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Are there any additional strategies that can be used at night when trip schedule requires picking up and returning a rental car at night? Parking areas are usually dimly lit which makes seeing vehicle issues and picture taking very difficult.
Use the flashlight on your cell phone to take pictures or video of the entire car- we do it all the time. The works in dim light. I shine my flashlight while my wife videotapes but we’ve also done it fine by ourselves.
If you are dropping off the car when the agency is closed, remember you are still responsible for that car until it’s checked in the next day. If someone smashes into it in the middle of the night- it’s still your responsibility.
If I was doing an after hours drop off I would consider the cost of all the damage waivers — even if you get good lighting in — as an example — an airport garage — and document the car with no damage — as Neil pointed out anything can happen and the renter is responsible until the car is checked in.
@jrkyaker If it was me and the rental isn't too long, pay for the CDW. This week I picked up a car in the pouring rain which would have made it miserable to video the car and hard to see any scratches. I bought the bullet and paid the $50 for the insurance.