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November 29, 2023

Rental Agreement: What to Look Out For?

A rental agreement is a formal contract that outlines the terms and conditions of renting a vehicle. Keep in mind that a rental confirmation, or a voucher from the broker/provider are not considered a rental agreement. By entering into this agreement, you assume legal responsibility for the vehicle throughout the agreed-upon rental duration. This includes accountability for any potential damage or loss to the vehicle and any additional insurance coverage you may have opted for. Before you can obtain the keys to the rental car, it is necessary to thoroughly read and sign the rental agreement.

Rental Agreement: What to Look Out For?

Vehicle Information

Every rental contract must include information about the rented vehicle, i.a. make and model, car category sometimes with indicated ACRISS code, as well as registration number. Pay attention whether the car category is the same as booked. If not, ask why so, and ensure you are not paying for an upgrade which you did not ask for.

Driver's Information

This section in the Rental Agreement includes the driver's name, address, email address, phone number and driving license number. Any additional drivers will also be included in this section of the rental agreement.

Rental Period

The local rental company should enter the correct pick-up and drop-off locations, dates and times in the rental agreement. In general, the rental agreement should include the number of days, and oftentimes outlines also the price per day.

Please also note the grace period for returning the car. Late returns will most probably result in extra charges.

Usage Agreement

This part of the rental agreement outlines your mileage limits and fuel policy. Here, it is important to check which fuel and mileage policy is applied to your rental. 

Insurance

This part lists all the insurance products, i.a. the mandatory ones, included in price as well as possible add-ons. Familiarize yourself with the insurance package you pre-purchased and what it covers. Please note that when you book additional insurance packages with covered deductible through HAPPYCAR, they may not be displayed in the rental agreement.

Deposit

If you know that the deposit for your car should amount e.g. 1100 Euro, but for some reason the rental agreement shows 0 Euro or for example 300 Euro, it might mean that the rental office lowered your deposit, most likely due to some sort of extra insurance coverage, such as Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) - check the insurance section, and don’t sign the document unless you agree to that.

Total Price

Understand the breakdown of charges. Look for the base rental fee, taxes, and any added fees like airport surcharges, fuel charges, and drop-off fees if applicable. In case the breakdown of the price including fees, extra charges, deposits seems a bit off, ask for explanation.

Damage Review

This part is either part of a rental contract or alternatively, of a separate check-out document. It includes details of the vehicle's existing damage. If you see a picture of a vehicle with some damage marked, it means the rental company has already documented the scratches, dents and other forms of damage.

Terms and Conditions

Please make sure to also read the fine print. Look out for clauses related to amendments, disputes, and other important information. Check for breakdown information and how to contact the local station.

Signature

If you agree with the terms, sign the agreement! You should be able to sign the document physically. In case a car rental employee gives you a tablet to sign a blank document, be careful as you do not see what you sign. Always make sure that you sign a rental agreement instead of an insurance purchase.

Get and Keep a Copy!

Always retain a copy of the signed agreement for your records.

Finally, if anything in the agreement isn't clear, ask the rental company to explain it. Being well-informed about the rental terms ensures a smooth rental experience and prevents unexpected issues. Safe and HAPPY travels!

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