While renting a car is mostly a straightforward and transparent process, a lot of travellers end up making a few common mistakes that can potentially ruin the trip. From checking the car thoroughly before driving away to understanding the insurance bit, it needs a little bit of preparation. Here’s what to remember the next time you rent a car.

Always check for a place to refuel the car on your way back

Usually, the rental car companies insist that you return the car with as much petrol as it had when you had taken it out. So, instead of wasting time trying to find a place to refuel the car, do it on your way out. Keep a tab on the local gas stations and make a plan to return to the most easily accessible at the end of your rental.

If you have an auto insurance, it will most likely cover the rental car as well

Though auto insurance policies can vary considerably, check with your insurer directly if you have the minimum legally permissible coverage (which may not include coverage for rental cars) or full coverage, in which case the coverage you have for your main vehicle extends to your rental vehicle. Most policies will cover you even if the rental car is more valuable than your own car, so you don’t have to worry if you get an upgrade or rent a better car.

There’s always scope for an upgrade

Even if you’ve reserved a low-priced car, there’s no harm in inquiring about last-minute upgrades at the rental desk. If you’re lucky, the garage may offer you free or very affordable upgrades to a larger car. All you’ve got to do is ask.

Inspect the car properly before driving away

When you pick up your car, check it inside out for anything that could potentially be considered damaged. Look for scratches, dents, scuffs, loose parts, and the windows and mirrors. Also check how much petrol there is in the tank. If you don’t bring it to the owner’s notice, he might hold you completely responsible for a damage that was there from before.