Failed to locate a place to refuel on your return

The best time to find a place to refuel your vehicle is as soon as you pick it up. As you drive away from the airport or the rental agent, make a mental note of the local petrol stations and make plans to go back to the most accessible or best of at the end of your lease from them. This makes life a lot easier or you could be driving round in circles in an unfamiliar neighbourhood!

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Ignoring the potential for an upgrade

It is often worth booking a cheap vehicle and then asking about an upgrade at the rental desk. This works best at a busy time when the garage doesn’t have many low-cost rental vehicles available. In this scenario, they may offer a free or very affordable upgrade to a larger car class due to inventory management problems.

In most cases, agents have considerable discretion in setting the rate increase, so if he asks if you are interested in a bigger car, the best response would be that it depends on the price; You may find yourself in a car that is bigger and better with  minimal additional cost. For more information on Car Hire Southend on Sea, visit a site like Steves Self Drive Hire, a leading Car Hire Southend on Sea company.

Too make only a cursory inspection after departure

When you take your car, check inside and out for anything that might be viewed as damage before you leave. Look for scratches, loose parts, and whether all power windows and mirrors are working.

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Keep an eye out for both small and big problems; the tendency is for a quick walk around the car looking for scratches and bumps, thinking that bigger problems would be obvious, but this is not always the case. An example is noticing a loose bumper that the car rental company had missed. On return, if this had not been flagged up prior to leaving, the customer would have been held totally responsible. Take photos or video as you walk slowly around the car, and “kick the tyres,” so to speak.

Don’t leave the final examination to chance

More recently, the procedure for returning a hire car has become a little like leaving your hotel room key in a box on reception and heading out the door of the lobby with only wave to the receptionist. However, this isn’t recommended. If the thought of just leaving a car without the agent and you checking it over leaves you feeling disturbed – it should! Some of the most damning complaints about rental companies in recent years has been disputed damage claims. If no agent is present at the return point, then a dispute can become a case of your word against theirs. Again, your best protection here is to take photos or videos to run slowly around the car.