Tips to avoid (and deal with) breaking down
1. Inspect the car fully.
When collecting your hire car make absolutely sure you check the interior and exterior for damage, to prevent getting charged for something you didn’t cause. Fully inspect and mark down on the rental agreement check sheet any scratches, marks or dents. For a clear description of what’s classed as ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ see here. For more tips on our checking-out process click here.
2. Take plenty of pictures.
As stated on our checking out procedure page, we strongly recommend you take photographs of your vehicle when you pick it up and before you return it. It’s always best to enable time and date stamps but a photograph of the dashboard showing the mileage counter should do the trick.
3. Do a tyre check.
Check the tyres and verify they have sufficient tread. Get down to floor level to get a proper unimpaired view of the tyres and ask to move the car forward slightly so you don’t miss any parts of the tyre that could have been strategically covered up. All our vehicles are serviced regularily so this would be very unlikely, but for your own peace of mind we recommend these checks.
4. Test the car’s lights.
Turn on all the lights to make sure they work and none have burned out. Use a reflecting surface or window or ask an assistant to check your brake lights for you. It is important to alert us because if you are pulled over for having a non-working exterior car lamp, you will be held responsible. In the unlikely event you do have to purchase a replacement bulb during your hire, keep hold of your receipt and we will reimburse you for the cost on your return.
5. Check the interior systems.
When you get into the cab, turn on the main systems to verify that everything is working properly. This should include heat controls, air conditioning, lights (inside and out), GPS/navigation system, wipers and sound system. Also verify that no warning lights are on. Don’t be shy about asking how something works, some of our high-spec cars have many built-in technology features and it is our employees job to show you how to operate them so you can enjoy your car for the entirety of your hire.
6. How does it feel?
Once you drive your vehicle away, if you notice anything unusual about the way the car handles, return to the rental branch location and ask for another model. Getting used to a new car can be a challenge but if you feel something is wrong such as the steering pulling, the suspension or wheels feeling bumpy, any strange noises or flapping, etc. then call us straight away.
7. Ask about our emergency breakdown cover.
If you notice something further down the road or the car breaks down, contact us immediately and we will instruct you to call our roadside-assistance service. Most of our branches use The AA or the manufacturers’ warranty cover. Ask what you should do and how the repairs are handled. If something on the car must be fixed, find out what the proper protocol is to be reimbursed. Depending on the repair, you may have to pay no matter what, but if you don’t follow procedure, it’s far more likely. For more information on our breakdown policy please visit our terms and conditions.