What does a car rental agreement look like and what does it include?

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A car rental agreement is the basic document that you must sign before renting a car. What does such a document look like? What should it include and what, as renters, should we pay attention to?

What does a car rental agreement offered by a rental company look like?

According to the law on concluding car rental agreements, they must include three basic elements. First of all, the exact details of the entities (persons) that conclude them. Secondly, the so-called declaration of will that the rented car will be subject to the agreement and the terms and conditions thereof. Last, but not least, each car rental agreement must be signed by hand by the renter and the representative of the rental company. 

In addition, a car rental agreement should include the rental conditions (i.e., those that must be met by the renter, e.g., age), the date of the contract, a detailed list of items that are handed over to the renter (keys, registration certificate, etc.) and the general conditions of use of the car. Sometimes the GTU are in a separate document – if so, you should also read them. Remember to have a driving licence and an identity document with you when signing the rental agreement – it can be an ID card or passport. 

What should you pay attention to when signing an agreement?

All points in the document are important and should be read carefully before signing a car rental agreement with the rental company. Once you complete the basic formalities, check carefully whether the car specified in the agreement matches what you are actually renting. This applies to both the make of the car and its technical condition, as well as its VIN number, amount of fuel and other operating fluids. Any doubts and discrepancies should be reported before signing the agreement. 

A car rental agreement must contain information about the insurance the car has and what is the renter’s deductible at the time of signing the agreement. Obviously, it must also include the daily cost of renting a vehicle and the manner in which the fee will be charged. It is also good practice to indicate how the renter can extend the rental and where and when to return the car. 

The already mentioned GTU, i.e., general terms of use, are a separate matter. They contain all the rules that the renter must follow. Most often they relate to the mileage limit (if there is one), the possibility of going abroad, but also some restrictions, such as a ban on driving on rough roads or even a ban on participating in races. The GTU may also include instructions on how to keep the car in good technical condition (e.g., by topping up oil) or clean. 

Additional services in the car rental agreement

What can be included in additional services? For example, fuel fee, i.e., a service that allows the renter to return the car without the need to fully refuel it. A car rental agreement with the rental company may also include the so-called no deductible clause, which protects you against possible costs of liquidating the damage caused to the vehicle in the event of a collision. Another option is to add another driver to the agreement so that the other person can drive the rented car. 

Apart from the services, you can also use optional equipment. It usually includes wheel chains (very important when going to the mountains!), a child seat, navigation device, and an additional roof rack. The agreement should also include a table with additional fees, thanks to which the renter is fully aware of the responsibility for the rented vehicle. This way, there is no doubt about the consequences of, for example, returning a dirty, damaged car or losing the keys.

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