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November 29, 2023

Dirty Rental Car! Who is Responsible?

When renting a car, cleanliness is a factor that both renters and car rental companies value. Nobody wants to step into a dirty vehicle, and this expectation extends to the next renter as well. But who is responsible for cleaning the rental car, and are there any costs associated with it? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of car rental cleaning costs, including what's included in the rental price and what additional charges you may encounter.

Dirty Rental Car! Who is Responsible?

At Pick Up

It is the car rental company's responsibility to provide you with a clean vehicle, as typically stated in the rental contract. If you receive a dirty car despite this agreement, you have the right to request cleaning or a replacement vehicle. If a solution is not reached within a reasonable timeframe, you may be eligible for a discounted price. However, it's important to note that this typically applies to significant soiling, not minor issues like crumbs or dust.

At Drop Off

When returning the rental car, the responsibility shifts to you. It's crucial to bring the car back in the same condition in which you received it. Keep the interior clean and ensure there are no items left behind, such as empty bottles, packaging, crumbs, or other debris. The exterior should also not resemble a vehicle that has just been on a safari adventure. Failing to do so may result in a special cleaning fee being charged.

The car rental company typically covers the cleaning costs for standard dirt and wear resulting from normal use of the vehicle. However, if the car becomes excessively dirty during your rental period, you may incur an additional cleaning charge.

What is Considered Extreme Soiling?

This distinction is at the discretion of the car rental company and is interpreted differently. Some rental companies charge the cleaning costs for extreme soiling if there is just some sand in the car from a day at the beach. Other rental companies are much more tolerant and only speak of extreme soiling when the color of the vehicle is no longer recognizable because of all the mud.

Can I Receive a Non-Smoking Car?

Nowadays, in most cases smoking is not allowed in rental cars anymore. Violation of the smoking ban will result in fines, cleaning fees or other penalties. Please check the suppliers' no smoking policy and adhere to it during the rental period to avoid additional fees or problems.

Unjustified Cleaning Costs

If you have the impression that the cleaning costs were not reasonable, you can file a complaint. It is best if you have taken photos of the dirty car and add them to your complaint. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive a refund for the rental car cleaning costs. If no specific arrangements have been made in advance, it is at the discretion of the car rental company.

In summary, both the car rental company and the renter share responsibility for maintaining a clean rental car. The rental company should provide a clean vehicle at the beginning of the rental period, while it is the renter's responsibility to return it in a reasonably clean condition, free of excessive dirt and debris. By being aware of these responsibilities and policies, you can ensure a smoother and more cost-effective car rental experience. Travel smart and clean with HAPPYCAR!

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