The following are some simple rules to follow when renting a vehicle.
1. READ EVERYTHING BEFORE SIGNING: When you arrive at the car rental company, they will place a pile of paper in front of you that requires a signature or initial, before they will hand over the keys. To often the renter will just sign and initial where they are told, without reading what it is they are actually signing. You should not feel pressured into signing anything that you have not thoroughly read. A smart way to avoid this pressure is to ask for a copy, of all paperwork, prior to going to pick up your vehicle. This will allow you to read all the material in the comfort of your home, at your very own leisure.
2. KNOW WHAT YOUR RENTAL CAR IS COVERED FOR: Although your personal car insurance, and even you credit card company, will cover your rental vehicle, how much is covered is often a mystery. Many think that the fact that they have this coverage is all they need to know and when asked to take rental coverage from the rental company they decline. It is important that prior to renting your vehicle you contact your insurance and credit card companies to find out actually what is covered under rental insurance. This will allow you to make a better decision when it comes to taking or not taking the additional renters insurance from the car company.
3. DONT LET OTHERS DRIVE YOUR RENTAL VEHICLE. The only person authorized to drive your car is the person it was rented to. Now if you intend on having someone else drive the vehicle you rented you need to let the car rental agency know of this in advance, and anyone that they don’t know about should not be allowed to drive it. Doing so could increase your liability and also leave you with a whole bunch of unpaid bills if something were to happen.
4. REPORT EVERYTHING. You are driving someone else’s vehicle when you have a rental, so you need to let them know if anything happens to that car. Whether you hear a squeak, see a leak, or notice a new scratch, you should call and let them know right away. Don’t wait until you return the car to address these issues, let them know right away if there is a problem.
5. FILL IT UP. Be sure to put at least as much gas as was given to you back in the tank when you are returning it. Many car rental companies charge exorbitant amounts just to refill the tank and they will charge your card for it. So even if you think that they haven’t noticed it could come back to bite you.
6. DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL THE CAR HAS BEEN INSPECTED: By staying at the rental company until the car is finished being inspected you remove any surprise bills later on. It will also allow you to defend what is found, if it is something that was there when the car was rented to you.
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