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The Complete Guide to Maintaining your Rented Car

The Complete Guide to Maintaining your Rented Car

When you rent a car, be it on holiday or otherwise, it can be a daunting task to keep it looking pristine for when it is time to take it back to the garage. The deposit you put down on the car is sometimes hefty, and you don’t want to incur any unwanted fines for damage.

Instead of spending the last few days of renting the car worrying about taking it back, follow the next few easy steps and return the car looking brand spanking new!

Check the car before you drive it off

Check the car before you drive it off

One of the most important procedures to take before you even set off in your rented car is to check it thoroughly for any signs of damage. This includes scratches, scuffs, dents, and any damage to the interior too. It is especially important to take note if the car is at all dirty because any dirt from the road could cause you to be unable to see any scratches which are currently on the car before you drive it away.

Once you have checked for any damage, make sure to make a personal note of everything you have found, and also ask for the rent shop to do the same. This will ensure that you cannot be blamed for any damage which was already on the car before you rented it.

Checking the car for any even slight damage is extremely important so that you don’t incur any fines which aren’t your fault. This way, you won’t be worried about any existing damages and whether or not you could be caught out by them.

Check your safety

As well as checking the car for any existing damage, it is also important to check for any signs that the car might not be safe to drive. This includes looking at the dashboard for any warning lights and checking the oil level.

The car should have already been serviced and checked for any hazards, but it is best to make sure for yourself as much as possible before you drive it off.

Before whizzing away in your rented car, you should also make sure that the car is set exactly how your own would be, in terms of seat positioning of the driver’s seat, and the positioning of the mirrors. These are all factors which will increase the safety of your driving when you’re out and about.

Drive carefully

Drive carefully

This one goes without saying, but driving carefully is equally as important in a rented car as it would be in your own car. This is because the insurance policy will work in the same way, and you could find yourself having to pay out a lot of money if anything goes wrong. On top of that, you could also be asked to pay out for any repairs to damage which is caused when you are in possession of the car.

When you are in a car different to the one you are used to, it is easy to misjudge spaces and the size of the rented car, so it is highly important to pay particular attention to your surroundings, especially when you’re reversing and driving in tight spaces such as one-way streets.

It may also take some time to get used to the clutch, gears and other controls in the rented car, so you will have to allow for time to adjust by slowing down your speed. It is also important to pay attention to the speed limits and abide by them.

Many people choose to rent a car for a holiday in a foreign country, and this is another consideration for when you are driving the rented car. You will need to consider the speed limits, potentially having to drive on the opposite side of the road, and the layout of the car being opposite to what you are used to. For this reason, it is best to drive slowly at first whilst you are getting used to the car, and to make sure you know where you are going in terms of directions too.

Refrain from eating and drinking in the car

You may well be used to eating and drinking during long journeys in your own car, or when you are at a standstill, but in a rented car, you will need to refrain from doing so, as you could incur fines from a dirty or stained interior. This is particularly relevant if the seats in the rented car are fabric, as opposed to leather which is easier to clean.

It is also advisable to refrain from other activities which you may well usually do in your car, whether at a standstill or whilst driving. Painting your nails, smoking, storing junk and rubbish in your car, and doing your make up are all things you should avoid in a rented car.

If you do happen to make a mess in the rented car, it is important to try and clear up the mess as effectively as possible so that you don’t have to pay a charge for cleaning it.

Take pictures on final inspection

Last but not least, it is important to make sure you get a fair deal on your return of the rented car. More and more often, the procedure to return your car is much like checking out of a hotel where you simply leave your keys and walk out. It can even be the case that an employee does not even check over the car when you leave it.

If this is the case, you could potentially come to a dispute if any damage is recorded on the car after you have dropped it off and you believe it was not your fault. For this reason, it is important to take pictures, or even a video of the car at the rent shop before you leave so that you have proof to show that the car was in good condition when it was returned.


If you need any further advice on caring for a car, rented or otherwise, contact us at In Town Automotive and our professionals will be able to help you.

Why Preventative Maintenance is Important

Why Preventative Maintenance is Important

A vehicle is one of the most consistent and expensive outlays in your life. To make the most of your investment, it is crucial that you maintain your vehicle inside out to extend its lifespan.

The car manufacturers know that customers value a dependable car and when such a car is maintained properly it becomes safer to be driven around thus adding to its dependability too. This is one of the reasons why car manufacturers specifically indicate certain services ‘that must be done’ in order to maintain the factory warranty and extended warranty.

Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

Preventative maintenance is what will keep your vehicle running better and safer on an everyday basis while also prolonging its lifespan. Pay special attention to the preventative maintenance category and here a few items to give you a head-start to care for your auto:

  • Tyre rotation
  • Regular brake checks
  • Tyre pressure
  • Regular oil changes

Car manufacturers also create highly detailed maintenance schedules highlighting specific functions that are to be performed without fail on various systems and components. These services are carried out at different mileage intervals to make sure that proper operation is undertaken, preventing premature wear and tear.

