People around the world rent cars for various reasons. They range from needing temporary transportation while their owned vehicle is under repair to transportation while away from home on business or vacation. Before anyone rents a car, it is critical for them to understand their responsibilities while using a rental car. Here are the primary responsibilities everyone needs to know.
Prior to Leaving the Rental Store
Customer responsibilities begin the second a rental agreement is signed. Before you leave the lot, you need to make sure you have insurance coverage through your insurer or through the rental company and make sure the limits are sufficient. You need to do a complete inspection of the car and note any damage to the vehicle prior to taking your place behind the steering wheel. The rental company will make note of your findings. You need to verify the mileage, gas gauge and oil levels. When you start the car, you need to make sure everything sounds and feels right and that everything like stereo and electric windows are in working order. Again, the rental company will note any issues.
While on the Road
The most basic responsibility is to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. If you are involved in an accident, you need to notify the rental company as soon as possible regardless of who is at fault. Failure to do so could push the entire liability onto yourself. If the car breaks down, you are not responsible for the repairs unless you caused the problem. You should contact the rental company and they will direct you to the nearest contract repair shop for repairs. If the car inoperable, they will send a tow truck and a replacement vehicle. If the car is stolen, you need to contact the rental company immediately to facilitate the filing of a police report. Again, they should send you a replacement.
You are responsible for the gas expenses during operation. If the car is used for a long trip, you may be responsible for checking and replacing the fluids. Do your very best to maintain the interior in a civil manner. You will be held liable for any damage done to the interior or exterior due to negligence. That would include things like cigarette burns to the upholstery or scratches to the paint. No matter why type of damage is done, you need to report it and DO NOT try to fix it yourself. You need to wait for instructions from the rental company before anything can be repaired or you may be charged.
Upon Return of the Vehicle
When you have competed use of the vehicle, you are required to return the vehicle to the nearest appointed drop off site. Make sure you review the entire vehicle with one of the rental company's designated employees to assure you don't get hit with charges for something that occurred after you surrendered possession. You should verify the final mileage for confirmation against the final bill.
Rental companies provide a vital service to people who need temporary use of a vehicle. While it may be a little time consuming, you need to make sure you read the rental agreement. All the guidelines are there in black and white. You just need to make sure you know what your responsibilities are and take care of the vehicle.