Keeping A Great Rental For This Trip And The Next

What's so important about rental cars that people choose different brands or go to certain locations? Why do vehicle rental companies take security deposits? Is this crack in the windshield going to be your problem? Every day, travelers across the world climb into rental cars to get where they need to go, but there are always new or irregular drivers who need a bit of help getting through the system. If you're confused about certain policies or you're no stranger to sweating bullets about a piece of damage you missed, here are a few tips from a regular rental traveler.

Missed A Spot On An Inspection? Don't Worry About It!

There is one line with two meanings that you can safely throw out of your mind: "It was like that when I got it!" For small problems such as chips in the windshield from a flying pebble on the road or a tiny stain on the carpet no bigger than a quarter, most vehicle rental companies won't bat an eye. They'll take care of it with the next major cleaning and renovation that has to happen anyway for customer comfort. You should certainly try to clean off any stains by contacting the rental company first with a description of the stain for a list of cleaning materials, but issues such as small chips or cracks caused by pebbles aren't a big deal.

For the big damage, have a police report. It doesn't matter who was involved or if it was a police report, just keep yourself safe by having a report of the incident on hand. There is absolutely zero reason to just "let it play out" without getting a report of the damage that took place. If you're in a wreck and it wasn't your fault, this is mandatory to avoid fines. The costs will be passed on to the person who caused the problem as long as you have official documentation showing it.

What About A Medium-Sized Problem?

A pebble hitting a windshield versus getting in an accident are pretty drastic problems, and there are a few levels between the two. Don't worry, as there's protections around some of the bigger problems.

Tires are the most likely to suffer significant damage that you have little control over. Driving over a nail, screw, or other sharp object is no one's fault but the people who left the screws on the highway. You can fill the tire up or have it patched yourself, but it may be better to have a rental vehicle company-approved shop handle it. It'll either be no cost or a fairly small cost repair.

Many vehicle issues are covered by both your security deposit and the insurance involved. Rental companies have insurance on everything whether you sign up for your own individual insurance or not, which is why many medium-level problems can be handled with a small fee (or no fee at all) to you depending on the company.

If the car breaks down, that can't be placed on the driver very easily. An overheating engine, clogged radiator, or other under-the-hood problems shouldn't be a problem on new cars, so unless you were tinkering under the rental's hood (Hint: Don't do that. Ever.), you can just call the rental company and have them take care of it.

For those situations, politely ask for a replacement and compensation. A livid customer may get fast reactions, but a calm complaint can net a lot more benefits. Contact a rental vehicle professional to plan your trip with a calm approach to all problems. For more information, contact a business such as Allard Rentals.