DeAnn Owens
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Reasons to Reject a Rental Car

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Just because you need a rental car, doesn’t mean you have to settle for one. There are several valid reasons to reject a rental car. If your loaner is guilty of the following reasons, ask for another option.

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Turn up your nose

Driving a car with a cabin that smells like an ashtray is unacceptable. If your cabin reeks of cigarette smoke, and it bothers you, you should ask for a different vehicle. Don’t try to get by or make the best of a smelly situation by driving with the windows down. Plus, settling for a smoke-saturated car might cost you.

“Unless you tell the company that someone smoked in the car, it may add a cleaning fee to your final bill — even if you hadn’t smoked,” according to USA Today writer Christopher Elliott.

Refuse visible damage

If your rental looks worse for the wear, it’s a good idea to choose another model. Just because you see the damage doesn’t mean the rental company is aware of it. If you accept a damaged vehicle and don’t point it out to the company, you might find trouble when you bring it back.

“High-mileage vehicles tend to have preexisting damage like dings, dents, and scratches. And, like the smoky car, you could be held responsible for this damage — whether it’s your fault or not,” Elliott adds.

Check the documentation

Another item you want to check, and a reason to refuse, is if the paperwork is outdated on the car. If you get pulled over driving a rental car that has outdated registration paperwork, you’ll be facing a hassle you don’t deserve.

Pass on complicated tech

If the rental car is equipped with confusing technology or you’re finding an issue figuring out the mechanics of the vehicle, Elliott recommends getting another rental.

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