Travel Tip of the Week: Set Up Your Rental Car

I am sure at one point in time you will go on a trip and have to rent a car. It is great to be mobile but you want to be also safe while traveling.

Technology advanced so much in the recent years and cars come with more and more safety features standard. Convenience Features also become a standard nowadays like keyless entry and go. But to make use of all that technology check the settings of your car and set it up right.

By that, I don’t mean just get your seat and mirrors in the right position and tune in to your favorite radio station. I am talking about the vehicle settings.

Most cars have a screen, where you can check the settings. Some have the settings hidden in the dashboard screen and some others have it in the settings section of the center console screen. Get in your car and before you drive off, check the car settings. Like on my last rental, the car was equipment with Lane Keep Assistant (LKA). It was turned on, but you could specify how it would react if it detects an unwanted large change. When I got the car it was set up to just vibrate but you could also set it up to steer. In case you depart a lane without the blinker, the car will counteract this movement automatically. This could save you from hitting another car in the lane next to you.

A couple of other systems which cars can have. It really depends on how the rental agency specified the car when they put it in their fleet. But if you get a higher class vehicle, you most likely have some assistant systems.

  • Automatic High Beam
  • Cross-traffic Warning
  • Blindspot Monitoring
  • Collision Avoidance
  • Backup Camera settings
  • Park Assist

Besides that, there are also mine convenience settings like. Folding mirrors when you lock your cars or tilt the mirrors down when you are in reverse to see the curb better.

There are too many possibilities to list them all here, but you get the idea. Play with your car a little bit before you drive off and you will have even more fun.

But there is one thing, I can’t wrap my head around why nobody is adding it to their cars in the US. It’s adaptive cruise control. This means, the car is measuring the distance between you and the car in front of you and when the car in front of you slows down, your car will automatically slow down as well, no matter what you have your cruise control set at. This is awesome so convenient if you sit in rush hour traffic and you basically don’t have to play with gas and brake pedal all the time. The car will do it for you.

But I haven’t seen that in a car with a conventional car rental company or car rental 2.0 companies like Silvercar. I don’t get it, because this will also increase the value of the car when they are selling it off. If you rent a luxury car in Germany for example, the car is most likely equipped with all the whistles and bells you can imagine.

Are you checking your car’s settings before you drive off?

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