Things are "More Different" Than Others
The differences between the rented car and the car you own may
be more significant than simply the layout of the dashboard or
the positioning of the gear shift. Following are some examples.
If you're used to driving an automatic and the rented car is a
stick shift or vice-versa, it's important to reacquaint yourself
with handling the new transmission before you begin driving.
power to you!
Power steering and power brakes require a light touch. If you're
not used to driving with them, you may want to get a "feel"
for them before moving into heavy traffic.
You may be used to a big car and the extra power that it affords
you. Or, you may be used to squeezing your little compact into
the smallest of parking spaces. In any case, if your rental car
is significantly larger or smaller than the car you usually drive,
be aware of its limitations.
If you're concerned about the differences between the car you
rent and the car you own, you might want to request a rental that
is similar to the make and model of your own automobile. Most
rental agencies will be happy to oblige if they carry that model.
Few Minor Adjustments, Please
Now it's time to customize the rented car to your personal driving
the driver's seat so that you feel comfortable and at ease behind
the wheel. Be sure you are seated at least 10"-12"
from the steering wheel to allow airbags to inflate if necessary.
sure the headrest is level with the top of your ears.
the rearview and sideview mirrors so that they're in the right
positions for you.
the Hang of It
Take the rented car for a simple trial run, especially before
you head for the freeways or a crowded downtown area. You may
be more comfortable if you drive across the parking lot once or
twice, or around the block, to become even more familiar with
it. If you've got any questions, or if the car isn't performing
up to par, go back to the rental agency immediately.
Case of Emergency
Be prepared to deal with a crash or other emergency situation
while on the road.
your insurance options with the clerk when you sign out the
car. Know what your personal insurance will cover, and use that
information to determine what additional coverage, if any, you
may need to purchase.
aware of the rental agency's emergency road service provisions.
If they have no specific road service available, inquire as
to whom you can contact in the event of an overheated engine,
a tire blowout, or similar emergency situations. A good company
will give you an information sheet with an 800 number to call
in an emergency.
(Source: National Safety