A few things to consider when hiring a rental vehicle in St. Lucia

When deciding to hire a rental vehicle, there are many things to look out for. The rental companies typically have procedures in place to ensure that the transaction goes without a hitch. Here is how you can guarantee that things go smoothly on your end:

Inspect the vehicle:

- Rental companies typically have the rep walk around the vehicle with the client and take note of the cosmetic condition of the vehicle. For example: scratches, dents, etc. Clients should pay attention to the details as well, of the interior and exterior of the vehicle. The rep may miss out on something that you can point out. You do not want to be responsible for another person’s misuse of the car.

Acquaint yourself with the vehicle:

- Every car is different. You may be renting a car that is completely different from those you are accustomed to. The rep will most likely show you how to use the vehicle; where the car functions such as Air Conditioning, lights, windshield wipers and handbrake are located. Be sure to ask any questions you need to to feel confident when driving. Take some time to adjust the seat and mirrors to your liking.

Map out a plan:

- A rental car is very convenient for spur of the moment adventure. However, it would be wise to be aware of the locations of the Gas stations so you can fill up when you need to. The rep should inform you of the type of fuel your rental car will require, so you can take note of the places near you where you can find it. Be sure to return the vehicle with the fuel level that you received it, otherwise, you may accumulate additional fees.

Stick to the return time:

- Car rental companies, especially during the high season, run on a very tight schedule. Please return the rental car on the agreed time as delay charges add up fast and might cost you a full rental day plus extras if you have not informed the company.

Be mindful of the vehicle’s limit:

- While you can choose to hire a 4x4 vehicle, keep in mind they have limitations as well. Four-wheel drive vehicles are heavier because four-wheel-drive systems weigh more and sometimes it requires a bit of skill or familiarity to access some off-road places. Two-wheel drives can not perform the same duties as the 4x4 vehicles, so please do not try to force them to.

Any damages that might happen during your 4×4 endeavours, or if you get stuck in the sand at the beach, is not something that is covered by insurance. You will be paying extra fees for towing and cleaning.

Secure good parking spots:

- There are a lot of good parking spaces and car parks on the island. However, sometimes you may just want to dash out of the vehicle for a quick stop and may come back to find the windscreen broken. It is always wise to secure a good parking spot, away from trees or tight spaces.

Don’t lose your car keys:

- Car keys are no longer the same as they used to be. You can’t just go to your local hardware store and get a new copy. Complex electronics are located inside the car keys and since you can’t get them copied, the rental company must order a copy from the manufacturer which you will be required to pay for.

posted by Kay.T