What Happens if You Damage a Rental Car? The Ultimate Guide

damages rental cars what to do

Renting a car is, nowadays, the most comfortable solution for traveling in certain countries (especially if you move from the airport to the other areas of the country).

Both for those who go on vacation and for those traveling for work… and is much easier than you think! But what happens if you damage a rental car?

Even if it’s a nice solution, when you rent a car, you have to pay close attention to the insurance policy, what it offers and what damages it covers.

Normally, when you rent a car, the policy doesn’t cover damaged glasses, headlights and tires, so you’ll have to pay the damage.

In this blog post, we’ll see how to manage these situations, who will pay for the damaged car and how to prevent damages.

Who’ll pay for a damaged car: check the insurance details before you drive

When you rent a car, you can choose many different insurance options, from the company contract, that your current policy may already cover.

The options are typically:

  • collision damage waiver;
  • personal accident insurance;
  • personal effects coverage;
  • liability insurance.

Let’s check first your personal insurance policy and also, make sure your insurance identification card is in the car.

When you get into a car accident, and it’s not your fault, these are the main things to think about. You can also read what to do if you are considering rental car insurance.

But, when you sign the contract, you should see who pay for what in case of the damage it’s been caused by yourself…

Anyway it’s not always immediate, so let’s see the most common damages and how to manage them.

What is not considered as a damage

Obviously, when you return a rental car it has to be in good condition but typical daily wear is normal and not considered as damage.

When you get the contract, you should read the rules about daily wear which correspond to the general accepted standard.

Scratches and dents in rental cars

As soon as you notice the damage, you should call the rental company and tell them. You might consider getting the damage repaired before you return the car.

This is not always a good idea, just because the rental company may not consider the repair acceptable and can charge you for the damage to be repaired again. What you can do is letting the rental company repair the damage.

The scratch, or dent, is usually considered as damage if it’s larger than 5 cm. If the damage was not marked on the pick-up statement, it has to be compensated.

Glass damage to a rental car

The insurance policy will cover scratches and damages smaller than 2.5 cm, otherwise they have to be compensated by the person who rents the car.

Rental car tire damage and bumper damage

It can happens that you may damage tires. If you replace the tire with a spare tire, make sure it is the same brand and model of the currently tire on the car.

When it comes to bumper damage, there shouldn’t be scratches or discoloration, even if small damages are not a problem.

A good practice is to photograph the rental car (inside and outside) when you receive it, in order to not have misunderstanding.

If it already has scratches, dent or tire damages, the rental company should notify it in a document.

With Rentcar360, you can request a car from a wide range of available vehicles in your location and make an easy booking.

We allow you to book your car online, wherever, whenever. It’s simple, it’s fast and it gives you real time pricing.

We also offer individual travel services and corporate bookings for business travel in exciting countries around the world.

We hope this guide has answered your questions about what to do in case of rental car damage. If not, we are always here to help!