You have done the research on which car rental company to obtain a car lease from, possibly through our previous article on “Comprehensive Guide to Car Rental in Singapore” and have decided on your make and model of the car that best suit your needs. The day comes when you arrive at the car rental company, waiting to pick up your highly anticipated car.
Before you leave the company premises, there is just one last thing to do – a car inspection.
Of course, most car rental companies do have their rental cars regularly maintained. However, different cars come in a range of different ages, build, model and conditions. Hence, it is an important procedure for all car rental customers to fill in a Damage Report before driving off with their rented car.
Here is how a Damage Report of a rental car looks like:
Why is Inspecting a Rental Car Important?
Although it may sound like a redundant step to go through, by taking this step seriously, it might relieve us of the potential conflicts or disagreements between the car rental company, and the client, should there be any disputes about which party should take responsibility for the damages by the car. It may also be a safety concern – for if the car is not inspected properly, damages in essential parts like the wheels, engine, or even the brakes could even endanger the lives of passengers on board the rental car. Hence, this seemingly unimportant step should be taken seriously, by both the car rental company and the client alike.
What To Look Out For?
Don’t know what to check prior to leaving the parking lot? Here’s a list of what customers should take note of before signing off on the Damage Report.
- For the body, check whether there are existing scratches or paint chips. Use lines to indicate direction of the scratches and add notes to each mark, explaining what those lines mean.
- Headlights. For some cars, the activation of the headlight may be automatic; while others, switching on the headlight is a manual process. Before leaving the driving lot, check with the car rental company on whether the car operates on the former or the latter and learn how to operate the car such that you are able to see clearly while driving at night.
- Windscreen. If there are any visible scratch marks or stone chips, be sure to indicate it with an “X” and denote what it means on the report. For your safety, do note to check whether the windscreen wipers work. Nothing is worse than having windscreen wipers that fail to work when caught in the eye of a heavy rain pour.
- Wheels. For wheels, do check whether they have maintained sufficient inflation pressure before you start your drive. Furthermore, check whether they have enough grip using the tread wear indicators. Generally, tread across the tyre should be about 1.5mm deep.
- To avoid additional cleaning fees, check for any damaged leather or scratch marks and indicate them on the damage report.
- Also, it would be beneficial to check if all appliances (air-con, radio, in-built bluetooth system) are in good working condition, and more importantly, learn how to use them. For the in-built bluetooth system, pairing it with your phone not only allows you to listen to your songs, it also enables you to pick up fuss-free and hand-free calls during your commute.
- Understand the in-built functions of the car. If you are using a GPS, setting the device in a language that you are comfortable with before setting off is proven to be essential, especially when travelling in a foreign land. For those using phone GPS, ensure that you have a phone holder that secures your phone sturdily. Nothing is worse than being lost on the road, while having to scramble for a fallen phone on the carpeted ground.
- Understand the air-condition, radios and other internal functionalities of the car and ensure that they are in good working condition.
- Brakes in good working condition: Test their sensitivity. Are they responsive enough while not causing the car to jerk? Some brakes are highly sensitive and it would set the braking response as soon as you set foot on the paddle. This would prevent unintentional accidents on the road.
- Acceleration. We understand that not all companies provide test drive services. But when possible, it is useful to test drive the acceleration of the car to ensure that the car’s engine has the ability to deliver a strong and dependable acceleration.
Fuel and Kilometres Travelled
- Be cognizant about the amount of fuel used and kilometres travelled. For any leaks in the oil tank, you’ll be able to know
- Additionally, it’s useful to check what fuel the car takes. Normally, this can be found on the petrol cap. It is generally safe to use a 95-Octane fuel, having it being the cheaper option, other than some exceptions. To understand more about the different types of fuels in Singapore, you may check out our article: “95-Octane vs 98-Octane – Which is Better?”, for a comprehensive analysis of the different fuels.
- Take pictures of the conditions of the car before driving off. This provides evidence for both the client and the car rental company, further diminishing the possibility of a potential disagreement on the prior condition of the car.
What We Do at BizLink Rent-A-Car?
At Bizlink Rent-a-Car, we have harnessed the use of technology by checking out our cars for our customers electronically by means of ‘a Tab’. The Damage Report would be emailed to the customer right after the handing over is completed, keeping wastage of paperwork to a minimum and the records will be stored electronically. This method is not only environmentally friendly but it adds on to one’s convenience.
Having queries about our rental cars and the rental process? Simply give BizLink Rent-A-Car and the support team a call at +65 6285 6616 and we will be happy to assist.