When traveling, arriving at your destination can mean rushing to the rental car counter and wanting to dash to the car to get on the road. But before you take off, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rental vehicle.
You don’t want to be fumbling for the controls and adjusting your settings while driving especially when you’re navigating a new vehicle and unfamiliar roads. Before you rent a car, make sure you have adequate coverage, and run through this checklist before driving off.
Car rentals are commonplace these days, as more and more people are traveling for business and pleasure. However, many people aren’t aware of all the things that can go wrong during the car rental process, and don’t know how to protect themselves. Whether you are new to Kenya car rentals or have been a pro traveler for a while now, here are the things you have to know before driving away.
Here are things you should always do before you drive your vehicle off the lot.
Inspect the exterior
Take a moment, walk around the car and carefully check for damages, if it’s dark or you’re in a multistory, use your phone torch. Take pictures so you can be confident about what the car was like to start with. In case of any damages, make sure the car hire company service provider marks it down on their agent sheet before you leave the lot. Common damages to look out for are dents, scratches or chips. Check inside for cigarette burns on the car seats.
Double check your rental terms
Before you drive off into the sunset, it’s important that you are aware of all the terms of your car rental agreement. These things include mileage limitations, fees for extra drivers, return deadlines, and other details.
Make sure you have your paperwork
Even in the simplest car rental scenarios, there is still important paperwork to keep track of. Ensure that you have your driver’s license and insurance cards back, and that you have a safe place to stash the rental papers, emergency instructions, and the vehicle manual.
Renting a car can be a hassle-free and enjoyable experience, if you are smart about it. These tips will help keep your car rentals smooth and easy.
Thoroughly check the lights, windows, door handles and wipers
These are important things to check before driving with a rental car. Make sure all the lights function, whether windows open and close, if door handles work and the car locks well and if wipers work.
What fuel the car takes
During the booking process for car, you can inquire the type of fuel the car uses. You can also choose your preference but it is possible to change. To confirm if the car uses petrol or diesel, open the fuel lid. In case you are not sure of the fuel it takes, find out from the agent.
Familiarize with the dashboard
Go over the dashboard and get to know which gauge is for speed, fuel and the one for tachometer. Make sure to see if the temperature gauge displays unordinary temperature and if there are warning lights.
Rental car fuel is most commonly provided on a ‘full to full’ basis, which means you start with a full tank and you return the car with a full tank. Turn the key to check the tank is full (and the headlights work). To find out more, see How to choose the right fuel policy for your rental.
Test the navigation system
If the car has GPS, get familiar with it. Set the language before you set off. In case there are more things you need to know about its usage, ask the agent. If the car doesn’t have a GPS, go to a Wi-Fi zone and download maps which you can use later when you are offline. Alternatively, use travel maps offered by the agent.
Investigate if the tyres are safe and seasonally fitting
Check each and every tyre for the depth of the shallow tread. Make sure it is not less than 1.5mm or worse. And if some wires can be seen, do not take on tis car before these tyres are replaced.
Take a moment
Once everyone’s safely strapped in, take a minute to adjust the mirrors, move the seat, find reverse, check where the indicators are, fiddle with the air conditioner and play with the stereo of course.
Head out on to the road
If you’re at an airport, don’t let the spaghetti roads get you down. Don’t feel rushed and take your time. There’s no harm in reminding yourself which side of the road you’ll be driving on.
Spot a nearby petrol station
When you’re heading away, look out for a petrol station. It’ll save any last-minute stress about filling the car up before you take it back.
Just one last thing
You’re all sorted, in control and on your way – have a fabulous trip.
When you first get your rental car, be familiar with all aspects of the vehicle before you drive off. Discover the simple checks you can do when you first get to your rental car, so you can enjoy a stress-free start to your trip. Find out the easy things to look for to avoid hassle later on.