Car Rental Accidents: 7 Things to Do Immediately

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they get into a car accident, whether it be in their own car or a rental car, is that they wait far too long to handle the details. Doing so, in a timely manner, saves you money and most of the time will render any potential drawbacks null and void.

Car accident (photo by Timothy J Carroll)

When it comes to car rental accidents, this is especially important, as this isn’t your car and you could potentially wake up one morning to see that your credit card has been beaten to death by unexpected, but easily avoidable, rental car fees.

1.    Call Your Credit Card Company

If you’re not already aware, call your credit card company to see if they offer car rental insurance as part of the card’s benefits. If so, you won’t have to pay your car insurance provider’s deductible out-of-pocket; it’ll be covered!

2.    Call the Police & Make Copies of the Police Report!

Always call the police immediately and have the officer draw up a full report of the accident, with witness testimony, damage details, etc. This information is invaluable to your case, as it’ll be the most legitimate and the most recent. Have copies ready for both your insurance company and the rental car provider.

3.    Fully Document ALL Damage

Take notes, snap photos, ask witnesses for written testimony, and make copies of everything to send out to whomever may need it. The more documentation you have about the accident, the less chance there will be that something could go wrong resulting in you having to pay more than you should, or pay at all.

4.    If a Tow is Needed, Collect ALL Information About Location & Fees

If possible, collect all information about the tow before you call your rental car provider and insurance company. You’ll be able to communicate all of the details about the tow to them, make sure the tow costs are covered, and ensure that your rental car company won’t blow up your phone, as well as your credit card, a week later due to them not knowing where the car is to go pick it up.

5.    Call Your Insurance & Car Rental Companies!

Don’t wait! As soon as you have as much documentation as possible and the information of the towing company, call both your insurance and car rental companies. Fully explain what you’ve already collected and ask what else they recommend you do to make certain everything is good to go while you’re on the scene.

6.    Interrogate Your Insurance Company About Your Coverage!

While you have your insurance company on the phone, make sure you fully interrogate them about everything your policy will cover.

Are all repairs covered?
Is the rental income lost by your rental car provider covered?
Are you stranded? Is a hotel covered?
Is your tow covered?
Is your replacement rental car covered?
Did your other rental have a full tank of gas? Is this lost gas covered?

7.    Keep ALL Receipts!

Once you determine what’s covered, make sure you keep all receipt documentation to ensure you obtain that coverage! Be organized—any expense associated with this accident has the potential to be covered, even if you don’t think it will be, keep the receipts anyway.
This post was brought to you by Drive Now, who always have your best interest covered when you’re looking for a rental car or campervan hire. No matter which city you’re planning on visiting, Australia wide, Drive Now can help you find the right rental to suit your situation.

1 thought on “Car Rental Accidents: 7 Things to Do Immediately”

  1. These are excellent tips that I hope I never need. I’m pinning this just in case though! Thanks!

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