Consumer guide to renting a vehicle

Renting a vehicle in Sri Lanka is very straightforward, especially if you follow the RACA guidelines. Whenever you want to rent a vehicle make sure you ask the right questions beforehand. RACA Members will gladly answer any questions you have so that you can rent with confidence. You can identify RACA Members by the RACA logo on their premises, rental contracts and stationery. If it’s not displayed, you should ask for proof that the company is a Member.
Here are the top rental tips to make sure that your rental goes smoothly.

Rental agreement

The rental agreement sets out the details of the contract between you and the rental company. It includes details of the vehicle, what you’ve agreed to pay for the hire and when it begins and ends. Check the following:

  • How much is the rental rate? RACA Members pledge to offer the best price available to suit your needs – so give as much
    information as possible about your trip, the number of passengers and luggage/load.
  • What is included, or excluded? For example, is it for unlimited mileage or not? What about insurance? Does it include VAT? Are there any restrictions which you must adhere to in order to secure the rate, eg weekend rates will normally require you to return the vehicle before a specified time on Monday morning.
  • Is the vehicle mileage recorded properly on the rental agreement both on collection and return?
  • What happens in the event of a breakdown? Most rental vehicles are covered by roadside assistance. Check which roadside assistance company is used by the rental company and make sure you’re given the telephone number.
  • Do you have the necessary documentation with you? You will need a credit card, driving licence, additional identification such as a passport, utility bill, etc. If you have one of the latest ‘photo’ style licences you must take both the photo licence and the counterpart with you. Check what you will need when making the booking
  • Do you have the necessary documentation with you? You will need a credit card, driving licence, additional identification such as a passport, utility bill, etc. If you have one of the latest ‘photo’ style licences you must take both the photo licence and the counterpart with you. Check what you will need when making the booking

Vehicle condition

The rental company, if it is a RACA Member, will provide a clean, modern and safe vehicle
that has been maintained to the manufacturer’s standards. In addition, it will have been
thoroughly checked over prior to the rental.Your responsibilities:

  • Inspect the vehicle carefully on collection by walking all the way round it looking for any signs of damage. Check the spare wheel and the tools. Make sure that any damage is noted in full on the rental agreement before you sign it.
  • Allow plenty of time, particularly at busy rental sites, when checking the vehicle on return. Make sure that the vehicle is inspected by the rental company and that you both agree, note and sign for any damage on all copies of the rental
    agreement.
  • Do not load the vehicle beyond the manufacturer’s maximum weight recommendations. Heavy objects should be as close to the centre of the vehicle and as low down as possible.

Insurance

Vehicles will need to be insured by the rental company as required by Sri Lankan law. The rental company expects you to take good care of its vehicle and you will be expected to pay for any
damage to the vehicle except for

  • Damage covered by the insurance
  • Damage which was noted on the damage control diagram at the start of the agreement,
  • Damage arising from the rental company’s negligence or breach of contract. This also applies to the theft from the vehicle.

You should check the following:

  • What does the insurance provision cover?
  • How much is the insurance excess you would have
    to pay in the event of damage? Usually it will be the value of the refundable deposit you pay All ways ask for insurance limited liability details. The RACA member will be only to glad to explain in detail.
  • Are there any insurance exclusions, for example windscreens, tyres or overhead damage, damages to the vehicle due to negligence?
  • If there is to be more than one driver have you given the rental company all the details? There are also certain age limitations when renting certain vehicles
  • What should you do if you have an accident? Donot admit liability but exchange names and addresses including insurance companies, anywitnesses and the rental company. Does an on the spot assessor arrive at the location? must you obtain a Police report regarding the accident?

Fuel

Misfuelling is not only an expensive mistake, it can delay your journey considerably. When
you pick up the vehicle make sure:

  • Check the type of fuel that the vehicle uses. A large proportion of vehicles use petrol. Putting petrol into a diesel engine or
    diesel into a petrol engine, causes severe damage for which you would be liable.
  • Ask what the rental company’s refuelling policy is and check the fuel levels on both collection and return. Most companies operate a empty tank to empty tank policy. So, return the vehicle with a empty tank. (with sufficient fuel to go to a pump station)

How to complain

In the unlikely event that you do have a complaint, take it up first with the rental company
If your complaint isn’t settled then you have the option to use our conciliation service. Write, giving full details including copies of all documentation or correspondence, to the:

Use only a RACA Member

We always strongly recommend you to rent only from a RACA Member. Only then can you be assured of honesty, integrity and value for money backed up by a robust Code of Conduct and a reliable customer conciliation service.
The Rent A Car Association – Sri Lanka is the trade association of the vehicle hire industry in Sri Lanka. Its Members operate a large fleet of vehicles and account for around 2/3 of the industry by fleet size. RACA Members operate under a mandatory Code of Conduct setting out strict quality criteria which are backed up by regular, independent inspections

Committee - Customer Welfare
Rent A Car Association (RACA) – Sri Lanka
50, Ramya Mawatha,
Subuthipura,
Battaramulla – WP10120
Sri Lanka

Under our Code of Conduct we aim to
resolve all complaints within 30 days of initial receipt.

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