Whenever you're making changes to your auto insurance policy, it's a good idea to see if the policy provides you with enhanced coverage for when you're driving a rental car. This coverage means that you won't have to pay extra for the insurance offered by the rental car provider, which will save you money on the rental fee. When it comes time to rent a vehicle, though, it's advantageous to take some time to make sure the vehicle is safe for you to drive — the last thing you want to do is have an at-fault accident that affects your insurance rate because of an issue with the rental car. Here are some steps to go through.
Check The Visibility
Before you start the rental car, sit in the driver's seat, adjust it accordingly and adjust your mirrors. Imagine that you're driving along and assess the degree to which you can see around the vehicle, both by checking in the mirrors and by doing quick shoulder checks. Some vehicles have bigger blind spots than others, and the last thing you want is to have a vehicle with large blind spots. If you feel that your safety could be compromised by a certain vehicle's visibility, don't take the risk of an accident affecting your insurance rate — go ask to try a different vehicle.
Inspect The Tire Treads
Tires with healthy treads will help you stop quickly and safely control the vehicle while making turns, both of which are crucial to helping you avoid an at-fault collision that could affect your auto insurance rate. Take a look at the treads on each of the four tires and make sure that they pass your visual inspection. A simple way to check that the treads are healthy is to confirm that the wear indicators are still fully visible. If you're concerned about the tires, don't be afraid to ask for a vehicle switch.
Test The Brakes
Reputable auto rental agencies will keep their vehicles properly maintained, but there's always a chance that a particular vehicle slips through the cracks — and you don't want to find yourself in such a vehicle. One of the critical steps to perform is to test the brakes as soon as you drive away from the parking lot. Make sure that they provide a quick response and don't give you any signs that they're wearing out, such as vibrations or squeals. If you feel dissatisfied with the braking response, return to the agency and get another vehicle.
For more information about how to get the most out of your insurance and avoid any accidents or claims, work with your insurance agent to learn what your policy covers and how you can improve it.