Inspecting Your Rental Car Before Hitting the Road: What to Know When Renting a Car

A black Jeep Wrangler on a dirt road at sunset.

Why You Should Inspect Your Rental

When renting a car, you need to know what, if any, damages already exist by completing an inspection. Not only can a thorough car rental inspection checklist protect you from being held responsible for any pre-existing damages to the vehicle, but it can also help you identify and address any issues before they become major problems that could disrupt your driving experience. Basically, completing a comprehensive inspection before hitting the road is the easiest way to enjoy a stress-free start to your trip and avoid any disputes or hassles later on.

Our Car Rental Inspection Checklist

Whether you’re renting an adventure-ready Jeep SRT or a luxurious Mercedes-Benz AMG, it’s possible that some existing damage or wear and tear may exist on the vehicle. Ready to learn what to know when inspecting a rental car? Here’s our comprehensive checklist to help you make sure your vehicle is in good condition and ready for the road.

Our top tip — be sure to take some photos during your inspection should you find any damage or irregularities on your rental vehicle. This will ensure you have proof of any pre-existing damage.

Exterior Body

When renting a car, you need to know what dents, scratches, or other visible damage may already exist on the exterior of the car. Some scratches and dents can be hard to see at certain angles and can be overlooked by rental companies, so take a good look and note any existing damage you see.


A closeup view of the front tire of a white car

Check the tread depth and overall condition of the tires. Check for any visible signs of damage such as cuts, bulges, or sidewall abrasions and make sure they are properly inflated, as underinflated tires can be dangerous and could lead to a blowout. Also, make sure that the tires have enough grip for smooth and safe driving.


Next on your car rental inspection checklist, move on to the interior of the car. Check the condition of the car’s interior, including the seats, floor mats, and dashboard. Test the radio, air conditioning, and heater to ensure they are functioning properly. When renting a car, it’s also crucial to know what doors, windows, locks, or seatbelts may not be working properly. Be sure to look for any stains, tears, or other visible damages to the upholstery and carpets.


When renting a car, you should always know what cracks or chips exist in the windshield or windows of your vehicle. Not only is windshield damage a common occurrence and sometimes overlooked by rental companies, existing damage can also quickly escalate and pose a safety hazard while driving. Inspect the windshield from different angles to get a more comprehensive view.

Fluids, Fuel, and Miles/Kilometers

A closeup photo of a car’s fuel and speed gauges.

Time to pop the hood and take a look at the fluid levels. If you’re not comfortable checking these levels yourself, many rental car companies will have a representative perform this task for you. Check the levels of all the essential fluids, such as oil, coolant, and transmission fluid. If any of these are low, let the rental car company know so they can refill them before you start your trip.

When renting a car, you should know what the existing fuel level and mile/kilometer reading is upon pickup. This can help you track how much you’ve driven and ensure you don’t exceed any mileage limits set by your rental company.

Hit the Road With Confidence

Completing a car rental inspection checklist before hitting the road may seem like a tedious task, but it’s a crucial thing to know how to do when renting a car. By following our guide and taking the time to thoroughly check all aspects of the car, you can have total peace of mind and focus on safely enjoying your trip. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you notice any issues or damages during your inspection. Any trusted rental company will be willing to address any issues and provide you with a different vehicle if necessary.

Before setting off on your journey, be sure to properly adjust your rental car’s mirrors, seat, and air conditioning to your preference. Familiarize yourself with the location of the gear selector and indicators as well. Once that’s done, all that’s left is to enjoy your new wheels!

Trust Grandeliga Rent Car to Drive Your Next Adventure

On your next Dominican Republic adventure, trust Grandeliga to make your rental experience streamlined and stress-free. Our fleet of luxury vehicles are fully-loaded with the best features to keep you comfortable. Our vehicles can be delivered anywhere in the DR to accommodate your trip.

We’re available with 24/7 response coverage to ensure you’re prepared with what to know when renting your car, all so you can sit back and enjoy the ride. Don’t hesitate to call or email us today to speak with an expert and reserve your ride.

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