Imagine renting a car and being charged for damages that were incurred even before you drove the vehicle. This sounds outrageous, of course. But, this is what exactly can happen if you fail to take precautions when renting a car.
At RentCarManila.com, our cars for hire are of top quality. We also perform regular checks and maintenance to ensure the optimal comfort of our clients. We can’t, however, guarantee that other companies share the same commitment to high-quality car rental services. As Manila’s premier car rental company, we’ll help you prepare better for your car rental.
Here are several tips to avoid additional charges for damages on a rented car:
BEFORE YOUR TRIP
1. Inspect the Vehicle
Most rental car fleets are meticulously maintained, but damages like dents in the body or small tears in the interior can go unnoticed. Before you sign that rental agreement or accept the rental vehicle, inspect the car thoroughly. Walk around the car and take notes of scratches or dents. Go inside the car, as well. Watch out for any strange smell, stain, or even tear. And never assume that a dent is too small to note or that the company already knows about it.
Use your smartphone to take photos or videos of the car inspection. Make sure to capture the car’s electronic system that displays the date and time, as these details may help you in case you have to dispute charges for damages you knew you didn’t cause. Companies often ask for any evidence, so pictures, videos, and other documents will be a great help.
If you do notice any damage during the inspection, report it to the company immediately. You can ask the company for another car or list that damage in your check-out form and have it authorized by the rental company. Remember, no additional fees can be levied against you when you return a damaged vehicle if the pre-existing issues in question were properly recorded from the start.
2. Avoid Airport Rentals
Car inspection before hiring is crucial. However, this can be a problem with airport rentals. In general, car rentals from the airport undergo inspection, but some companies leave the cars for customers to pick up later, unescorted. There is no personnel around to re-inspect the vehicle while the customer is present. As such, the client will never know if any damage occurred after the scheduled inspection.
3. Check Your Insurance Coverage
Many people run into unexpected expenses due to unfair damage charges. But what if the damage occurs while you are renting the car?
You can never predict a car collision or a road accident, but you can certainly prepare for one. Make sure you have car insurance, and you don’t have to worry about incurring costly charges in case you are involved in a road mishap while driving in Manila.
If you already have your collision coverage on your own car, check if you can use it for rental vehicles. Some insurance companies offer rental car insurance as an add-on or optional coverage.
If you’re a traveler from the US or any other country, make sure your insurance plan extends across oceans and borders. Otherwise, you may want to consider purchasing a travel insurance policy with additional rental car coverage.
DURING YOUR RENTAL
4. Refrain from Taking the Car to a Mechanic
When you get the car damaged while renting it, you may be tempted to bring it to a mechanic. Taking a rental car to an auto shop without the car hire company’s specific instructions to do so will only make matters worse. For one, you will not get back the money you spent on repairs. Also, you may be charged extra for tampering with the vehicle without permission.
AFTER YOUR TRIP
5. Never Return the Car Without a Company Representative Present
Never return your rental car when the office is closed or when there is no company representative available to assist you with the process. When you leave the vehicle without an authorized employee examining it first and its side mirror gets smashed, or its hood is scratched, for instance, you will be responsible for the damages. You will end up paying for unexpected car hire damage fees that are difficult to dispute.
Also, don’t feel rushed when you return the car. Take your time and inspect the vehicle before handling its key to the staff. Once you and the employee have both confirmed that there’s no new damage to the vehicle, you can sign the check-in form. Just make certain you receive a copy of that form.
Renting a car for your Manila trip can help you save money on transportation and go where you want without a wait. But of course, rental cars come with a unique set of risks, including unexpected damage charges. By taking the proper precautions before, during, and after renting a car, you gain peace of mind that you will only have to pay for the rental rates after the trip.
Planning your next trip in or around Manila? Call us, today, for reliable, affordable car rental services.