License: Creative Commons image source
If you are currently searching for a car rental company, then there are high chances you will come across numerous unpleasant stories about customers who got ripped off by these services. While there are many honest auto hire businesses out there, unfortunately it only takes a few unscrupulous employees and managers to ruin the good name of this service. In fact, some companies even go so far as to rent out poorly maintained automobiles to customers only to claim exorbitant fees for damages that the customer didn’t incur.
It is important to note that if you are responsible for the damage to the rental car or the vehicle of another motorist, then the contract clearly states that you will have to pay for the repairs. On the other hand, if you return the vehicle in the same condition and somebody claims you damaged it, then you have to take a defensive stand.
Don’t take their word for it, check the car…minutely!
In case you didn’t know, all car rental companies must provide the client with a form where he can indicate the pre-existent damage on the vehicle he is about to rent. In spite of the fact that you might be in a hurry, it is necessary to highlight the fact that losing two more minutes now when you are already late could save you hundreds and sometimes, thousands of dollars.
Therefore, the first thing you should do after you decide on the right car to suit your needs is to ask for this form and start inspecting thoroughly. Because most of the bogus charges are due to dents, scratches, cigarette burns and other minor damage that is not very visible at first glance, these are the things you should be checking for. Don’t forget to get a signed copy of the form before you drive off.
Your smartphone camera
A further method to ensure you won’t end up having to pay for damage you didn’t do is to take pictures with your smartphone camera. In other words, in addition to noting the scratches, dents and burns in the car rental company’s form, you should also take a picture of them and save it or email it to yourself. Moreover, if you could include the car hire service representative in the photo and save it with a date and/or stamp on it, you can be certain no crooked employee will try to double-cross you. After all, with such proof, they stand no chance in court.
Document the condition of the car on return
More often than not, people believe that the rental adventure is over once the vehicle is returned at the specified time and date. However, car hire companies can send the bill for this sort of thing after a few days or weeks, depending where you have rented it. In most cases, the damage is caused by employee negligence and they are trying to get away with it by pinning it on the last customer. Luckily, you can use your phone’s camera to document and have solid proof that you brought back the car in same condition it went out of their parking lot.
After searching online Lucy has come up with the above solution to a disappointingly common problem in the car hire industry.