What to do when you are in a rental car accident
What constitutes damages?
Even if you aren’t in an accident, you may have to pay for any of the vehicle’s damage. When are you liable and when aren’t you can be tricky. To make it simple, just know than any and all things that happen to that car once you leave the lot are your fault. Here are some examples from a few large U.S. rental car companies.
Avis – You are responsible for any and all loss of or damage to the car resulting from any cause including but not limited to collision, rollover, theft, tire damage and vandalism, seizure/medical condition, flood, fire, hail or other acts of Nature.
Budget- Budget has the same legalize as Avis (sister companies). They go on to say that if the accident isn’t your fault you should “ensure that you get the other party’s contact information so we may pursue them and/or their insurance company on your behalf for damages. Please note that our pursuit of the other party does not absolve you from your contractual obligation to pay for the damage.”
Dollar Rental Car– regardless of who or what caused the accident, the renter and additional drivers are liable for any loss or damage to the rental vehicle, as well as actual towing/storage charges, loss of use, diminution in value, etc.
Yes, this seems like a lot of work, but it can save you a lot of time and even more money in the end if you address a car rental accident correctly.
The most important tip of all is– always call your rental car company as soon as damage is done to a vehicle, no matter how minor. They can walk you through their process and help you get back to your vacation quickly.
Photo of car accident on road via ShutterStock.com