If you’re renting a car, you’ll want to make sure you take a few necessary precautions to ensure you’re not ripped off by the business you’re getting your vehicle through – especially if you haven’t used them before. The first step, of course, is to invest in some car hire excess insurance. The second is to make sure you give your automobile a thorough check before you even leave the rental company’s car park. Be on the lookout for these potential problems.
Take a Brake
To make sure your brakes are up to scratch, hop into the driver’s seat and press your foot on the pedal. How does it feel? If the brakes are firm, you’re good to go. However, if they give way down to the floor, they may not be completely safe to use. Once you’re actually out on the roads, you should also try to avoid braking heavily while driving.
Shed Some Light on the Situation
Some of the most important parts of your vehicle are its lights, including the indicators, headlights and fog lights. This means you’ll want to make sure all of them are working properly (you don’t want any busted fuses or bulbs) before you hit the road. You can do this by turning them on briefly to test them out – and if you do that, you’ll also know where they are located in the vehicle so you’re not fumbling around looking for them while you’re driving in unfamiliar territory.
You can purchase all the car hire excess insurance in the world, but without properly working tyres you’re out of luck. Begin by checking the wheel alignment and wear and tear on the tyres, and then move on to see if the tyre pressure is correct, as this will ensure your vehicle is at optimum fuel efficiency and safety. Then check the boot to see if you’ve got a spare tyre (and, of course, make sure it’s not deflated and will work in an emergency situation).
While the engine oil should be checked once a month and changed once a year by the rental company, it’s still a good idea to check its level. It’s likely that nothing will need to be done – but on the off chance it does need to be changed, you’ll have done yourself a huge financial favour as fuel consumption and the potential for engine damage increase the longer it is left.
Renting a vehicle is always an exciting process, especially if you’re going to use it to go on holiday. However, no matter how tempting it may be to sign the paperwork and jump behind the wheel, make sure you take the time to cover yourself by investing in some car hire excess insurance and to check your automobile to ensure everything is up to scratch. After all, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
Sam Walker is a specialist insurance expert at LowerHire, a company that offers low-cost single trip and annual multi-trip car hire excess insurance policies. Travellers can rest easy knowing they will be fully protected against any hidden hire car costs and look forward to a stress-free rental experience.
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