There are quite a lot of things that should be checked before driving off with your rental car. While travelling there are a million other things to pay attention to and checking the state of your rental car might not be on the top of that list. To make your life easier, we put together a short checklist of 5 things to definitely check about your rental car.
- Are there any damages (scratches, dents, missing parts etc.) on car body
To not get billed for damages you didn’t cause, it is vital to know exactly what damages on the car body were there before your usage. Some rental companies do the damage documentation only when they notice a new damage. Some rental companies inspect the car before each rental period either with or without a client. Rental companies might use inspection software like DriveX to inspect the car or just do it on paper. In conclusion – there are many options on how the rental car can be inspected, but it’s in your best interest to make sure that it is done thoroughly and if not, you should just do it yourself.
- Tyres condition + spare tyre
Tyres are one of the fastest to wear out when it comes to car parts. You should check whether the tyre pressure is solid, if there are right tyres for the current season and if the tread depth is acceptable. A lot of cars have a spare tyre. The spare could be in the cargo area, trunk, or under the rear of the vehicle. Although many newer cars no longer come with a standard spare tyre, there’s always an alternative solution provided.
- Fuel level – does it match the record
Most rental car companies require clients to return the car with the same amount of fuel as when they picked it up. It is helpful to check the location of the gas tank. This just comes in handy when you’re driving to a gas station.
- Mandatory equipment (first aid kit, fire extinguisher, reflective vest, triangle, etc.)
Depending on the country and its regulations, there is some mandatory equipment. Find out what equipment is required in your current location and make sure it’s there. According to the European Parliament, mandatory car equipment has not yet been harmonised in the EU, despite the fact that Europe has acted as a common area without borders for more than 30 years.
- Check safety features (lights on the vehicle, wipers and seatbelts)
All these things are extremely easy, yet important to test. Try out different lights, test all seatbelts and wipe your front and back window for a second. These are the features that will keep you safe in the case of bad weather or an accident – don’t forget these!