Avoid a blame game. Inspect rental cars for damage at the lot.

Inspect the rental car before you leave. Always check for damage, and take the time to point out anything you notice to an agency staffer—otherwise you could be charged for damage. Look for dings on the windshield, dents and scrapes, torn upholstery, missing ashtrays, etc. Don’t forget to check the trunk, interior roof, and floor. Pop in a CD and see if the CD player works. Test the ignition, horn, headlights, blinkers, and windshield wipers. Check the trunk for spare and jack. Locate the gas tank; make sure the gas cap is on and can be opened.