Things to check, before picking up car from rental company
Driving "someone else's car" is a very serious responsibility for most people. You are double focused not to cause any damage. On the other hand you may worry about being responsible for this already existing. This is very common feeling. It is obvious that we do not want to be charged for repairing scratches, upholstery washing or mirror replacement, when those were not our fault.
This is why, before you leave with the rental company's car, take a good look at the vehicle, and get acquainted with hand-over protocol. Every single abnormal elements should be noted in it. Pay particular attention to:
1. Fuel level
A rented car usually should be delivered back with full fuel tank- such terms apply to most contracts. When picking up the car, tank should be full as well. Be sure to check it, to avoid understatement. Sometimes mistakes happen, they can also be made by the rental company, if you notice it in time, no party will suffer uncomfortable consequences.
2. Discolouration, scratches, dents
Major damage to car bodywork sometimes can be visible from afar. Rental cars have already driven more than one road and cooperated with more than one driver. It is obvious, that situations such as someone hitting our car with the door of its car, may happen. With many of them, or with bigger accidents, traces will be left on bodywork. It is really excellent advice to go around the car, and look for damages. Take a look, if these are noted on the documents you sign.
3. Stains on the seats and the cockpit
Cars from rental company are carefully checked and cleaned between each rental. This does not mean, however, that they are always immaculate and brand-new looking. Especially in family cars, exceptionally difficult to wash stains may occur. You can check the interior, especially the rear seats. Of course, it makes no sense to report tiny spots or a bit of dust - let's not overreact. It is worth paying attention, however, if there are large traces that affect the aesthetics of the car. Basic cleaning is usually included in the rental price, but washing blood stains, sticky juices and large amounts of hair may require professional cleaning. It is wise to look if whether outside or inside of the vehicle, there are any residues from previous rental.
Cars from rental company have various equipment. Sometimes it contains many elements, and sometimes only the necessary minimum. Check if anything mentioned in the documents is missing. Is the interior mirror movable? Does the head restraints adjust? Are there all floor wipers? Are there all the handles above the doors and those for windows (In case of older vehicles)? We do not recommend counting each button, because you may not leave the rental company parking for several hours. Mainly pay attention to the moving parts.
5. Basic car check
This is something we should not have to remind drivers of. A rented car, just like your own, needs to be checked well for safety. The service probably took care of these elements, but it never bad idea to take a look once again. Check the oil level, windscreen washer fluid, lights, wipers and all the other things you normally check before a long route.
Amount of information may give impression, as if car handing takes whole day. Believe us - it only seems like it. Cars are cleaned, serviced and thoroughly checked by car rental employees. Everything that is abnormal is entered in vehicle card. However, we are all only human, and may overlook something. Checking the car yourself is additional security, that will quicken and improve car returning procedure. Thanks to the basic control at the beginning, you do not have to worry about damages on car, since it is well-known when they were made. Each described element takes about 3-4 minutes. In total, this gives a maximum of 20 minutes. It is worth spending them on additional control, because they can spare many problems later.