Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Document the Condition of Your Rental Car

Every time you rent a car, do you ever read the fine print when you sign that rental car agreement?

You are accepting the car and acknowledging that it is in pristine condition. But do you ever inspect the car before you sign that document? Most of us don’t.

And then, after returning the car, we are surprised when we are hit by a huge bill by a collection agency that claims we damaged the car. It only takes a few minutes to take your cell phone and document the real condition of the vehicle. Then, show the photos to the rental car agent who can confirm the dents, nicks and scratches before you drive the car off the lot. Otherwise, you’re liable for the damage that preceded your rental.

Then, there’s one other important caution.

Don’t return your car after hours, because you’re then liable for any damage that happens before the rental office opens. And if you must return the car during those times, repeat the cell phone photo process to make sure your photos in each case are date and time coded. 



For more tips on rental cars, check out:

Crossing State Borders With a Rental Car

What Happens When Your Rental Car Breaks Down?

What to Know Before You Rent a Car