Renting a ride is a super simple and smart way to get around, whether you’re hitting the open road on an adventure, traveling for work, or checking out somewhere new. But ensuring your rental car is safe and sound is key to truly relaxing into the experience. And the first step is to check that rental car once!

Sometimes, the inside might have hidden little quirks, or some parts aren’t performing at their peak. But with an inspection, you’ll uncover those quirks, avoiding potential problems further down your journey. But what checks should you conduct? Keep reading to discover what to examine prior to renting an automobile for your trip.

Why Inspecting a Rental Car Is Important

Taking a few minutes to check a rental car before departing thoroughly is a wise decision that can prevent future headaches. 

First, examining the car from every angle allows you to note any pre-existing dents, scratches, or other cosmetic flaws to avoid unwarranted charges upon return. 

Secondly, it helps in verifying the overall functioning and safety of the rental. A quick systems check ensures the tires have sufficient tread, lights and signals are operational, brakes respond smoothly and fluids are at an appropriate level.

Inspecting a Rental Car
Inspecting a Rental Car

Protecting yourself from unjust liability is well worth a brief inspection at the outset. The peace of mind from knowing the car’s condition and capabilities far outweighs the minor inconvenience. This simple step spares you from unexpected costs or time lost to unforeseen repairs down the road.

What to Check When Renting a Car: An Inspection Checklist

Without further ado, here’s what to check in a rental car before leaving the lot.

1. Exterior Damages

Take a quick stroll around the vehicle’s exterior and scan for any potential blemishes, scrapes, or indicators of use. If you notice any significant scuffs or scratches, be sure to have a friendly chat with the rental representative about documenting them upfront.

Photos can provide useful documentation, so don’t hesitate to snap pictures of problem areas. Protecting yourself with thorough documentation upfront will help you avoid issues later on.

2. Tires Check

Before renting a car, take a quick spin around the vehicle and closely inspect all four rubber donuts. Ensure the tread looks groovy with no signs it’s wearing down.

Also, check for any lumps, bumps, or puncture wounds that could mess with the grip. Properly filled tires that look fresh are key for a fun and chill ride. Spending a couple of extra minutes peering at the tires will surely make your trip one sweet cruise.

3. Insurance

Be sure to understand the rental company’s insurance policy before hitting the road. While rental agencies offer basic protection, coverage is usually limited.

You could face large costs from damages if an accident occurs while driving the rental. For peace of mind, check if your current plan includes rental car reimbursement. This would ensure your insurer covers the replacement of the rental should an incident happen during your trip.

Rental Car Insurance
Rental Car Insurance

If you’re in Indiana and are involved in a rental car accident, calling a reputable Indiana law firm, like Vaughan & Vaughan, is a smart move. A lawyer can assist you in navigating challenging discussions with your insurance provider and help compile pertinent documentation to be utilized in legal proceedings.

4. Engine Condition

Before hitting the road on your rental ride, take a quick pit stop under the hood with the help of the rental staff. Have them give you the full rundown on the engine – listen for any quirky sounds, feel for funky vibrations, and scan for signs of spills from places like the radiator.

If anything seems off, chat it out with the customer service crew before cruising off into the sunset. It can save you a lot of trouble later on.

5. Interior Inspection

When renting a vehicle, be sure to take a moment to inspect the interior space. Carefully examine the upholstery, seating surfaces, and flooring for any issues or cleanliness concerns.

Give the interior a once-over, checking for rips in the fabric, spots that could use attention, or marks on the dashboard. A clean and clutter-free cabin helps set the stage for a relaxing and trouble-free trip down the open road.

Wrapping Up

Taking the time to examine your rental vehicle carefully is crucial for safe travels with fewer worries. While you may be eager to hit the road, slowing down for a meticulous inspection can prevent future problems.