Did you know that some rental car companies charge cleaning fees if the returned car is deemed “unclean” or “unfit”?
If you’re in a position where you have to borrow a car from someone you know or you have to use a car rental service, you are going to want to return the car in as good if not better shape than when you took the car. That’s why you want be very careful while using the car, trying not to damage the vehicle or push the vehicle beyond its limits. However, some normal signs of wear are inevitable and reversible. Here are a few things to remember.
Cleaning a Borrowed Car’s Exterior
Whether it’s the car from someone you know or a car from a rental service, using the car means that it is going to get dirty. For this reason, especially when you use the car for an extended period of time, you may want to give the vehicle a good washing before returning it.
An express wash or manager's special will be the best way to remove the average dirt and dust that can accumulate over a period of use. If the car is extremely dirty or muddy, you may have to put a little elbow grease into getting the car as clean as possible.
If you do need to do a little scrubbing, make sure you do two things. First, make sure that you use a soft brush when scrubbing the car. This will effectively remove the dirt and mud without scratching the paint.
Secondly, you want to use only a soap that is made specifically for cleaning cars. This will help preserve the vehicle’s paint finish and clear coat, if any. In addition, these automotive shampoos will not prematurely strip off existing wax coats like other non automotive detergents will.
Cleaning the Interior of a Borrowed Car
As for the interior of the car, you will also need to take great care in not tracking in excessive dirt or mud into the car on your feet or clothing. While this is largely avoidable, there are times where you may inadvertently track dirt and mud into the vehicles interior. Also, accidents can happen which could mean dropping food or spilling a drink.
In these situations, a good interior vacuuming and wiping down vinyl or leather surfaces will take care of most dirt and dust that typically accumulates inside a vehicle. With more excessive dirt, mud or other stains coming from spills or other accidents, you might need to look for more advanced methods of cleaning.
A good spot cleaner, made specifically for auto upholstery will be the best way to remove even the most stubborn stains. For stains on carpeting, an auto carpet stain remover is the best thing to use. If the carpet has suffered a great deal of exposure to dirt, mud or a variety of stains, you may want to consider having the carpet cleaned by a professional auto detailing service .
If you are borrowing a vehicle from a friend or family member, it’s common courtesy to return the car in as good if not better shape than when you borrowed the vehicle. If you borrowed the car from a car rental service, while you won’t be penalized for normal dirt and dust that can accumulate on the interior, excessive dirt, mud or stains to either the outside of the inside of the vehicle can lead to you being charged extra fees.
All you need to do is mind how you use the car and clean up after yourself. By doing this you’ll save your reputation with friends and family members and if you rented the car, you could save yourself some money as well.