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November 29, 2023

Guide on What to Check When Picking Up and Dropping Off the Car

To ensure a seamless and hassle-free experience when picking up and returning your rental car, it's crucial to keep several things in mind. Renting a car is usually a quick process, however before you hit the road, some steps need to be taken. If you follow them, there is a good chance that you will avoid any complaints.

Guide on What to Check When Picking Up and Dropping Off the Car

When Picking Up the Rental Car

  1. Be Punctual:
    Be on time! Your booked pick up time is a precise indication and not a time window. If you're flying to your destination, consider providing your flight number when booking. This can help the rental company prepare for any potential flight delays. If you do encounter delays, be sure to contact the rental company (their phone number is usually on your rental voucher) to inform them. Most rental companies offer a grace period of 30-60 minutes for late arrivals.

  2. Documents: 
    Before you even reach the rental office, make sure you, as the booked main driver, have all the required documents with you, including:

    • Your ID or passport

    • Your driving license (international permit, if applicable)

    • Your credit card to pay the deposit (PIN code may be required / no debit, electron or prepaid credit cards)

    • Your  rental voucher

  3. Review the Rental Agreement: 
    Carefully review the rental agreement, starting with basic information such as the rental period and finally mileage limitations, fuel policy and any additional services.

  4. Insurance Coverage: 
    You should review your current insurance policy to assess whether they provide sufficient coverage for your rental vehicle. If your existing coverage is unsatisfactory, you may want to consider purchasing insurance from the rental company, but only if it is truly necessary. If you are not intending to buy an insurance product, make sure it is not added to the contract without your knowledge.

    Please note that when you book additional insurance packages with a covered deductible through HAPPYCAR, they may not be displayed in the rental agreement.

  5. Car Inspection:
    Before leaving the rental company, carefully inspect the rental car for any pre-existing damage or scratches. Be sure to document any damages by having the supplier note them down in the rental agreement or by taking photos as proof. Reporting these concerns to the rental staff will help prevent potential disagreements at the end of the rental period.

When Returning the Rental Car

  1. Be Punctual (Again):
    Double check the correct return location and time. Keep in mind that any delays may result in extra costs for an additional day. In case of a return outside of opening hours, ensure to inform yourself beforehand about the correct procedure to return the car.

  2. Fuel Level: 
    To avoid paying additional refueling fees, make sure you fill your fuel tank to the level specified in your rental agreement. Note that some companies may offer prepaid fuel options, so it is important to understand and follow their fuel policies. You can also take a picture of a fuel gauge.

  3. Cleanliness: 
    Return the car in a reasonably clean state. While the car does not have to be sparkling clean, excessive soiling or clutter can incur cleaning fees.

  4. Car Inspection (Again): 
    Just as when you picked up the car, request a final inspection with a rental company staff member. Discuss and document any new damage or issues that occurred during your rental period. Taking photos of any damage is also a good idea, but make sure the photos have a timestamp (date and time).

  5. Final Confirmation: 
    Make sure you receive a confirmation from the supplier stating you have returned the rental car in a good condition and there are no outstanding fees due.

By keeping these key factors in mind when picking up and returning your rental car, you can avoid any prospective mishaps, ensure a smooth rental, and travel with peace of mind throughout your trip. Plus, the more often you rent a car, the easier the rental process becomes! If you have any questions about the invoice and the return date of the deposit, do not hesitate to ask the car rental staff. Also remember that all agreements between you and the local provider should be in writing.

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