How to Prepare Your Car for a Month-Long Rental?

After investigating and interviewing RelayRides owners who rented their car for several months, we share the best practices along with some nice stories.

On a business trip for several weeks in a new city, traveling for leisure, or studying for a few months thousands of miles away from home, more and more RelayRides members are renting vehicles for a month or more at a time. For owners with questions about these longer duration rentals, we wanted to share some best practices from our community to make this experience as simple as possible. Here are a few things you should take care of.

Communicate More Than Ever

Communication is critical with any RelayRides rental, and this is especially true of long duration rentals. It’s really important that the owner and the renter understand each other very well. As an owner, make sure that your renter as the maximum amount of information, especially phone numbers (yours, the roadside assistance, etc.) and precise pick-up address.

Also, you want to maintain communication during the rental. We advise you to set a regular update call, text or email: it assures trust between members and will help to solve potential small problems before they grow bigger. Some people like to get news every week, others have enough with once a month: you should decide this together, before the rental begins.

Set Rules for Maintenance

Obviously, with longer rentals, visit to the mechanic is more likely to be necessary at some point than during short term rentals. That’s the reason why you have to think about how you want to proceed, for example, in case of normal wear and tear occurring, or for regular maintenance requirements such as replacing fluids, or changing oil.

Michael Bussa shared his story with us:

M. Bussa“In February, I received a rental request from a student from Italy who would be coming to America for six months, to complete his doctorate.  He explained that he would need the vehicle for the entire period, so I knew that we would need a mutually agreed-upon plan for things such as emergencies and regular maintenance.”

Get the Car Ready

Firstly, we emphasize the importance of keeping your car in great shape when you want to rent it for multiple weeks. Remember to have oil changed and tires rotated regularly and fix known issues immediately. For instance, Chad N., an owner who rented out his car for several month in a row told us:

Chad N Member


“Make sure that the tires are good. I’m glad I checked before my last rental because my front ones were shot.”


Secondly, be aware that the first impression you car will make can have a strong impact on the renter. Take some time to clean it carefully and your renter will be willing to keep it–and return it–like that. Plus, this type of attention to detail will likely mean your renter will be returning to rent again in the future.

Thirdly, Please make sure your registration, your personal insurance card, and the relevant RelayRides insurance card are in the vehicle, accessible to your renter during the reservation.

An essential look around

It is crucial that you do a careful look around together and precisely fill the RelayRides Trip Checklist. Take your time to write down notes about all the scratches, dings and so on in order to avoid any dispute when the car is returned. To achieve the highest level of transparency, we also highly recommend that you take pictures of the car, which could be helpful to our support team in case of any claim during the reservation. Finally, you may take advantage of this walk around to show every single trick and secret of your car to help the renter feel comfortable straightaway.

Now… You’re ready!

“I certainly wish that other owners can have the great experience I’ve had with my renter — he’s become a real friend.” —  Michael Bussa


Completed a month-long rental? We would love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to share you stories and/or pictures with the community, just email us at!