Keeping your Car Safe and Reliable

On 12th December 2018, I received an email from NRMA Insurance with the subject line “Darryl, is your car ready for Christmas?” The email contained the graphics shown below.

My house is insured by NRMA, but my car isn’t, but I still thought that it was a nice gesture which read:

Keeping your Car Safe and Reliable

The message inside was quite basic, with 5 little tips on what to check on your car before you go taking off on an annual holidays drive. It made me think about what we do to every one of our rental cars, prior to every rental, no matter how short or long the rental is to be.

I thought that if the NRMA tips were a timely reminder to ensure the roadworthiness of your car before you travel any distances, perhaps our pre-rental routine would serve the same purpose, but in much greater detail.

Gold Coast Family Car Rentals Vehicle Preparation and Presentation

Electrical matters

In a two-person operation; one operating the controls and one visually checking the results, we check the functionality of the headlights, both high and low beam; the parking lights; the turning indicators; hazard lights; brake lights; reversing lights; tail and number plate lights.

We check the age of the battery; the contact points for both tightness and signs of calcification; and we check the charge level of the battery using a charge meter. We also check the cabin lights, door lights and boot lights.

We ensure that the radio is properly operating with the auto selectors set for stations with strong reception within the local area; the clock shows the correct time and the trip meter is set to zero. If the vehicle has GPS, we set “Home” as our office and remove all other destinations other than those of potential interest to the next user (e.g. Theme Parks and major attractions, airport etc.)

Mechanical and safety items

We check to see whether any comments about the condition of the car have been made by the previous renter and we ensure the rectification of any matters requiring correction.

We check all visible hoses within the engine compartment to ensure pliability; coolant levels and windscreen washer fluid levels. We also check the wiper blades and the washer jets to ensure that they are serviceable and correctly operating.

We check the lubricant levels (oil, power steering, brake fluid) to ensure that they are at safe operational levels and quality. We have a scheduled service register to advise us when each car should be serviced, but visual inspection always overrides scheduled work.

We check tyre tread and pressure and wheel nut tightness; the condition of the spare tyre and the existence of a wheel brace and car jack.

We check the operation of the air conditioning system to ensure cold air is available if required.

We check the condition of the seat belts, ensuring there is no fraying and we fold the rear seatbelts.


We remove all items remaining from the previous rental.

We clean the wheels and tyres. We vacuum the boot and the front and rear compartment floor covering and floor mats. We clean the “plastics” – the dash board area; the door features; the steering wheel and the console covers.

We clean the upholstery, using stain removers whenever needed; we clean the inside of all windows (including the rear screen) and we deodorise the vehicle.

We clean and install any child safety seats required by the next renter.

We wash the exterior of the vehicle and remove the excess water either by chamois or by rubber scrapers.

We complete the vehicle condition report, detailing what we have done in preparing the car and highlighting any pre-existing damage to the vehicle. A copy of this report is given to our customer and we jointly inspect the completeness of the damage noted.

When the customers arrive to collect the car

Whilst the customers are completing the paper work, we load their luggage into the car and if it is a warm day, we start the motor and turn the air-conditioning on. The cars are always parked so that they can be driven out of our premises without reversing.

We ensure that our customer is aware of the location of the boot and fuel releases; the fuel intake point; mirror and seat adjustments; parking brake operation and any other idiosyncrasies of the vehicle. 

You may not need to “prepare your car for rental”, but there are tips in our operations that can be relevant to the average family car – we would love to receive your comments.

Posted By darryl on 14th December 2018

Updated : 14th December 2018 | Words : 761 | Views : 3548

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Keeping your Car Safe and Reliable

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