The following are some simple rules to follow when renting a vehicle.

1. KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING. Many times car rental companies will stick a big pile of papers in front of you and you will be reluctant to take the time to read over the paperwork. They will tell you to sign here and initial there, and you will have absolutely no clue what you are signing. You may be in a hurry or anxious to get on your way, but these documents should not be signed without thoroughly reading them over. If you think that you will be pressed for time when you go to pick up the vehicle then ask to see these documents in advance, perhaps they could even fax or e-mail you a copy. This will help expedite the car rental process, while still allowing you to be aware of the things you are agreeing to.

2. UNDERSTAND YOUR COVERAGE. Many people believe that if they have car insurance or a major credit card that the vehicle that they are renting is covered no matter what, so before you sign saying you don’t need the additional coverage, know how much if anything your own car insurance company and major credit card will cover that vehicle.

3. NO ONE SHOULD DRIVE THE RENTAL BUT YOU: When you are renting a car, you are the one responsible and covered by all insurances. Therefore, it is important that you never let anyone else drive the vehicle. If you are planning to have another person drive or if this is a possibility you should inform your rental company. If the proper procedures are not followed you are responsible should anything happen, even if it was your spouse behind the wheel. So in order to avoid unnecessary bills it is crucial that only those on your contact get behind the wheel of the car.

4. REPORT EVERYTHING. You are driving someone else’s vehicle when you have a rental, so you need to let them know if anything happens to that car. Whether you hear a squeak, see a leak, or notice a new scratch, you should call and let them know right away. Don’t wait until you return the car to address these issues, let them know right away if there is a problem.

5. FILL UP THE GAS: Before you return your rental car, should fill the gas to where it was when you got it, if not more. If you do not return the car with gas, the rental companies will fill it up for you, however they are much overpriced. Even if they do not charge you when you bring the car back, you will notice an extra charge on your credit card statement later that month.

6. STAY FOR THE INSPECTION. Be sure that you stay while your vehicle is inspected by the car rental agency. This will let you know if they found any problems with the vehicle before you leave the lot. An important thing to know especially if they are going to charge you for the repairs.

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