I recently interviewed Tammilee from TammileeTips.com, who was a car rental executive for 13 years before starting her popular travel and food blog. You can read our full conversation here or listen to it on my podcast. But one of the tips she shared was an excellent tip about car rentals that everyone should know. It could save you time, money and … even jail time! Here’s what she had to say:

Johnny Jet
When you do rent a car, do you carefully check it out? And do you document it? Do you videotape it or take photos? What do you do?

I do what I taught people in the rental car industry when I was in control. It’s what I call a trunk-to-trunk inspection. So I start at the trunk of the vehicle, I open it, I make sure that there’s a spare tire jack, any of the normal emergency equipment that you would expect to be in the car. It’s also a good time to make sure nobody’s hidden anything or left anything in the car that you may become responsible for down the road if you were pulled over.

Johnny Jet
Great tip!

So double checking, put your suitcases in the trunk, things like that, but leave the trunk open. And then I walk to the passenger side, starting at an angle. So I step three to four feet back from the car to the side and try to look down at an angle of the car because you can see dents and things like that easier from an angle. And then I walk the car. Looking at the tires looking at the rim damage. When I get to the front, I try to safely step back 10 or 15 feet because a lot of times damage on rental cars is undercarriage, where people don’t realize how low it is and they take it over a bumper block or on a road they shouldn’t. So you want to make sure that that undercarriage piece is even and not cracked. And then I look at the windshield as I walk forward, especially if it’s in a daylit area to see if there’s any sun glinting things like that for stars, making sure to look if the windshield has like the darkened sun screen type. It’s not really sunscreen but where it’s darker for stars there and then I continue to the trunk and then I close the trunk so that I have done a 360 of the car. KEEP READING: The Ultimate Guide to Renting a Car


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1 Comment On "A Car Rental Tip That Can Save You Time, Money and Maybe Even Jail Time"
  1. Don Edmands, Jr.|

    I rented a car at the Denver Airport years ago. It was night and I did a walk-around and the only thing I noticed was “grease pencil”marks on the windshield. When I got to my hotel and the lighting was different, I discovered it was a broke windshield! Beware

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