With COVID-19 is raging throughout our communities, car sharing is no longer an option for the foreseeable future. If you need to visit family, run errands, or routinely commute to work, a car is the only safe alternative to car-sharing and public transportation. At the same time, it became the only option, not just a safer one. If you don’t have a car, the good news is that car rental services are still in operation despite these difficult times. However, it’s important to use caution in order to avoid exposure to Coronavirus.
As you know, even though we can see that the pandemic is slowing down at the moment, we should remain careful for some time. It is of the utmost importance for all of us to behave in a certain way, advised by doctors and experts, in order to help them fight the global pandemic that got all of the world under a lockdown for a couple of months now. With that said, we’ve prepared a few tips you need to be aware of when renting a car during COVID-19 that will let you stay safe and sound when leaving home quarantine.
1. Ride alone
The less contact you have with other people, the lower the risk of catching COVID-19. Sharing a car with family or friends might seem reasonable at first glance, but this is not so under the current circumstances. It’s impossible to socially distance oneself in a car, and wearing a mask doesn’t guarantee you the protection from the virus. There are more than a couple of potential sources of this disease that occupied the whole world in the last couple of months. That’s why it’s important to ride alone — so you can protect yourself and others. In addition, try to avoid interactions with service people like valet parkers and gas station attendants if not needed. This way you will be able to protect yourself from getting the virus and you are going to protect other people from getting infected.
2. Clean your rental car
If you’re going to use a rental car for a while, you need to safeguard it against germs. It’s known that Coronavirus lives for days on hard surfaces and upholstery as well as in aid particles. In order to make the environment inside a car safe, you need to clean and disinfect it. Soap and sanitizer are your best friends! At least once a day, you should wipe all surfaces inside the car, especially those you touch all the time (steering wheel, armrests, seatbelts, gearstick, etc.). Plus, apply sanitizer on external door handles every time before you use them. According to various doctors from all over the world, prevention is the best cure for this disease. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with taking precautions in almost all parts of your life, not only space where you are going to spend the biggest chunk of your time, like your vehicle.
3. Keep the windows open
Your chances of catching the virus dramatically increase in a stagnant-air environment. Most people don’t have a special lamp to kill germs with UV light, but there are simpler ways to get rid of contagion. By rolling down those windows and allowing fresh air to move freely around your car, you’re carrying germs away. If you ride with the air conditioner on, make sure you enable the external circulation function. That way, you will have an additional method of cleaning the air in the vehicle and make another way for the prevention we’ve talked about earlier. One of the most important things according to doctors is to have constant airflow in the space you are spending most of your time. By opening windows on your car and installing the external circulation function you will kill two birds with one stone.
4. Follow travel recommendations
Travel guidelines are developed in cooperation with medical professionals, such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization). They cover the most important safety measures and procedures to follow when using vehicles, whether owned or rented. Safety guidelines are designed to protect your health and well-being, so don’t ignore them. Their main purpose is keeping the health of every individual at an acceptable level and the prevention of the virus spreading onto other people. As you probably know, the whole concept of transportation was on hold for two months and some new regulation was introduced in order to put a stop to the further spreading of this virus that has the whole planet on lockdown.
5. Check your car rental service’s policy
Like companies in all industries, car rental services have changed their rules and regulations in order to cater to client needs in these very special circumstances. It makes sense to get in touch with your service or check its website for any updates. It’s likely that they have waived some fees, expanded booking age eligibility, and/or provided more flexibility for reservation and cancellation. If you want to contact them to ask them about something specific, just keep in mind that wait times may be long, as many businesses have minimized their staff. Knowing what the policy of your rental service is the most important thing you need to know before you’ve signed a contract with them. That way you will prevent all the unnecessary legal problems that you can possibly stumble across. This becomes even more important in situations where we are in the middle of a global crisis and there is a possibility of fees and fines can be even more severe than in normal circumstances.
In addition, don’t be scared to ask your car rental provider what steps they are taking in order to keep customers safe. Many businesses have implemented extra measures to maintain disinfected vehicles and locations. Moreover, it won’t hurt to inquire about what your rental company is doing to make sure their employees are staying healthy and safe.
The Bottom Line
Nobody was prepared for the situation that happened at took the whole world by surprise. The coronavirus pandemic swiftly breached into our lives and changed them for a foreseeable future. Thankfully, humanity started developing methods to fight this dangerous disease. The situation is no different when it comes to renting a vehicle. You need to make sure that you are using a vehicle that will not present a danger to you.
Therefore, you need to take good care of the interior of the car. The reason is, according to doctors, the virus preserves itself on hard soils and it can be spread on people from them. It requires a little bit more effort to follow the basic safety advice about car rentals. In return, however, you’ll be significantly reducing your risk of getting sick. Have a safe drive!