If you are someone frequently renting cars you should know the answer to the question: Do I need to vacuum a rental car or Do I have to clean my rental car? But there is no shame if you don’t because, actually, very few people know if you need to wash a rental car before returning it.

You don’t have to worry about it as in this article, we are going to explain everything you need to know about washing a rental car, and we are going to answer questions like do you have to clean the rental car before returning it.

The Rental Car Experience

Source: discovercars.com

Now, let’s say that you have rented one of many luxury EVs rental cars. You can do whatever you like, go wherever you want, and at whatever pace you want. However, as we all know, with great freedom comes a great responsibility.

You are expected to bring the car the way you received it, which means you can’t go and crash your vehicle just for the sake of it. Okay, we are a little exaggerating. What we want to say is you can’t make a mess out of that vehicle and bring it back.

So, in this article, we are going to cover what you need to do before you bring your car back to the car rental company.

The Rental Agreement

One of the first things you must do is get familiar with the agreement you have signed and all the policies and fine print of the car rental company you are now in business with. Those agreements and policies vary from company to company so don’t expect anything and just read and understand their terms.

For example, some companies only require cleaning to be done if there are pets in the car, while the others require car to be cleaned and vacuumed anyway. Because of that, you should know what you singed. Most of the policies can be found on the website of car rental companies, here is one example of it RealCar NYC.

There are, of course, some general guidelines that apply to almost every car rental company and we are going to cover them next.

Basic Cleaning Expectations

Most companies will not make a big deal and only require you to do a basic cleaning. This means taking out your trash and belongings, and if there are any excessive dirt or stains. This is reasonable, but not all companies follow these as their guidelines.

By doing it this way and still leaving some trash they can easily apply the cleaning fee. Which, let’s be honest, nobody wants, so we are going to further explain everything about exterior and interior cleanliness so you can’t get any additional charges.

Also, if you had a pet in the car you must clean it even more because a lot of companies will charge you a fee for having even a single hair of your pet.

Exterior Cleanliness

The exterior cleanliness is relatively straightforward, you are expected only to wash the car and nothing more. In the situation where the car is still clean when you are bringing it back, you don’t even have to wash it. No rental car company is requiring a professional wash of the exterior.

But, you will need to remember to check the exterior for any scratches or damages before you even sign an agreement. That is done so that if there is any damage that you didn’t make can’t be pinned to you.

Interior Cleanliness

The interior cleanliness is very different from the exterior cleanliness. There are some companies that are really strict about interior cleanliness while others are more understanding and don’t require much. But, either way, you need to clean up after yourself as it’s the right thing to do after all.

You should start with removing any trash like bags of food. After that you should remove all of your personal belongings. When you remove all of the bigger stuff out of the car you should check under the seats, glove compartment, and the trunk of the car to ensure everything is out.

You should also vacuum it, to take all of the debris out of the seats and floor mats. By doing it that way you will ensure that there will be no additional charges.

Avoiding Additional Charges

Don’t confuse cleaning a rental car with being polite or maintaining a good relationship with the rental company. Everything in this article is about avoiding paying additional charges that will for sure be applied to your contract if you bring the car back dirty and not usable right away.

That additional charge could range from a couple of dollars to a significant amount of money depending on the amount of washing needed to get that car in a presentable state.

We understand car rental companies on that one because they are losing money if they need to clean the car. Especially if the car you are in is already booked, they would need to compensate them because they are waiting for the car.

Closing Thoughts

So, we have come to the end of this article. And to put everything into retrospect, if the questions like Do you have to wash a rental car or Do you have to vacuum a rental car before returning it still come to mind, yes, you should wash it, and most likely vacuum it before returning the rental vehicle.