Familiarising Yourself With a New Car Rental

handing-over-car-keysIt happens.

You rent a new car for an upcoming trip.

But the moment you drive out the parking lot, you find yourself staring at the center console trying to make sense of all the controls. If renting a car feels like a new experience, that’s because it is. With your own vehicle you are already familiar with where everything is but the same can’t be said for the car rental.

When renting a car it is important to familiarise yourself with the vehicle especially if it’s your first time. Follow these steps to quickly learn where everything is.

Perform a Visual Inspection

Basic inspections are typically done for the interior and exterior of a rental to ensure that it arrives in the same condition. It is also a good idea to do the same thing so take note of any visible scratches or marks on the vehicle. You may also want to take pictures in case.

Start the Car

Take a quick moment to first start up the vehicle. This gives you the opportunity to check that the engine running well. If you hear or notice any strange noises, be sure to ask about them immediately.

Turn on the Heat and AC

Depending on the season, you will definitely want to use the heat or air conditioning. Take a moment to find these controls in the center console of the car. It’s also a good idea to find out how to defrost the windows as any frost can affect your visibility.

Figure Out the Radio

If you are planning a road trip, then you will undoubtedly want to bring along your favourite tunes. But the last thing you want to do is to figure out how to use the radio while on the road. So before you even start to drive, find where all the controls are and learn how to connect your smartphone if that feature is available.

Turn on the In-Car GPS

Many rental vehicles now come with GPS that let you enter in your destination and the system provides driving directions to get there. If your vehicle comes with GPS, take a moment to figure out the controls instead of doing so on the road.

Locate the Lights

Remember, you can get pulled over by law enforcement if your lights are not on at night time. So locate both the on and off switch for the lights, and make sure that both headlights work. You may not need to use it but also locate and turn on the high beams.


It can be rather embarrassing to drive into a petrol station only to find that the fuel latch is on the other side. So remember which side the fuel latch is on and how to release it. The latch varies depending on the make and model of the vehicle.


Finally, if there is something that you are not sure about then don’t hesitate to ask the car rental agent. They are there to answer any of your questions and help you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Looking for a car rental? Then contact us today to book a rental with Ace Rent A Car.

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