Simple tips while driving an unfamiliar rental car:
Firstly, never ever opt for a car rental service that doesn’t offer a wide range of vehicles. A company that has a better fleet usually has more clients and guarantees reliability. But just because you have a wider range of choices doesn’t mean that you should choose whatever you want. Make sure that you never select a car that’s larger than you are physically capable of controlling. This will help you make your driving comfortable and convenient experience. Secondly, after you have chosen a car, get acquainted to it. Even if the company is reliable, ensure that you check the vehicle to avoid any maintenance issues while you are on the board. Ideally, you should check the dashboard and note if the speedometer and gauges are working.
It is possible that your car rental company doesn’t offer the exact vehicle/model you want. In case you opt for an unfamiliar vehicle, you should locate AC, heater, wiper and washers or defroster beforehand to ensure ease of operation. Turn them on and off to check if they are working properly. Next, test the brakes and get the engine running. This will help you get the feel of the vehicle. Since every car has different types of brakes and engines, turning them will help you drive safer and more comfortably. When you are doing this, turn on the GPS as well and if required, mark your destination.
Ensure your safety by checking everything about your rental car. For instance, look if the tires are properly inflated and note if the headlights are working. Over or underinflated tires can affect the safety of your vehicle, especially if you plan driving on expressways or national highways. While you are checking, inspect the trunk as well. Ask the car rental company to provide you an emergency road kit with spare tire and jack in it. In case you require any other equipment, such as special locks or child seats, make sure that you ask the company beforehand.
Before you go ahead and drive the car, check it for any scratches or dent to avoid any issues when you return the vehicle.
Driving in an unfamiliar rental car can be difficult and you need to ensure safety. So, make sure that you follow a few simple, basic driving tips. For instance, know the transmission type of your rental vehicle. There can be situation when you might not get your desired transmission type. You may get stuck shift instead of an automatic one. In such a condition, it is recommended that you drive it in an open space beforehand and practice a little before you actually hit the road. Get comfortable with stick shift and your experience will be more convenient and safer. Similarly, know how good the brakes are. Ask your car rental company to help you test the unfamiliar vehicle. This will help you get familiar with the brakes. During the test, ensure that you leave more cushion, don’t wait until the last second while stopping or slowing down the vehicle. Make sure that the vehicle doesn’t have leaks which can jeopardize the safety of the car.
The Next step requires you to familiarize with the steering system. When you opt for a rental car, it is a good idea to note the steering tendencies and familiarizing yourself with the steering wheel. You can check whether the drifts are comfortable and how far you have to steer for a required drift. After a few minutes, you will find it easier to maneuver the car. Lastly, if you are choosing a car that has more or less horsepower than your original car make sure that you test drive it. Change in horsepower can bring a change in car’s reaction to your actions. So, check how fast it accelerates and decelerates.
Drive safely! Enjoy your ride!."