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The Official Car Rental Blog
03 July, 2014 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

Avoid the 'Oops... I Damaged Under the Car' Scenario!


While the undercarriage of your rental vehicle is not prominent, it is a part of the car that can incur serious damage from simple driving mishaps - and can be costly to you since this component is generally not covered under your basic car hire insurance.

So when you are out and about and indulging in all the offerings of your latest travel adventure, keep in mind the following tips for ways to protect the undercarriage of your rental vehicle.

Entering & Exiting Driveways

Dips and high rise bumps are all too common with commercial and even residential driveways. We have all either experienced or seen drivers enter or exit a driveway only to have the front undercarriage of their vehicle scrape against the coarse concrete or bitumen.

Take extra care when approaching driveways. Slow down as your speed can impact on your ability to carefully navigate your exit or entrance.

Don't forget to keep in mind what type of rental vehicle you are driving. If you are used to operating a larger car or an SUV but have hired a compact or standard vehicle, ensure you are aware of the car's lower ground position.

Parking Near Concrete Barriers

Another one many of us are guilty of is parking over the concrete wheel barriers that are prominent fixtures within many shopping centre carparks. Be careful of their location and avoid parking too close - especially when driving a smaller or standard sized vehicle.

In addition to the concrete wheel barriers, the speed bumps that contain pedestrian crossings (common within shopping centre carparks) can also pose a threat to the front section of your vehicle when you approach at high speeds. Slow down and proceed with caution.

Monitoring Driving Surfaces

Generally, car hire suppliers will stipulate that their rental vehicles are to stay on sealed roads and are not to be exposed to loose driving surfaces such as, sand (beaches), gravel, dirt tracks, etc.

In certain circumstances, you will find that you may need to navigate areas where loose stones may be present - new road surfaces, graded main roads undergoing maintenance or road works, the need to maneuver from the main road to pull over on the shoulder, or entering private property that has an unsealed driveway. If you experience these types of situations, be vigilant and drive to the conditions of the road to reduce potential damage.

Navigating the Unexpected

Sometimes we are forced to make quick decisions when driving, and this is especially so when we are faced with an unexpected item or object located within our driving path.

When travelling, ensure you are looking ahead to safely see any potential dangers. Don't travel too close to cars in front and watch traffic flow and movements - you can generally anticipate a change in driving conditions by monitoring how traffic is behaving in front. Sudden braking or vehicles swerving are good indications that extra care needs to be taken.

Don't run the risk of travelling over an item if you know that it is protruding from the ground. Use common sense and be safe about your decisions.

Consider Your Options

In addition to the above tips, you can help to eliminate financial stress from any accidents or mishaps by considering your excess reduction options through our partner, Allianz Insurance. Our insurance package offers customers the chance to add peace of mind to their rental experience by including cover for aspects such as, windows, tyres, undercarriage, roof, loss of keys, and the supplier's stipulated excess amount.

So when you are looking to book a great rental deal with the added bonus of a complete excess reduction package with an affordable daily rate, then give our friendly team a call on 1300 737 400 (or +61 2 8228 1898) 24 hours a day and let us help you to get the most out of your car hire needs. You can also compare car hire suppliers and their deals online at www.carrentalbuddy.com.au.