You’ve had a great trip with your rental car. Congratulations!
Now that the trip is over, you are all set to return your rented car.
But, are fully prepared?
We know that your time is valuable, thus we are here to offer a comprehensive checklist for you. Allow this car rental checklist to set your mind at ease as you prepare to return your rental car.
Here is everything you need to consider. And the things you don’t. That way, you can focus on making the most of your trip.
Below we have given a sneak-peek into different situations we’d be discussing in our brief time together today. If you want to read a particular situation of your interest, you can click on the relevant hyperlink to get to that section.
- Before drop-off
- At the drop-off
Before drop off considers these pointers
- Make sure the rental car is clean- Most car rental companies will allow for appropriate wear and tear. You may have to pay a cleaning fee if the car is excessively unclean when you drop it off. Please keep in mind that they might apply an extra service fee on top of the price. It will be less expensive if you clean the automobile before dropping it off.
- Check the working hours of the rental desk- Certain depots will let you return the car after business hours. These are typically airport sites, and smaller, regional depots do not allow after-hours returns. You may have to pay an extra cost if you return the automobile outside of the business hours of the rental company.
- Fill the gas tank- Unless you have pre-purchased another plan that permits you to return the car with less gas, your rental car will come with a full-to-full gas tank policy. If the tank is not full, you might have to pay per gallon for refueling. Before you return the car, go to the gas station and fill it up to the same level as when you drove from the lot. It is recommended to find the nearest filling station to the rental facility. This way you don’t have to waste petrol traveling back to the rental lot. Take the receipt with you in case something goes wrong.
- Verify the return procedure (self-service return)- If you have chosen self-service drop-off, be sure you know where to leave the keys. Where are you going to park the car? Is it a secure environment? Where should you drop off optional equipment if you’ve added it? The rental agreement includes all the details for the self-service return process.
At drop off consider these points
- Get there on time- Check the rental contract for the drop-off time. Similar to the pick-up, make sure you arrive on time. Contact the car rental company if you will be late or if you wish to prolong the rental time for another day or two. In most cases, automobile rental firms include a grace period for late return. Generally, this grace period is of 29 minutes. But, how long it lasts is up to the provider, and it is present in the T&Cs.
- Document the condition of the rental car- Many customers are billed for minor dents that they did not detect before returning their vehicle. Take a photo of all the dents and damages on your phone. Then ask a rental staff to walk around the car with you for inspection. Before you leave, get a final report and receipt to guarantee that you are not charged for unrecorded damage. Once you return the car, take another series of photographs documenting the interior and outside condition of the rented vehicle. Take a photo of the mileage as well.
Some rental firms may send you a reminder to take check-out images of the car’s condition. In the event of a disagreement, use the check-in and check-out photos.
- Inspect the car for your things- If you are driving about in a rental car, you have kept a few personal belongings in the center console or glove box. Do a sweep-through and examine all the hiding locations before returning the car. Sunglasses, charging cables, and tiny devices are some of the most commonly left-behind goods, so keep an eye out for them if you used them in the car. Return any extra equipment, such as a GPS satnav, to the rental counter.
- Leave the rental car in a safe environment- This is important if you are dropping off the car outside of the desk’s work hours. According to the terms and conditions, the renter is liable for the rental car until the employees examine it the next business day. In reality, this means that you must keep the rental car in a secure location (like a car park monitored by CCTV cameras) when returning it after work hours.
- Check the final bill and return the car keys- Finally, do not forget to return the keys to the rental car as well as any extra equipment. In certain companies, you may have to return the car’s documentation, while in others, they should be left in the glove compartment. You can find these details in the rental agreement.
When you receive the final bill, double-check that the price matches the one you were offered. Check for any extra fees that may be applied to your final invoice.
So, now don’t make any mistakes and learn from this checklist.
There may be a lot of details to remember. But, if you follow this checklist while returning your car rental, the rental process will be easy and uncomplicated.