Things to Do Before Leaving the Rental Car Lot
After the car rental agent hands you the keys to your rental, you’re free to get in the car and be on your way, but there are definitely some things to do before you leave the rental parking lot. Once you get in the car, you’re responsible for it until you return it, so doing a few quick checks could save you some unnecessary charges later!
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Here is a checklist of things to do before leaving the rental car lot:
Make sure you know:
- What to do in case of an accident or breakdown.
- Local driving laws or unusual conventions.
- All car controls such as cruise control, windshield wipers, lights, radio, opening the trunk, opening the fuel tank, lights, opening the hood, etc.
- Recommended fuel type.
Make sure you check:
- The initial condition of the car. Do a thorough walk-around, and note any damage to the car including small scratches, dents, or chipped glass. These are things you could be held responsible for once you drive off the lot if they aren’t noted as pre-existing.
- The fuel level. The car should come with a full tank, and is expected to be returned with a full tank. The rental company could charge a hefty premium to fill the tank when you return it, so make sure they know if it’s not full when you receive it.
- The interior. Make sure there’s no damage to the interior, just the same as the exterior.
Make sure you do:
- Adjust your seat settings, mirrors, and tune the radio before leaving the lot. Driving an unfamiliar car is distraction enough, and you should make sure you’re all set and ready to focus on the road before leaving.
- Drive extra safely and obey speed limits. Obviously, you should always do this, but no one wants the extra hassle associated with handling a ticket or accident in a rental car.
- Enjoy your trip!