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Tips and tricks for a successful rental

Are you an infrequent driver? Did you rent a model you’re unfamiliar with? These tips and tricks will help you get started with a modern vehicle and make your journey smoother.

Automatic transmission
Driving an automatic vehicle for the first time? No worries! Driving an automatic is easy and effortless, once you get the hang of it. First, place your left foot on the dead pedal and let it rest there – you won’t be needing it at all. One of the biggest issues people have with automatic transmission is to instinctively use their left foot to brake.

Always push the brake all the way down with your right foot when changing the gear position, otherwise nothing happens.

Most automatic gearboxes have the following positions: P for park, D or D/S for drive, R for reverse, and N for neutral. The gearbox will select the correct gear for all situations, unless S is active. The S position is available in some models and allows you to shift up or down manually by using the gearbox or the paddle shifters. However, we recommend always using D. Just sit behind the wheel and enjoy the easy drive!

Sadly, the automotive batteries of modern internal combustion engine vehicles do not fare well with a high number of short trips. Unless you use a battery charger, you should drive for at least 30 minutes in addition to driving short distances, so that the battery has time to charge. During winter, you may need to take 45-minute trips, if the vehicle is mostly used for short runs. You should also note that modern vehicles have a lot of electrical equipment, including heated steering wheels and power trunks. Using these alongside short trips drains the battery fast. You can save the battery by switching the radio and air conditioner off when the vehicle is not running.

In longer reservations, especially during winter, it’s good to remember that occasional short runs actually drain the battery rather than help it charge up. Therefore, the outcome of short runs might be a dead battery and you waiting for road service out in the cold. We do not recommend you try to jump-start the vehicle, as it could damage the vehicle’s sensitive electronics. Should any damage occur, you would be responsible for the repair costs, so it is best to leave the job for professionals. The best way to avoid battery problems is to drive the vehicle regularly for at least 30 minutes.

If you have cargo that needs to be secured, remember to bring your own load straps. Regrettably, we cannot provide those, as according to our experience they tend to be misplaced, often by accident. The vehicle’s anchor points are installed by the vehicle importer.

If you rented a plug-in hybrid, please note that it may not be fully recharged, as not all home locations are equipped with a charging point. You can recharge the electric vehicle battery (drive battery) during your rental if you want to. If the charging cable is still in its packaging, you are free to unpack it.

When charging, always follow the instructions you’ll find in the manual or the manufacturer’s website. Note that you do not have to charge the battery, if you don’t want to. The car then recharges the battery through regenerative braking, for example, and uses the electric motor whenever possible. The drive battery is different from the automotive battery, so the car will start even if the drive battery is empty.

If the mechanical handbrake seems to be stuck, someone probably just pulled it too hard. To release it, grab it with both hands and pull it firmly while pressing the handbrake button.

An electric handbrake is easy to operate – just press or pull a button. Always remember to push the brake pedal when activating or deactivating the handbrake.

Remember to check the type of fuel your vehicle uses before refueling. The recommended fuel type is usually stated inside the fuel flap. If the recommendation is 95 E10, you can also use 98 E5. The most important thing is not to put gas in a diesel vehicle and vice versa. If you accidentally put wrong fuel in the tank, do not in any circumstances turn the engine on, as this will cause major damage to the engine and will cost thousands of Euros to repair. Instead, call our Customer Service immediately. They will tell you how to proceed safely.

Reverse gear
Some vehicles with manual transmission have a so-called reverse lock that prevents you from shifting into reverse gear accidentally. If the vehicle is equipped with a reverse lock, you either need to push the shift knob (gear stick) down or lift up the pull ring to shift into reverse.

In snowy, rainy, or foggy weather, the light sensor of the vehicle does not always automatically switch the taillights on as soon as the conditions require. In such a case, you’ll need to turn the taillights on manually. In most models, the light control switch is located on the left side of the steering wheel, either on the dashboard or on the lever of the steering column. To avoid the battery running out, remember to check that you have switched all the lights off when you’ve reached your destination.

Check the tire pressure at least visually before heading out. Driving with low tire pressure is not recommended as it can be uncomfortable and may damage the tire and wheel.

Warning lights
To keep technical issues to a minimum, we only keep new and modern vehicles in our fleet. Therefore, you rarely need to concern yourself with the dashboard warning lights. Some car models have known defects that do not affect driving. These are always listed in the instructions email we send you. If the warning light you see is mentioned in the email, you can carry on driving.

If the warning light is not listed, please contact our Customer support through the m.24rent.fi site if by phone. They will determine whether any action is needed.

You’ll find information related to warning lights and AdBlue on our FAQ site. (In Finnish only.)

Winter conditions
Winter may bring challenges to driving. Our vehicles are always equipped to meet the requirements of the season as well as the area in which they are located.

If you are taking the vehicle to another area, you must ensure that vehicle is equipped to suit the conditions of the area to which you are heading. For example, if you are heading north where the conditions are wintrier than in your current location, you must ensure that the vehicle you are renting has winter tires.

Below are some tips to help you overcome the challenges cold weather brings.

  • You can unlock the doors 15 minutes before your reservation is due to start. This means that you can get the vehicle ready in time and can head off as soon as your reservation starts.
  • All our vehicles come with a brush that can be used to remove snow and ice from the vehicle and windows. Make sure that you can see clearly through the windows before heading off.
  • Diesel vehicles may need pre-heating in cold weather. Turn the key to ignite and repeat as required. This may take several seconds. You can start the van once the glow light is off.
  • Windshield wipers may be frozen to the windshield, so always check that they can move freely before heading out. If they are stuck, wait until the windshield warms up and the wipers unfrozen. Never force them manually, as they may break. If you need to top up the washer fluid, always use winter washer fluid that comes with antifreeze.
  • Cold weather affects the performance of the battery. Once you have started the vehicle, you need to drive at least 30 kilometres to warm up the engine and charge the battery. Try to avoid using electrical equipment during short trips.
  • With diesel vans, you must always use winter-grade diesel fuel in low temperatures. Always fill the tank of a diesel van with diesel fuel that is suited for the conditions.
  • Being proactive and extra careful is the key when driving in winter. Keep a sufficient distance to the vehicle in front of you and make sure your speed matches the conditions around you.
  • If you want to pick up a warm vehicle, the best option is to reserve a vehicle we keep in a parking garage.