be sure to inspect the car thoroughly
It’s not unusual for a rental car anywhere to come with the odd bump or scrape. However, in Morocco, it appears to be quite common for vehicles to continue to be rented way past their sell-by date. The fact that they’re often so well-used, and are carrying a fair bit of wear and tear, is what allows a number of customers to fall victim to charges for damage which they didn’t cause.
When renting, the attendant will bring a sheet with a small diagram of the car and, ostensibly, will walk around the car with you, noting pre-existing damage on the vehicle, so that when it’s returned everyone knows that you didn’t cause it. However, when a car has a metric shit-ton of bumps and scrapes, it’s difficult to spot all these and make sure they’re conveyed accurately on his diagram.
For example, we had read online that a number of customers had been charged when returning their car due to a cigarette burn in the passenger seat. Despite these people not smoking once, let alone in the car, the ‘damage’ was deducted from their deposit. As we knew this, we paid extra attention to our Kia Picanto and, lo and behold, there was a cigarette burn in the passenger seat! We asked him to point it out in his diagram, only to be told ‘pas de probleme monsieur‘ for the fifteenth time. Eventually, Andrew took the clipboard from him and put it in there himself.
Now, we’re not usually this pedantic, rude or forceful. But, given the nightmare experiences we had read from others and the potential for any ‘new’ dents or dings to result in a deduction of potentially hundreds of pounds, we weren’t just going to nod, smile and agree.
So, in addition to taking pictures, we recommend that you also take a video, specifically pointing out scrapes, scratches, dents and dings. After all, when you don’t all speak the same language, this will go a lot further to proving you were right.
Top Tip // If it’s your first time renting a car, then we highly recommend you read this post – 9 Essential Car Rental Tips for Travellers – to help you save money, understand insurance, and avoid hidden charges and scams.