When you are taking a trip by car and you have to rent, there are a few things to check on.

We at the Hawk car rental are here to help you get on your trip with a peace of mind.

Whether you’re renting a car for a road trip vacation, a business trip or because your own car has let you down, car rental can be a simple affair if you follow these tips.

5 tips for inspecting a rental car

  1. Go with who you know
  • It’s generally better to use car rental companies you know and trust, or ones that have outlets where you live. It’s helpful to get to know the car rental company you’re using so you can familiarize yourself with their process and regulations.
  1. Take your time
  • Regardless of the situation, it’s important that you take your time when signing up for a rental car.
  • Will there be an inspection when you return the car?
  • What happens if you drop off keys after-hours?
  • Will the customer service representative you are signing up to be working when you return the car?
  • What happens if there is a dispute?
  1. Inspect it together

When it comes to the actual inspection of the vehicle, make sure you walk around with the  staff to ensure he or she documents all the dings, scrapes and marks that exist.

Remember to check common impact areas. These include:

  • Areas around the back bumper, especially the lower edge
  • Side panels, particularly near the wheels
  • Door areas around the key slots
  • Front bumper, particularly in low areas near the edges
  1. Inspect inside and out

It’s important to have a look inside the car. Some people choose to use their phone’s camera to take photos of any problem areas. While this may feel excessive, it can provide peace of mind in case there are any disputes.

  1. The voyage home

When you’re returning the car, make sure you and the staff have a chance to review the car together. Travelling can be a world of surprises, but by following these tips for inspecting a rental car, additional charges from the car rental company shouldn’t be one of them.

Rental Inspections & Dealing with Conflict

In order to avoid being charged for damages to your car rental vehicle that you did not incur, be sure to inspect the vehicle for such things as dents, scratches, and broken features. Here are some of the main items to check:

  • the exterior and interior of the car for cosmetic damage;
  • the brakes, headlights and turn signals in working order;
  • the windshield wipers, electric windows, audio and heating systems for proper functionality;
  • the tire pressure, fluid (oil/water) and gas levels;
  • and the availability of an owner’s manual for the car.

After you’ve made a note of any damages on your rental car, return the form to the staff before taking the car and make sure these have been recorded in your contract.

There are times when you discover damaged parts of the vehicle after driving off the rental lot. There are times when a rental company does not have the vehicle type you requested and reserved. Upon returning the rental car, ask to speak with the manager.