The trend of renting a self-drive car has been fast gaining popularity for many reasons. You might be in a different city for business and need a car for a couple of days. You might want to go out for a weekend trip and need a car with better highway manners or you just feel like driving a different car for a change, a self drive car is a great option.
Most of these services work via an app model and you can book them on the go. All you need to do is pick your favourite car, select your pick-up and drop-time, pay for the rental and security deposit and you are all set to go.
The self drive car rental market is catching up big time in India. After trying out Zoomcar, a leading car rental service, here are some quick tips:
#1. Pick the right car
Renting a car or buying one, it is very important to pick the right one. A car is popular with the masses doesn’t mean that it is going to be the right choice for you. The dynamics and performance of cars from the same segment vary widely. Some are better suited for city driving with short gearing, light steering and soft ride while others are better tailored for relaxed high speed driving with tall gearing and stiffer suspension. Make sure you pick the car keeping these factors in mind.
#2. Check, Re-check before you take it out for a long-drive
Before picking the car, make sure you check it properly. Minor dents and scratches on the outside are acceptable but make sure you fill them in the checklist and click photos for the record. Give yourself some time to inspect tyre pressure, fuel level, oil level and standard accessories before you set off so that you don’t run into any issues later. While the support is generally good, you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere during your trip. The checks are also very important because otherwise you might be held responsible for damage you didn’t cause.
#3. Know your Permits
Since the cars they offer have been registered as a commercial vehicle, road taxes need to be paid when crossing state borders. All the providers put this information on their website in detail so that customers are well aware. So it is important to plan your route in advance, see what states you will be crossing and check the taxes you need to pay. Also look up the details of the toll booths at the state entry points so that you don’t accidentally miss them and run into issues.
#4. Phone-Contact in the days of an app
While you have made the booking through an app, it’s always good to save the call center number separately. You can’t always count on the app to communicate due to the unpredictable network conditions. Just to be on the safe side, also keep the contact number of the representative at the pickup spot if you happen to meet one.
#5. Don’t just count on the remote operations
While most of the processes are taken care of remotely with the help of mobile apps, there can be minor glitches at times. When you have rented the car, you are responsible for keeping it safe. At the drop off point, the car is automatically locked in a few minutes. Ensure that it is locked before you leave and notify the support center if that doesn’t happen.
Our experience of booking with the self drive car rental services has been good so far. Do share your experiences of rental services like MiCar, Zoomcar and Myles.