9 Things to check before driving away in a rental car

9 Things to check before driving away in a rental car

Published on 20th March, 2019 at 03:28 pm

Renting a car is great if done right. Go through this checklist before you leave the rental company to start your trip.

1. Know the fuel type

Ask, and ask again – just to be sure!

2. Take pics of any defects

Ideally, do your check in daylight so you can spot everything. Look over bumpers and wing mirrors, too. Take pictures of any defects and flag them at the counter before you drive away, to ensure you’re not held liable for them on return.

3. Check for emergency gear in the boot

You should be supplied with a spare wheel and jack, reflective triangle, jumper cables and a small fire extinguisher. Open up the glove compartment to check for the Owner’s Manual, too.

4. Ensure you’ve got the right insurance

Check your contract and ask if you’re unsure. For example, cover for tyres and the windscreen is often charged separately – if this is important to you, ensure it’s added to your package. As a Sanlam Reality member if you book with Tempest Car Hire you get access to their Super Cover.

5. Start the engine

It’s the easiest way to check for any upfront issues – if you aren’t confident the engine is running smoothly, flag it before signing the car out. It’s also a good idea to check that your lights are working, including your signalling lights and hazards.

6. Confirm the named drivers

Most companies won’t allow multiple drivers unless you’ve declared this upfront.

7. Note the emergency number

Ask at the counter for the numbers to call if you’re in an accident or your car breaks down. Check your contract to understand the timeframe you have to report an incident to both the police and the rental company in order to be covered; often it’s within a matter of hours.

8. Ask about e-tolls

Many companies don’t cover the cost of e-tolls or fines. Your contract should outline how this is settled, but ask upfront so you don’t get whacked with a surprise bill.

9. Crossing borders? Find out the rules

You may need a letter of authorisation from your car-rental company to allow you to drive between borders. Travelling across countries may also affect your insurance – ask before you drive off to ensure you’ve got the right cover for your holiday plans.

Make your next trip an unforgettable experience. Pay from as little as R230 a day for car hire with Tempest’s Super Cover. Click here to try it today.

Want to learn more?

We send out regular emails packed with useful advice, ideas and tips on everything from saving and investing to budgeting and tax. If you're a Sanlam Reality member and not receiving these emails, update your contact details now.

Update Now