At In Town Automotive we urge our customers to follow the maintenance guidelines compiled for your vehicle. Routine maintenance will ensure that the engine of your car runs well while also eliminating potential problems that might leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Since the inception of cars, manufacturers have always reminded their customers to have their units put through regular check-ups for a hassle-free driving experience.

Modern engineering has given a boost to the car manufacturers as they can now determine the life expectancy of certain parts of the car which enables them to come up with a systematic schedule for the car.

This involves lubrication of the car components, refilling of fluids of the car or replacement of certain parts as per the requirements.

Maintenance of your car involves basic car maintenance or a total overhaul car check-up.

Significance of Basic Car Maintenance

There are several maintenance measures that you can employ to keep your car in the best possible condition. This will require you to bring your car to us and get it thoroughly checked at regular intervals.

Having your engine checked first and foremost is really important. This is because the engine is the heart of any vehicle and with a sub-par engine your vehicle is as good as a metallic bin, a fancy one, but still a bin.

Getting your engine checked will ensure that it is in top working form and up to its speed. It is also important to have a good look at your car transmission.

Checking the Brakes is an elemental part of your basic car maintenance. Seek the assistance of expert mechanics from In Town Automotive to have your brakes checked regularly. Keep in mind that the brakes of your vehicle will keep you and your loved ones safe. Routine brake checks will ensure that you do not inflict any damage to the rotors of your vehicle, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Routine brake checks

Low brake fluid levels can result in soft brake pedals. At the same time, dirty brake pads are known to cause squeaking of the brakes. Getting regular brake checks can assist in getting rid of this problem and will also considerably reduce the risk of accidents.

A functioning AC offers comfort from the heat outside. If your auto AC emits disagreeable cooling then it is time to schedule an appointment for servicing. AC repair can involve a simple procedure of cleaning out a dirty condenser or a heavy duty mechanical procedure. It is essential that you attend to minor issues as soon as you recognise them so that you can avoid serious problems and a costly car repair in the future.

Significance of Regular Mechanical Inspection

Have your car inspected regularly for safety purposes and also to reduce the cost of car repair. Regular mechanical inspection has to be carried out and this does not mean a general visual inspection of your vehicle. Many aspects and components of your vehicle cannot be checked just by a mere glance which is why it is important that a detailed check is carried out.

Seek assistance from expert mechanics like us and subject your vehicle to a diagnostic check to ensure that all components of your car are in suitable working order. A car diagnostic tool will helps us pin down the problematic areas in your vehicle without having to gut out your car in entirety.

Significance of Immediate Car Repair

Upon experiencing any kind of car trouble, get your car checked without delay. When you address the car issues immediately, you are fending off any recurring damage. The safety system in your car is installed with the sole intention of alerting you of any problems or mechanical failures that your car is likely to have or is already having.

Additional Preventative Checks That You Must Heed

We carry out these checks to ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly:
Check the Filters

Check the Filters

Make sure that the oil filter is replaced along with the oil. Usually people who have budget constraints skimp away from replacing the filter or instead buy one which is mediocre. Keep in mind that metallic parts or any other foreign debris which are not filtered can end up severely damaging the engine of your vehicle.

Check the Belts

Check the Belts

A typical car engine consists of several belts that make a car function smoothly. These include the fan belt, drive belt, timing belt and power steering belt. As belts are generally made out of rubber, they eventually degrade over time.

Make sure that you replace these belts as often as the car manufacturer suggests as this will help in fending off problems like mechanical breakdown, loss of electrical power, overheating and heavy steering. If you do not get a belt replacement on time, it has the potential to cause severe engine damage which is surely going to burn a hole in your pocket when it comes to repairs.

Check the batteries

Check the batteries

Apart from vehicle power rating, car batteries now come with an expiry date. Batteries that come along with the purchase of a brand new car generally last between two to three years. The price of the car batteries may vary depending upon its guaranteed lifespan. To avoid a dead car battery, ensure that you replace the battery as soon as its warranty expires.

Check the Transmission

An integral aspect of any vehicle is it transmission. Routine checkups and oil flushes will make sure that the vehicle’s transmissions are in good shape.

Check the Tyres

Tyres are made from rubber and they begin to wear out after several thousand miles. So, to prolong the life of the tyres that is including the spare ones, they should be rotated every 5000 miles or so to make sure that this wears off evenly.

You need to pay special attention to the air pressure in the tyres to extend its life and usage. Check with the car manufacturer how frequently the tyres require to be replaced and do so accordingly.

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Your Car

  • Preventative maintenance saves considerable amount of money as you can avoid expensive car repairs occurring from mere neglect.
  • Taking good care of your vehicle gives you peace of mind as you know you and your family are safe while travelling.
  • Proper care increases the dependability of the vehicle.
  • Healthy emission system makes you contribute towards a cleaner environment.
  • A well maintained vehicle is of more value when you plan to sell it off.

Car repair and maintenance

Car repair and maintenance are very essential and must not be taken for granted. By adhering to preventative measures you are able to conserve a lot of time, effort and money and get the most out of driving.