You’ve already got the cash so the next thing is to find a good car rental shop and give them the money. But wait, there are actually a few things you need to do before giving your hard earned cash. Places like Ryder and Two Men & Truck have their own procedures for making sure you get the best out of your money.
We’ve compiled a checklist for you to do first to make sure that your money is worth the car you’re renting out.
1. Always check the tank.
The most obvious thing you need to check prior to driving a rental car out of its garage is the amount of fuel remaining on the tank. Most car rental companies already have the fuel tank filled up but it’s also wise to check how much is left.
Car rental companies require a full tank or at least the same amount of fuel when returning the car to the garage. Any amount less than the starting will be charged to the renter.
2. Check the engine oil.
What’s a car without some oil? Some rental companies ensure their cars are always ready for rent outs, but there will always be instances that the oil hasn’t been changed for a while. A car without an oil change will ultimately break down, overheat, and may total.
Renters can borrow a dipstick from the staff to check the oil levels. If the car has not had an oil change, it’s better to request a car with better mileage. Aside from having to pay damages to the car rental company, the renter may have to pay hospital fees when they get in an accident.
3. Check for existing damages.
Generally, car rental companies are trustworthy. But sometimes, shady car rental companies dupe the customer into renting a car that has hidden damages. The renter will be surprised to find out upon returning the car that they have to pay fees for a malfunctioning battery, busted headlights, or an assortment of parts needing repairs.
Always make sure to give the car a good checkup, interior and exterior, to make sure you’re not being scammed. Sometimes, car rental companies forget to check a car prior to giving them out to customers and only realize that there’s been damage even though the customer isn’t to blame.
Dents easily cost hundreds of dollars so inform the company of any damages to the car before driving it out of the garage.
4. Ask what fuel type is compatible with the car.
It’s often overlooked but renters should always ask car rental staff about the type of fuel that should be going into the tank. The wrong one could mean a permanently damaged engine and hefty deductions from the renter’s bank account. Making sure you load up the car with the correct fuel means the car will perform better on the road.
5. Read the contract.
Let’s be honest. Nobody likes reading lengthy contracts. They’re made that way so people have to sign. There are a few sections of the contract where you need to look at, like how much the fees are when paying back damages.