What to check when you first get your rental car

Source : rentalcars.com

Discover the seven simple checks you can do when you first get to your rental car, so you can enjoy a stress-free start to your trip. Find out the easy things to look for to avoid hassle later on

1) Look over the car

Take a minute to walk around the car and look inside, checking for damage. If it’s dark or you’re in a multistorey, use your phone torch. If you find any damage, ask the car hire company agent to mark it on your paperwork before you leave. Take pictures so you can be confident about what the car was like to start with.

The most common damages to look out for are scratches, dents or chips on the outside of the car and cigarette burns on the car seats.

2) Check what fuel it takes

Open the cap to see if it’s petrol or diesel. Petrol might have ‘95’ on it. If you’re not sure which fuel the car takes, ask the agent before you leave. To find out more, see Diesel or petrol car: How can I tell?

3) Look at the dashboard

Rental car fuel is most commonly provided on a ‘full to full’ basis, which means you start with a full tank and you return the car with a full tank. Turn the key to check the tank is full (and the headlights work). To find out more, see How to choose the right fuel policy for your rental.

4) Sort your route

If your car has GPS/sat nav, it’s worth setting it to your language before you head off. If you don’t have one, you can get sat nav on your smartphone – download maps when you’re in a wi-fi zone then you can use them when you’re offline, so there are no roaming charges to worry about. To find out more, see Driving abroad? Here’s how to make a free GPS/sat nav.

5) Take a moment

Once everyone’s safely strapped in, take a minute to adjust the mirrors, move the seat, find reverse, check where the indicators are, fiddle with the air con … and play with the stereo of course.

6) Head out on to the road

If you’re at an airport, don’t let the spaghetti roads get you down. Don’t feel rushed and take your time. There’s no harm in reminding yourself which side of the road you’ll be driving on …

7) Spot a nearby petrol station

When you’re heading away, look out for a petrol station. It’ll save any last-minute stress about filling the car up before you take it back.

8) Just one last thing

You’re all sorted, in control and on your way – have a fabulous trip!