Picking up your hire car can be stressful: you’ll be faced with paperwork and you may might have a queue of people behind you. Ask these questions at the rental counter for a smoother start to your trip.
Don’t feel rushed when you’re at the rental counter. You’re entitled to take your time to ask any questions you have about your hire car. If you’re concerned about something in particular – for example medical insurance, taking the car into a different country, driving in snow or your security deposit being too high – feel free to ask.
What insurance is already included in my rental?
The rental company staff will usually offer you additional insurance for an extra fee. Knowing what you’re covered for already will help you make the right decision for you.
What fuel does the car take?
Putting the wrong type of fuel in the car can seriously damage the engine and, because this mistake isn’t usually covered by any insurance, it will cost you quite a bit to put right. To find out what type of fuel your rental car takes see, Diesel or petrol car: How can I tell?
Where is the nearest petrol station?
If you have a fuel policy such as ‘Full to Full’, you’ll be expected to top up the tank just before dropping it off. It’s worth asking the counter staff where the nearest petrol station is that will be open when you bring the car back.
Where should I park the car when I bring it back?
Returning your rental car late usually means you’ll be charged a penalty fee. So knowing exactly where to leave your car will save you money as well as time.
Will I pay any extra charges after my rental?
When you bring your car back (as long as it’s in the same condition as when you picked it up) you should have your security deposit refunded. When you get home, you should only see charges for any insurance or other extras you bought at the counter.
It’s worth asking the counter staff about any other charges, such as additional fees, taxes or fuel charges. If you’ve booked through Rentalcars.com or any other online companies or comparison websites, they can help you if there are charges you don’t understand.
What number should I call if the car breaks down or I have an accident?
Being clear about the rental company’s emergency contacts and having them to hand can help make an unfortunate situation a little less stressful. It’s also worth checking the emergency number for the country you’re hiring in. To find out more about what to do if your rental car breaks down see, What if my rental car breaks down?
Can I take the car into another country?
The answer is likely to be ‘no’ if you haven’t given the rental company any warning that that’s what you want to do. Many rental companies allow you to take the car into bordering countries, but do always check before booking as most companies ask for at least 7 days’ notice.
How long does it take to return a Rental Car?
If you interact with an agent of the company then returning a rental car usually takes around 30 minutes. This allows time for the agent to inspect the vehicle and complete a rental car return form. You will provide the agent with the keys then continue your journey.
Can someone else return my Rental Car?
Someone else can return your rental car if they are a named driver on your rental agreement document. If this is not the case, then you must contact the rental company and request an amendment to the agreement. This could incur an administration fee so only do so if necessary. This is required in order for the other person to be insured on the vehicle.
Should i clean my rental Car before Returning It?
You do not need to clean the exterior of your rental car before returning it. Companies will have cleaning facilities which they use to prepare the vehicle for the next customer. It’s important to clean the interior of the car as failure to do so may incur a valeting or cleaning fee. Common causes of incurring a charge are sand, upholstery stains, and smoking.
What are my terms and conditions of the agreement on the rental car?
It would be wise to contact or ask for any clarifications after reading the rental terms of the agreement.
For instance, on who can drive the car, where to park, and terms of extension of the rental period if the need arises? I consider this important because most issues arise from the terms of the rental contracts.
Can you return a rental car early?
Most rental car companies will allow you to return your rental car early without any extra charges. If you need to do this, call the company and let them know when you’ll be dropping the vehicle off, so they can be prepared.
What is the company mileage plan?
The mileage question matters most, especially if you’re renting the car for more than just a few days or driving for long hours. Most rental companies offer unlimited mileage limits, meaning that you can drive for long without incurring any extra mileage fee.
Some, however, charge an extra mileage fee if you exceed their daily maximum limits. It’s worth checking the rental company mileage policies, especially if you plan to rent for more than just a few days.
Where do I keep my rental contract?
In most cases the answer to this is in the car. The rental agreement is usually used as the car’s registration, providing ownership and liability information for peace officers.
What do I do if I have a problem with the car or need to keep it longer than planned?
When you pick up the car, be sure to find out the phone numbers to call in case of an accident, breakdown or rental extension. You can also call the companies toll free customer service number.
To add on the above tips, Self Drive Uganda says that before you sign an agreement with a rental company, there are a few questions you should ask to avoid problems like unexpected charges.