When travelling, renting a car often seems to be a practical solution. Many families or travel buddies prefer to rent a car, particularly when on a holiday trip. 

As much as you want to ensure safety on the road, accidents do inevitably happen. The rented car may end up with some damages that you will be held responsible for. On the other hand, there are instances when there are damages that weren’t caused by you. Even in such situations, the rental company may charge you for the damages you didn’t do. 

How do you go about dealing with this scenario? We’ll answer this critical question in the following section. Keep on reading to learn more about charges of car rental damage and how to dispute them.

What to know about car rental

When it comes to car rental, the whole process of renting and returning the car is relatively easy and straightforward. Typically, rental companies take the charges from the credit card used for the rental deposit. You will be asked to fill out some paperwork and will be provided with a document stating your responsibilities while the car is in your possession. 

Two vital forms are handed out: check-in form that is completed when the car is hired and check-out form when the car is returned. Any damage is marked on both forms before and after the rental. If any new damage is listed, you will be charged for it.

How to dispute car rental damage charges

When you are charged for damage on the car you believe you didn’t do or cause, then you have the right to dispute the said charge. When doing so, make sure to be prepared with all the paperwork and know exactly what to do. Follow the steps below:

  1. Secure all the paperwork: When challenging any reports of damage, make sure to keep all of the pertinent paperwork. Before travelling, document the vehicle’s state by taking plenty of photographs. You can use your smartphone that automatically tags the photo to a specific time, date, and location.
  2. Inform the staff of unlisted damages: Before signing the check-in form, inspect the car and take note of some damages that aren’t listed. Inform the staff at the rental desk and ensure that these damages are indicated on the form as well.
  3. Repeat the photographing stage: When returning the vehicle, take pictures again just to make sure. Request a copy of the check-in form whenever possible.
  4. Contest damages via the rental company: When you don’t agree with the charge for any damage, you can directly dispute from the rental company. When the result is unfavourable, you can reach out to your credit card company to examine the case on your behalf.
  5. Contact a consumer rights organization: When a dispute with the rental firm isn’t successful, you have the right to bring this to a consumer rights organization. 
  6. Take the case to court: If you need to take the case to court, do know that the process can be a bit costly.

Based on the information mentioned above, you now realize how you can get charged for damages that you didn’t do and how tough it is to challenge the said charges.

The best way to protect yourself against damage costs is by having a car hire excess insurance to protect yourself from any financial liability. This policy type covers the amount you have to pay, should your rented vehicle get damaged or stolen. 

Getting excess insurance will give you the utmost peace of mind and security during and after the trip.

If you are looking for car hire excess insurance in the UK, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.