As a renter of a vehicle, you may be confronted with problems with your rental car: in case of necessary repair, accident, theft, ticket or delay on the day of return. That’s why it’s important for you to know your rights, the laws and the practices that govern car rental. Here are our tips for responding well in these situations.
Your rights in case of a problem with a rental car
1) Unavailability of the reserved vehicle model
It may happen, when removing a vehicle from the rental agency that the reserved model is no longer available. What options are available to you?
You can request a higher class vehicle at the same price.
You can also accept a model of lower range, the renter will then be required to review the rental rate down.
And if it does not suit you, you can cancel the contract or ask for compensation.
Tip: In all cases, ask the lessor to notify the changes in the lease.
2) Delay in the return of the rental car
Beyond the fact that the vehicle must be returned with the full fuel tank and mileage corresponding to the terms of the contract, under penalty of paying a surcharge, you must also submit to the date and time of return provided for in time of rental. You have a passing tolerance of 59 minutes usually. Any late delay will be subject to an additional billing day.
Tip: We invite you to bring the vehicle back to the opening hours of the agency. If this is not possible, be sure to park the car at the location indicated by the agency and to take pictures to have tangible evidence in case of a dispute related to the condition of the vehicle.
3) Breakdown of the rental car
Although the renter is obliged to provide you with a car in good working order, a breakdown is still possible. In this case, you must use the assistance services of the rental company. Please note that your renter will have to cover the costs related to the immobilization. Any expenses incurred by you, such as accommodation costs if you were staying at the hotel during repairs, will be subject to a refund provided that your renter has given you prior approval.
Tip: In any case, contact the rental agency which will tell you what to do. Keep all repair bills and other possible costs for the renter to refund if necessary. Never subscribe your car and get in touch with the assistance person indicated by your renter.
4) Accident of the rental vehicle
During the rental period, an accident can happen. In this case, complete the report well and send it to the agency. If the vehicle is immobilized, use the assistance services indicated in your rental agreement.
Tip: Although the law leaves you 5 days to inform the rental agency, we advise you to contact it as soon as possible! Complete the report carefully: the reimbursement of repair costs will be borne by the person responsible for the accident.
5) Theft of the car
You may also be faced with theft of your rental vehicle. Again, notify the agency as soon as possible. In any case, you have 48 hours.
Note: In case of theft of keys, you may not be covered. The theft of keys is often excluded from the conditions of application of the flight insurance. Be attentive to your personal belongings!
6) Contravention on a rental car
Be aware that the rental agency will send you any minutes corresponding to the vehicle and the period during which you have been in possession of the vehicle. It is possible that you receive a ticket after returning the rental car!
7) Stripe on the vehicle
Check the condition of the vehicle at the time of the inventory and make note on the contract the slightest scratch or scratch found. If a brand new, not mentioned on the contract, is visible at the time of the return, you will be considered as only responsible and should pay you a repair invoice.
Tip: Take time to photograph the vehicle during the inventory. In case of litigation and appeal to the local judge, you will have hard evidence to present.
How to proceed in case of dispute with a car rental company: amicable agreement or legal procedure?
To settle a dispute with a car rental company, two options are available to you, the amicable or the legal procedure. We advise you to always start with the first possibility. By being clear, detailing the situation and bringing a maximum of evidence (photos or invoices), there is a good chance that the dispute is settled under the best conditions.
Tip: Before going to court, ask a consumer association for advice.