A Guide to Rent­ing a Vehicle

rent a car
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.

Shop Around

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
rent a car2

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/​fuel level

This is depen­dent on the rental agency. Some require that the vehi­cle is retuned 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, there­fore in this case you aren’t oblig­ated to return it full.

Sim­i­larly, check fluid levels

This includes 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.

Inspect seat­belts

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!

© Photo 1 taken from Inter​net​bill​boards​.net
© Photo 2 taken from Berkut​-travel​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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