Returning to find your parked rental car with a scratch or dent that was not there when you left it several minutes ago can leave anyone lost for words. Things may not look so depressing if the vehicle is yours because you know that you have several options you can consider that will remedy the situation. However, that is not the case when the car is a rental.
If you did not reduce your excess, then be ready to meet the cost of the full excess amount for the damages on the car. You may not be at fault for the dent, scratches or any other damage; you nevertheless will be liable because the car was, as per the rental agreement, under your care albeit momentary ownership.
Certain accidents can be considered unavoidable. However, you still can try to reduce the chances of some of such potential dangers, especially when parking the vehicle.
Below are six tips that can be of help the next time you are parking your rental.
Most of dents and scratches (major or minor) often occur when at shopping centres. Prams, vehicles or all sizes, shopping trolleys, and all types of people as the norm of such places and this increase the risk of finding dents and scratches on your rental car. You should have this in mind when picking a parking spot.
Avoid choosing a place that is too close to the trolley bay. A safer bet would be to park a bit further from the centre, the outskirts of the parking that has less activity; you, however, will have to contend with the long walk to and from the shopping mall.
If you have to park near other vehicles, take note of every car in that surrounding especially the ones next yours. What type of boot or hatch do the other cars have, and how much room may be needed to access them? Take into account this factor when parking the rental next to other vehicles.
Also, take note of the concrete wheel stops when parking, because some vehicles that are low tend to scrape these barriers damaging the undercarriage. So, avoid getting to close to the wheel stops if the rental is low.
Things are the trickier when parking on the streets. Always take note of the surroundings before you park and when leaving the car. Avoid parking across from driveways or open access points. Always avoid obstructing the ability others to access the driveway and consider the amount of room the other driver will need for their turning circle or when reversing from the driveway.
Do not park the rental car under trees during storms. While some trees may pose no immediate risks, you never know what can happen, and it would be better to be safe than sorry.
Also, avoid parking next to rubbish bins because you may obstruct the garbage trucks from doing their work and risk getting dents and scratches on the vehicle from people when they are trying to access the rubbish bins.
Accidents can at times happened when the vehicle is parked at a residential place, your neighbourhood of your friend's home. It may seem safe, but you still should exercise some level of caution when parking within the confines of another person's property.
Check behind and in front of the car before jumping into the vehicle and driving. You should ensure nothing will obstruct you if you have to reverse out of the parking spot and take note of the fence, mail post, and other obstacles.
Never forget the basics of parking the car, and ensure the handbrake is on before you get your foot off the brake and step out of the vehicle. It would be a silly moment having to explain how you left the car in a specific spot and now it is several meters away in a ditch or something.
There is always a high risk of someone backing out and into your vehicle! Park clear of the likely arc a vehicle might take when backing out of a driveway.
Always consider the various options that can help you reduce your excess when renting a car. Check with the insurance guys to see what options offer you the best rates. The idea is to try the much you can to shield yourself from hefty payments you may have to pay if return the rental car with a dent or scratches.