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Ensure proper use with a car rental form

Use car rental forms to make sure your agreements with customers are as clear as possible. Specifying your rental policies helps prevent your vehicles from being returned in worse condition as saves your business valuable resources

What is a car rental form?

A car rental form is a legal document containing the agreement between a car renter and a car rental company. It includes terms and conditions regarding vehicle usage and the laws that apply to both parties.

Car rental companies lease vehicles, usually to people who on a vacation or business trip in another country. There are also instances where government agencies authorize their employees to rent car fleets for official government work and missions. Ensuring that your client signs a legally binding car rental form is an important step towards ensuring the safety of your property while it’s in use by someone else.

Essential things to cover in a car rental form

Clearly defining the terms and conditions in your car rental form is essential so that renters care for the vehicles you lease. Said terms and conditions should be as specific as possible so there’s no room for exploitation in the contract.

At the same time, the language you use should be clear enough that your client won’t feel confused and will understand what is being asked of them. There are seven areas that every car rental form needs to cover

Details of the rental vehicle

Clearly specifying the details of each car lent prevents either the customer or your company from ending up with a vehicle other than the one advertised. Make sure to include each vehicle’s:

  1. Make – Refers to the manufacturer or brand of the vehicle (e.g. Volvo, Toyota, Ford)
  2. Model – Refers to the specific model line of the vehicle (e.g., Camry, Accord, Impreza)
  3. Year – Refers to the production year the car was manufactured. This can be found in various stickers where the Product Identification Number (PIN) or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located
  4. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) – A unique number assigned to one vehicle contains various information about production year, model, and manufacturer
  5. Color – Refers to its paint color and decal details
  6. Mileage – Refers to the distance the vehicle has traveled before rental

Rental period

It’s also important to define how long your customer has before they must return their vehicle. Usually, a car rental checklist includes the estimated starting date and end date of usage. But sometimes, you may want to include a specific time for vehicle returns.

The rental period should also mention your termination conditions and refund policies. Make sure your customer knows until when they can return their vehicle for a refund, and how much that refund will be.

Scope of use

A vehicle’s scope of use means the purpose it will be used for. Car rental forms usually ask whether the vehicle will be used for leisure or business trips. This information helps companies know what types of roads their vehicle will travel on.

Scope of use also includes the names of the operators or the people who will be driving the vehicle. The listed operators must provide all the necessary documents, such as their driver’s licenses.

Mileage limit

Customers need to know the mileage limit of the vehicle they rent. Mileage refers to the distance traveled by the vehicle and you can usually check this on the vehicle’s dashboard.

In a car rental contract, the mileage limit is usually stated in terms of distance. The mileage consumed is calculated by recording the initial mileage on the dashboard upon the start of the contract and then subtracting that from the mileage displayed when the vehicle is returns. Exceeding the mileage limit results in additional fees upon return.

Rental fees and deposits

When renting a vehicle, clarify the various rental fees and deposits customers will be charged. These fees include:

  1. Rental fee – The rate per day of car rental
  2. Fuel fee – Usually, rental companies maintain a full-to-full fuel policy, which means that the car will have a full fuel tank at the start of the contract and must be returned with a full tank. If there’s any fuel missing, the renter will be charged.
  3. Deposit – An amount paid to the car rental company and be fully returned to the renter, as long as the vehicle is returned in good condition. If the vehicle is damaged, this money is used to repair it.

Insurance policy and indemnification

In this section, rental companies commonly specify that all operators and passengers are expected to have insurance policies and any damage to life and property will not be covered by the rental company. Instead, damages and liabilities are the renter’s responsibility.

Arbitration and governing law

Finally, you need to clearly state which legal jurisdiction and state laws the car rental form falls under. This is important to cover, since rental policies and guidelines differ from state to state.

Which procedures are part of rental car inspections?

Rental car inspections are essential before and after you rent out a vehicle. You need to make sure the car is safe and reliable, and you need to know what condition it was in to make sure it’s returned in the same condition.

To standardize these inspections, companies use rental car inspection checklists. These are really no different than any other vehicle checklist used to inspect and maintain vehicle components. Your inspectors will:

  1. Make sure the car is clean
  2. Check for and document any visible damage
  3. Make sure the car’s safety features and air-conditioning are working
  4. Perform daily and weekly maintenance procedures to inspect radiator coolant, oil, fuel levels, checking the tires, batteries, and other components
  5. Check the drive belts, battery terminals, and brake fluids each week. Also, check for leaks coming from the engine compartment
Car rental contract for tenant and car rental company

Workflow automation software for car rental forms

A car rental form is too important for simple paper, which can easily be misplaced or damaged, leading to business delays. And paper forms are not nearly as efficient or functional as a digital solution.

With Lumiform’s workflow automation software, you’re able to easily create your own car rental forms, either by using the custom checklist builder or starting from one of over 12,000 premade templates. With Lumiform, your car rental company can:

Create car rental agreement free of charge
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