Get Settled in the Rental
One of the first things I ever do when I pick up a rental car is to plug in and position my dash cam. I have rented many cars all over the world and I’m pretty careful with my mental checklist before driving away. First, I take a good look all over the car to be sure to note any damage that might be blamed on me when I bring it back. If there are scratches, dents and dings, then I make sure it’s documented on the paperwork before I leave the property. Then I make sure I know where the important features are like window controls, door and lock controls, and mirror controls. Getting settled, I doublecheck that the mirrors are adjusted and the seat, steering wheel, and temperature controls are right where I want them.
Set up the Dashcam
Not so long ago, that was enough. These days, though, I just don’t feel totally prepared until I have my dashcam up and running. I take an Accfly Mini with me when I travel, since It’s super small and lightweight. It’s in the pocket of my carry-on when I leave town and when I get to the rental car, it’s just a matter of sticking the suction cup on the windshield and running the power cord down to the console where it can be plugged in. Even though they’re not called cigarette lighters these days, the 12 volt plug is still referred to as a cigarette lighter port.
Ready to Roll
The wide lens of the dash cam means that it takes little, if any, adjustment to get the camera positioned correctly. It’s important to check for any local laws that might affect whether or not I can use the dashcam in the places I’m traveling. So far, I haven’t been anywhere that had any rules that concerned me. I will usually remove it from the car when I park at a hotel for the night, unless a valet is available. In that case, I leave it up and running just to show who was driving in the event that anything happens to the car.
Because the Accfly Mini is such an inexpensive piece of gear, I don’t worry too much about accidentally forgetting it when I turn in my rental car, but that hasn’t happened yet. I also haven’t had any need to produce the dashcam video to prove what happened on the road, for any reason. I have, however, found it to be very useful.