Have you ever been in an invisible car accident? Have you ever received a car repair bill four or five months after a car accident? No? Then, you probably have not rented from a shady car rental company.
Even some “reputable” car rental companies have been caught “discovering” car accidents well after their customers return cars.
Collision Damage Waiver
You have probably heard the hard sell with the Collision Damage Waiver at the rental car sales counter. What if you get into a car accident? Well, with the CDW, you can just drop the car off and walk away.
You probably have not been told about the invisible car accidents that rental car accidents sometimes blame customers for, in which damages are attributed to random past renters.
Months after you returned and paid for your car, you receive a bill for a collision or damage. The bill is often vague, but it claims that you damaged the vehicle during the time you had it, and you have a few options.
You can fight it, and send it to your attorney. You can send it to your car insurance to pay. Or, if you have a CDW with your credit card, you can send it to them. With the later two options, you will usually have a deductible, and you are usually admitting fault.
These charges can be avoided in the future though. Just like when you rent an apartment where you video the whole place when you move in and out, when you rent a care video the whole thing when you pick it up and drop it off.
This includes the entire exterior and interior, including the roof, undercarriage, windshield and wheels. This way, if they claim that there was damage, you have proof that there was no damage.
In addition, make sure you document any damage at pick up. Have the employee sign the damage slip. And, at drop off, make sure an employee signs that it was accepted as well. Get a copy at both pickup and drop off too.