Basic car rental safety tips

Ford Something

Ford Something

Driving a rental car can – and should be – just as easy as driving your own car. However, when something like an accident happens, it can be costly to both you and the dealer. Here are some tips you can use to make sure that your time in a rental car is as safe as possible.

Rent something that works for you

Sometimes customers like to rent cars that are flashy, but it’s always smart to make sure you don’t rent a car that you’re not capable of handling. When you do get something that fits you, be sure you take the time to get a feel for it. Test the breaks, as there’s a certain distance in the amount of give in breaks that varies from car to car. Get a feel for the steering and how it corners. Also pre-set the GPS and make sure it’s up and running before you drive the car off the lot.


Do a low-level car test yourself

While people always wonder about the ‘walk around’ when they drop the car off, you should conduct your own walk around. Take pictures of the exterior and then climb inside. Check your headlights and turn signals. Acquaint yourself with where the controls and switches are. Be sure you also have things like a spare tire, jack and an emergency road kit.


Be prepared for the worst

It’s always good to plan for emergency in the event that one actually happens. In addition to reviewing insurance options with the desk clerk before you sign out the car, you should also be aware of the agency’s emergency road service provisions. If there is no specific road service readily available, inquire as to who you would contact in the even that something menial happened – something like say, an overheated engine or flat tire.


Do the basic adjustments

This should go without saying, but make sure you customize the rental car to fit your needs as a driver. Position the driver’s seat and steering wheel to a desirable level. Make sure the headrest is level with the top of your ears and above all else – be sure to adjust all of your mirrors. Don’t do it on the fly. Once you’re settled, be sure to take it for a mini-test run before you start heading to your destination to get a feel for it. A few laps around the block can help a lot.

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