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Tips for Driving at Night with your Rental Car

With the winter months fully upon us, many of you may be picking your rental car up when it’s dark outside and driving around at night. Some of you may be travelling long journeys in your Rental car and with the sun rising later and setting earlier, our tips below will help you become safer and make night-time driving easier.

 

Picking Up your Rental Car

 

When Booking

Always check that the branch you’re looking to hire from is open at your selected times. Airport branches tend to stay open later due to early and late-night flights but city centre locations will often charge an out-of-hours fee for a booking made outside normal business hours.

Do your research into how you will get to the branch. As Easirent’s branches are all offsite (not in the airport) there are often free shuttle buses that run from the airport to nearby locations. You will find the instructions in your booking voucher or on the branch page on the website. Check with the bus service what time the last service runs, as you don’t want to be stranded at the airport and have to fork out for a taxi.

 

When Arriving

If you are delayed to collect your vehicle, then you must make sure to tell us as soon as you are able. If you have provided to flight details, the branch will usually be aware if your flight is delayed but a courtesy call is appreciated as sometimes the staff may go home if no contact has been made and there is no sign of the customer coming to collect their car. It’s best practice to keep the phone number for the branch and keep ringing to update them. Honesty is the best policy.

 

When Checking In

Before driving off in your hire car, the agent will want to do a thorough check of the vehicle for any damage so that it can be marked on the check sheet. Don’t be tempted to skip this – no matter how late it is or how tired you may be. The damage check is important to prevent yourself from being charged for something you may have missed when handing the car back in. The staff will provide you with a torch to be able to see, but you can request they drive to a nearby lit car park (if one is available) if you aren’t comfortably satisfied that all damage has been recorded. Should you not be able to take a torch, consider downloading a torchlight app onto your smartphone to use. This will also come in handy if you breakdown at night.

Feel free to take flash photography of the vehicle on your camera or smartphone as evidence. Check before driving off that the photos have come out clearly and you can see the extent of the damage. It is unlikely you would ever be given a car that was badly damaged, but just in case, you can always call the branch the following morning and report anything that may have been missed off the check sheet.

 

Driving at Night

Before driving away, check that all the lights on the vehicle are in working order. Ask a staff member to check behind the car for you. If leaving a car park, don’t forget to turn your lights on (it may sound obvious, but we’ve all forgotten once or twice!)

If you must drive outside cities and towns in the dark, be extra alert and drive slowly. Country lanes in the UK are notorious for rogue wildlife, narrow bends and hidden oncoming cars. Bear in mind that if travelling across remote distances at night, there may not be any petrol stations, so ensure you have enough to make your trip.

If you feel you are becoming too tired to drive or falling asleep at the wheel, it’s imperative you stop at the nearest service station and take a break. Ensure that your mobile phone is switched on, and has enough charge to last you until you reach your destination. Most cars come equipped with charging ports so that you’ll be able to use it should and unforeseen situations arise.
Built-in SatNavs come in handy for helping you find your destination as road and street signs will be hard to see in the dark.

 

Protecting Yourself

Take out a comprehensive insurance policy to fully cover all damage to the car hire vehicle. By paying a small daily fee you can reduce the standard £1250 deposit down to £500, £100 or 0, meaning you can only be charged up to the amount you choose. All bookings through Easirent offer the option of Zero Excess insurance which reduces your liability to zero pounds, should you not wish to pay for anything extra. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that whatever damage happens to the vehicle, you won’t be out of pocket.

 

Keeping in Touch

We suggest you should store our contact details and those of the breakdown company (you’ll find this at the back of your Rental Agreement) on your mobile phone or tablet device. The backlight will enable you to read these easily without having issues with readability of the car rental voucher. Consider storing the contact numbers in your mobile’s contacts list for easy access.

 

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