What to Do if Your Rental Car Is Hit


For many, renting a car is one of the most convenient aspects of traveling. But whether you’re driving your own vehicle or a rental, being the victim in a car accident is nothing positive. If your rental car has been hit, it’s important to know what your next steps should be.

Be Prepared

As a renter of a vehicle, it’s your responsibility to take care of it. Rental companies see renters trash their cars every day – and then try to pass it off as “wear and tear.” It’s always best to be prepared ahead of time. You’re not anticipating an accident, but then again, no one is.

Before you sign off on a rental, take pictures of the interior and exterior. These images could be beneficial in the future if, for example, your rental car already has a major scratch or ding and the company tries to file a damage claim. If you see damage, report it.

The best thing you can do as a renter, however, is to purchase insurance. If you’re covered when you’re hit, you won’t end up paying the rental company a several thousand-dollar bill for an incident that wasn’t your fault.

autobahnAfter Any Automobile Accident

It’s not uncommon to feel shaken up after your rental car is hit during your travels, but try your best to stay calm. What you do after an accident can make a huge difference later on down the line.

Whether you’re in a rental or not, the protocol for any accident is the same at first, especially when it comes to safety. According to Jonathan Rosenfeld, a personal injury attorney, here’s what you should do.

  • Don’t admit fault. Even if you think you’re to blame, never admit to being at fault. There are multiple perspectives at play, and if you’re in shock, you’re not thinking rationally. You may end up saying something now that could affect you negatively later – so it’s best not to say anything at all.
  • Seek medical attention. Sudden injury also comes with a rush of adrenaline, which means you may not feel pain, even if it’s severe. Call for emergency medical assistance to make sure everyone is okay. Always keep all documentation from doctors and emergency technicians; it will likely be useful later on.
  • Document the damage. Take pictures or video of the accident if you can, and use a cell phone to capture evidence. Jot down notes about the time of day, weather, any witness testimonies, and other information as you see it. Any documentation could prove useful to your insurance company or personal injury attorney.

After an Accident in a Rental Car

In addition to following the above steps, you should also contact the rental car company to report the incident. Assist the company by providing any information they need, but – again – do not admit liability. It’s a good idea to have an attorney on your side when you do this.

You should also call your insurance agent, because you may be able to make a claim under your personal car insurance policy. The rental company has the right to have the car repaired as soon as possible. Whether or not you’re at fault, your insurance company may still require you to pay a deductible directly to the rental company, and you’ll still have to file a claim for your medical bills – even if you purchased separate insurance from the renter.

roadFinal Thoughts


Getting into any accident is never pleasant, whether you’re in your own vehicle or a rental. Always start by evaluating everyone’s safety and addressing any medical emergencies; after that, stay calm and collected as you approach the legal side of things.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.