Car rental agency

Why You Need to Check Your Next Rental Car More Carefully for Damage

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New survey suggests we need to be much more thorough before checking in with a vehicle

Renting a car can be a great way to gain a little more independence while on vacation. Skipping the tour buses, sticking to your own schedule, and being able to make unscheduled stops can transform a trip. But it is important to remember that we are often still at the mercy of rental centers.

rental car inspection

Unfortunately, a new survey suggests we need to be even more careful than we thought when dealing with hiring companies, especially during the exit process. According to the survey, recorded by, nearly a fifth of all car rental companies find that existing damage to the vehicle is not shown on the checkout sheet.

For those not used to renting a car, just before receiving the keys and leaving, customers are usually shown around the vehicle by an employee. The worker should have a control sheet clearly showing any known damage in the car’s records. It could be anything from a small chip in the paint to broken handles inside the car. The customer can check the sheet and compare the damage as it happens to make sure there is nothing else not listed.

rental car with a view

This is important for the customer, because any problem encountered during the return of the car that is not on the payment sheet can be attributed to him. This could mean fees, insurance, claims and even legal action in the worst cases.

According to the survey, around a quarter of car rental customers only check for major damage instead of thoroughly inspecting the vehicle, while 43% do not mention any damage they see. In some cases, people reported damages but did not show them on the payment sheet. If another employee takes care of the client upon his return, liability becomes difficult to prove.

rental car inspection

Anyone hiring a car is strongly advised to thoroughly check the vehicle, comparing any damages to the check sheet and ensuring that everything is listed. Customers are also highly recommended to take photos or videos of the car during pick-up and drop-off. It is always beneficial to have as much evidence as possible should a case emerge. Just under 10% of customers were able to prove that they were not responsible for the damage using photos or videos taken of the vehicle.

rental car keys

Older generations are generally better at being more thorough. The figure for checking the car rises to 61% for those over 55, while those renting cars under 34 only do so 27% of the time.

A disturbing statistic that may foster distrust of the car rental industry is that 13% of respondents said they were told by an employee that they did not need to state damage to their car. the car on the pay sheet, and an additional 17% were able to return their car without inspection because no employee was available.

rental offices

Never return your rental without having it checked out first. If circumstances arise where this is not possible, it should be noted that no inspection has been carried out, but take photos and a video of the vehicle. Evidence is always essential.

More than ten percent of respondents said they received unexpected charges on their card after returning the vehicle, while others were charged large sums of money for seemingly minor cosmetic damage.

rental agreement

Insurance goes a long way in these situations. Most car rental companies offer insurance throughout the rental, but it’s often cheaper and safer to purchase more extensive liability insurance. These are often cheaper than those offered by rental companies and can cover damage to often-missed spots like the windshield or tires.

sign the rental form

On your next rental, be sure to check everything before you leave the lot. It could save you a lot of money and hassle when you return.

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