Rental Inspections & Dealing with Conflict

In order to avoid being charged for damages to your cheap rental vehicle that you did not incur, be sure to inspect the vehicle for such things as dents, scratches, and broken features. There should be an inspection form left on the dashboard to write down any damages that you discover. If you do not find one, ask for one.

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 for 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 cheap rental car, return the form to the attendant 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. Some of these could include a CD player that does not work or faulty windshield wipers. If you discover that these are not working, be sure to notify the agency.

There are times when a rental company does not have the vehicle type you requested and reserved. In these situations, the agency will provide you with an available vehicle that is closest to the type that you wanted. Upon returning the rental car, ask to speak with the manager. Tell him or her if you are dissatisfied about not receiving the car you had reserved. Don't be afraid to ask for compensation. Most managers will compensate you for your troubles, because they do not want to lose your future business.

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