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Inspecting your Rental Vehicle – What to look for?

Inspecting rental car

When you enter into a car rental agreement you are signing a contract that will make you liable for payment when a car is damaged. Whenever you are renting a car you should definitely inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Most reputable rental companies will provide you with a damage report to fill in. If a rental company does not provide this, you should be very cautious about renting from them. So what should you mark on your damage report? We hope the following list is of assistance.

The Exterior:

Check for dents and scratches and mark them in the corresponding area of your damage report. Good practice is to circle the area on the damage report where there is a dent. Place an ‘X’ where there are stone chips and scratches. Use lines to indicate long marks or scratches. It is also good practice to put notes on the damage report explaining what you have marked. It also helps to take a video or photos of what you find. If you do this try and get a shot that shows the  position on the car, not just a close up of the damage. Be thorough with your inspection and ask questions of a company representative if you are not sure what fair wear and tear is.

The Windscreen:

It is important to check the windscreen carefully. Most rental companies deem small stone chips as fair wear and tear. Always make sure you mark any windscreen chips on the damage report using and ‘X’.

The Interior:

Sometimes you might come across damaged interiors in rental cars.  If there is no room on the damage report to mark this, then writing a comment about the interior damage is acceptable. You may want to note things like rips and tears and stains so that you avoid cleaning fees.

Drivability of your vehicle.

Rental cars come in various types, ages and condition. If you have elected to drive an older model car then there may be some things that you have to accept. Things like faded paint and interiors are inevitable on older model rental cars. However, they should always be maintained to roadworthy standards. Things like lights, windscreen wipers, tyres and brakes should be serviceable. So if you notice issues with these, bring them to the attention of your rental company.

Fuel and Kilometres travelled:

Make sure you note the amount of fuel in the car and how many kilometres the car has travelled. This is important where you opt for deals that have limited kilometre usage so that you do not pay for kilometres you did not use. Checking the fuel in the car is important as you do not want to be charged for fuel you did not use.

At Low Cost Car Rentals, we understand that accidents happen which is why we give you a damage report to fill in. We always recommend you take your time with filling in the damage report and take a video or photos of your rental vehicle.

Cheap car rentals – 5 myths busted

True or false - cheap car rentals

1. Car rental near airport is very expensive.

It is true, the space within the airport car park and a kiosk right next to the arrivals are costly. So companies who you normally see there, would have higher rates than normal car rentals. They need to cover up for all the expenses.

But it does not mean that you should avoid all the near-airport car rentals altogether.

Usually the airports are located in non prestige suburbs or in industrial zones. An office only a kilometre away from the arrival gate is much cheaper. There must be some car hire agencies who are located there.

For instance, one of the Low Cost Car Rentals depots is located only 2.7km away from the Sydney Domestic and 3.2km from International airports.

We offer free airport pick-up and drop-off on all long term rentals (7+ days). And it is as cheap as 30 dollars both ways for short term hires.

In reality, we love Sydney visitors so much, we often offer free unlimited kms package and GPS on long term rentals. All of those are worth more than 25 dollars per day.

I personally believe, the car rental agencies near airports are the most professional ones. They have to deal with a lot of customers from overseas therefore their standards are much higher.

2. Shared cars schema is cheaper than usual car rental companies.

There was a lot of excitement when we first saw our neighbours offering their cars for rent for cheap prices.

It was good at first until those car owners faced first troubles. Cars often were left in prohibited areas. Parking fines, tolls notices, light scratches and dirty interior that nobody will ever pay for.

It all led to the new restrictions. You must be an approved member to rent the car. Usually it involves an annual fee regardless of whether you would even need a car that year.

The price might still look cheap, however you will understand later that it is not final. You will have to pay each kilometre you travel. You will need to have your own GPS or baby seats if you need them.

To conclude, the shared car can be cheaper than a cab if you just need to travel short distance then back. Nothing else seem to be worth it.

3.GPS is too expensive, i will use my phone.

Firstly, lets assume you have the phone holder to secure your phone in the car. So now you are able to follow the directions without the need to juggle the phone in your or your passenger hands.

Secondly, we would assume, you have unlimited mobile data and all-around country mobile coverage.

I already doubt you have all the above.

Now, how about the reception? Do you have it while at the car park in the shopping centre? How often it is getting lost in the tunnels and how long it takes for the signal to recover?

You still think 5 dollars a day or free GPS on long term rentals is not an option?

4. I can get away with not registering the additional driver.

This is a very dangerous myth. It is not up to the car rentals companies to decide who is guilty in the accident. It is not them who is charging you when you have an incident.

Touch wood, if anything happens and it is the additional drivers fault. Just because they were not registered as the driver of the vehicle, the insurance company would decline the claim. You will end up loosing the excess and would have to pay for both car repairs and any hospital expenses anyone incurred due to the crash.

The insurance company used by Low Cost Car Rentals only charges a one-off fee to register the driver. It only costs 11 dollars for the whole rental period. Touch wood, but it is a piece of mind.

5. Companies use foreign language for rental agreements.

I can’t say for all companies, but Low Cost Car Rentals contract is written in English and you do not require any form of translation.

If you really unsure about anything in there, you are free to ask questions. Our staff is also fluent in English and therefore easy to communicate with.