10 Important Things To Check Before Renting a Car
When you don’t want to have the immense responsibility of owning a car, renting is the next best option. Renting a vehicle is less stressful and has many benefits that you would not get if you bought the car instead. But before you rent the vehicle you have in mind, there is a checklist of things that require your inspection and consideration if you want to have the best time with your rental car.
Know What Fees You Can Expect To Pay
When renting a vehicle, specific fees may apply depending on the circumstances or if anything happens to the car. Fees charged to you for the car’s damage while in your care during the rental period are normal. Any additional features such as a child seat, GPS, or roof rack will cost additional fees per day during the entire rental period.
If you wish to have an additional driver included in the rental agreement, additional fees may apply, either as an immediate cost when you pick up the car or as a daily fee. When budgeting, it is crucial to keep an eye on these fees or any other additional expenses to ensure that you pay the lowest price for your rental car. Renting a car should be a cheaper alternative to purchasing a vehicle, so make sure it remains that way.
Make Sure You Understand Your Car Insurance Policy
Some insurance companies offer plans that will cover the cost of damages done to your rental car in a crash or another accident. Before renting your vehicle, call your insurance company to know what damage they will cover on your car. Even if you are sure that your insurance covers collision and comprehensive damage, it is always a good idea to ask questions.
Some rental companies offer insurance coverage on their cars when you sign the rental agreement or pay for the rental upon pickup. Although this will help you on your travels in the car, it may not always have the best coverage for collision events. Compare your car insurance with the rental companies’ to see which will have more benefits to keep you safe and cost you less money.
Get as Much Information as You Can on the Area
Knowledge is one of the essential tools you have when avoiding trouble, and knowing the area you plan to drive with your rental car will save you from any potential damage. If you are on vacation and unfamiliar with the area, the rental company will likely have some recommendations for you that may hold your interest. If the rental company is at an airport, they may have maps of the city to help you navigate if you don’t want to pay for a GPS.
If you want to have a smaller chance of getting into an accident, try using a satellite map app that will tell you of any construction or roadwork that has rearranged or closed off any streets. Avoiding these spots will help you navigate the city safely and make driving less stressful.
Make Sure Your Background Is Clear Before They Check
Rental companies will always run a background check before accepting any payment for a rental car. These checks will investigate any past criminal activity, your driving record, or any violations committed on the road. Suppose you have any current issues that you need to dispute, such as a parking or speeding ticket or a pending charge for a crime committed with a vehicle. In that case, you will need to clear this up before the rental company considers you a reliable renter.
Check the Vehicle History Thoroughly
The vehicle history is an important document that details the vehicle’s past, including manufacturing details, resales, and its eventual availability in the rental car fleet of the company. Before renting a car, you must check this history to know of any risks that you should be aware of, such as a past problem with the gas meter or a recent problem with one of the windows. The past owners of the vehicle will appear on the report, and any damage that occurred while in their care will show.
Use Your Accessories
If you want to use items such as seat cushions, car seats, or steering wheel covers, it is a good idea to use your own once you have the car. As mentioned before, rental companies will charge fees for certain additions to the vehicle that you wouldn’t see in a normal rental agreement. To avoid these fees, you may use the accessories you purchase for a lower price than you would if you rented them with the vehicle. Please remove these accessories when you return the car, as any lost items may not get back to you.
Ask About Fuel and Oils
Cars use different oils or gas types to function, and it is essential to know and understand the car’s needs when one or both of these fluids deplete. The rental company is responsible for the maintenance of their vehicles, so they will know what gas these vehicles use and the types of oils they will take. The dealership will have both fluids filled before renting to another person, so you shouldn’t have to worry about them running out completely until later, depending on how much driving you do. Still, this information is always good to have in an emergency.
Check the Car’s Exterior and Interior
The company you rent from will always inspect the vehicle for scratches, dents, and other damage when you bring it back. A good tip for ensuring they don’t charge you for damage you weren’t aware of is to take a picture of the interior and exterior of the car when you pick it up. The photos will prove any marks or scratches on the vehicle upon its return. You may reference them to show that certain damages were already on the car when you took the picture and prevent a damage fee.
Check Your Credit Score Before Renting
All rental companies check credit scores to see if the people they rent to are reliable payers. Most rental places will not publicly show the necessary credit score to rent, but you will most likely want to have a credit score above 700 as a precaution to ensure you don’t get rejected.
Look for Any Travel Policies When Renting Out of State
Some locations have policies that may restrict certain activities or cost more money for people renting outside of the state. Lamborghini car rentals in Miami, Florida, are expensive and will become more expensive when renting out of state. It is always best to check these policies, if there are any, and plan accordingly depending on what they say.
Renting a car is an effective way to drive around different locations without worrying about long-term care issues such as maintenance. Make sure you look to this checklist for guidance before renting a car and getting on the road.