Handing in a hired car? Don’t forget your baggage (or your baby)!

Handing in a hired car? Don’t forget your baggage (or your baby)!

It often happens that holidaymakers and business travellers accidentally leave baggage behind when they hand in their hired car at the end of their trip. Sometimes they only realise this at the worst possible moment: when checking in, on board the plane or when they get home, which (of course) happens to be on the other side of the ocean… After that, it’s often a monumental task trying to retrieve the – sometimes valuable – items. So be sure to check before handing n your hired car that you’ve left nothing behind!

Too many cubby holes, tiredness and distractions


In fact, it’s no wonder that all kinds of things are left behind in hired cars, since every modern car is equipped with all kinds of handy little storage compartments: in the doors, under the seats, in the dashboard and the centre console, above the sun visor, in the boot, and so on. Extremely handy for all those things that are indispensable on a trip: sunglasses, mobile telephones, iPads, wallets, passports, airline tickets, credit cards, parking money, cameras, camcorders, navigation equipment, game computers, iPods, CDs, etc.

On top of that, at the end of your journey you are probably tired because you had to get up early, are in a hurry to catch your flight, stayed a bit too long in that friendly bar the night before, spent your business trip running from one appointment to the other, or are distracted by your darling little children who are refusing to go home. In short: more than enough distraction to make you overlook your precious stuff.

The most commonly forgotten items in hired cars

Below is a list of items that are most often left behind in hired cars, and the places in the car where they are found:

  • Umbrellas (in the boot and on the parcel shelf)
  • Cameras and camcorders (under the front seats)
  • Gadgets, such as an iPads (in the pocket behind the front seats)
  • Sat Nav (in the glove compartment)
  • Sunglasses (in the door pockets and the centre console)
  • CDs (in the CD player)
  • Laptops (under the passenger seat and in the boot)

How to forget nothing


You can easily avoid leaving your things behind in the hired car. How? By taking time to carefully check the car – not at the airport, but at the hotel – for loose objects, and putting them in your suitcase or hand luggage. So that when you are handing in the hired car, you only have to account for a few pieces of luggage.

How could you forget that?


Does being extra careful guarantee that you won’t forget anything? You might think so. Nevertheless, travellers all over the world manage to forget the most unlikely things. A few years ago, a big international car hire firm had its employees keep note of all the things they came across in returned cars over the space of three months. The result was incredible: prosthetic arms and legs, a glass eye, a set of false teeth, wedding rings, a trombone, a fridge, a tailor’s dummy, lingerie, handcuffs, surgical gloves, flowers, fresh fish, a wheelchair, shoes, a handbag containing over €100,000 in cash, a fried sausage (under the bonnet) and even a baby car seat, complete with baby!

Still lost something? Call right away!


If, despite reading this article, you still leave something behind in your hired car at any point, call your car hire company immediately. You’ll find the telephone number on the rental agreement. Chances are that your valuables have already been found by the personnel or handed in by an honest subsequent customer.

Nothing turned up?


If your lost property stays lost, you have one last resort: your travel insurance. Almost every travel insurance policy covers baggage left behind in this way. Of course, it’s best not to let things go that far!

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