very important that you carefully read all the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract. Also according to Eastex Auto Rental – Beaumont car rentals, all car rental contracts are usually different from each other. Every company has their own method of drawing a contract. The car rental company will also try to include some hidden expenses. If possible, you can also ask an expert to read the contract for you.
3. Note Down Some Emergency Contact Numbers: Before leaving the parking lot, it is very important that you ask the car rental company for some emergency numbers. If you are driving to another country or to any far off place, it is very important to have some contact numbers in case your car suddenly breaks down in the middle of the road. Take the number of a reputed towing company. Many rental companies also provide roadside assistance but they will charge an extra fee for that. You can also take that if it fits within your budget.
4. Take the Car for a Spin: Before you leave the parking lot, it is advisable that you drive the car once around the parking lot area just to get a feel of it. Make sure that you are comfortable with the steering and the brakes. In case there is a weird noise while driving the car or you are facing some other difficulty, it will be best to resolve the issue immediately with the car rental company.
5. Spare Tire: It is very important to make sure that there is a spare tire in the trunk of the car. If one of the tires gets punctured in the middle of nowhere and you are unable to contact a towing company, then the spare tire will be able to help you out. The tire should also be inflated. There should also be a jug wrench and a jack to install the tire.
6. Check the Fuel Level: Most of the car companies will tell you that the fuel tank should be full while returning the car. Similarly, you should also make sure that the fuel tank is full while driving off the parking lot. If it’s not full, then you must ask for a fee waiver.
7. Spare Keys: Before leaving the parking lot, you should always ask the car rental company to provide you a spare key. If you lose the key in the middle of your journey, then it will be very stressful. Generally, you will be given a spare key without even asking for it.
8. Collision Insurance: Most of the rental companies will offer you to take collision insurance for an extra charge. You should always take it, especially if you are going on a long drive. Otherwise, if something happens to the car and you don’t have insurance, you will end up paying a hefty sum of money to the car rental company.
9. Make Sure You Know Everything About the Car: If you are renting a recently launched car, then make sure that you are aware of all its features. The latest cars generally come with new high tech features which you may not know about. Hence, tell the car rental company to keep a copy of the driver’s manual in the glove box.
You might also find this video helpful. It provides some more tips and shows you some of the tips we mention above as well.