Body damage - what to do?

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Old Jun 10, 18, 12:45 pm
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Body damage - what to do?

I was driving through a dirt road and the body of my rental car got damaged. Nothing severe and Im sure I can continue drive for the last 25 days of my rental.
My questions; should I go to a hertz location now and exchange the car? (I already changed my car twice because if oil change so Im not sure how they will react when I come again) or should I wait till the end of the rental and then bring it back? And what is the best? Go straight forward and tell them or wait till they find it and charge me and then fighting it if its to high?
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Old Jun 10, 18, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by heubergen View Post
I was driving through a dirt road and the body of my rental car got damaged. Nothing severe and Im sure I can continue drive for the last 25 days of my rental.
My questions; should I go to a hertz location now and exchange the car? (I already changed my car twice because if oil change so Im not sure how they will react when I come again) or should I wait till the end of the rental and then bring it back? And what is the best? Go straight forward and tell them or wait till they find it and charge me and then fighting it if its to high?
Is it the underbody or is there damage to the actual painted body parts? It would be helpful if you could be specific about what type of damage and how extensive or minor it is as that may change the recommendations.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 1:59 pm
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I think the rental agreement states you won't drive the car on non-paved roads...

Take pictures of everything before you return the car and keep your mouth shut when you return it.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 3:08 pm
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Deal with it sooner rather than later. But, spend the time to figure out what you have for coverage and how you will handle that.

As others note, you may have used the vehicle in violation of your contract. If you did, most insurance policies won't cover you, so you may wind up paying this out of pocket.

All good to know going into the situation rather than researching on the back end.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 3:31 pm
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Thanks for all the suggestions! It seams like some would recommend to go to a location right know and others think it's better to just not do anything at all... I didn't know that dirt roads are not included into the agreement and I was never told that. It was a county road but I'm not sure if that gonna help me out here...
Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Is it the underbody or is there damage to the actual painted body parts? It would be helpful if you could be specific about what type of damage and how extensive or minor it is as that may change the recommendations.
I don't know much about cars itself so I can only tell that it's underbody damage. It's a the right front of it and some plastic is hang down.

I have a insurance coverage independently from the rental company with a 1k$ deduction so I guess that will help me there. Should I first contact my insurance or should I go to the hertz location first and than find out what to do?
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Old Jun 10, 18, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by heubergen View Post
I don't know much about cars itself so I can only tell that it's underbody damage. It's a the right front of it and some plastic is hang down.
Have a look (your self or some else) under the car. At times these plastic panels can be clipped back in (or held in with cable tie or ??).
Possibly will get more damage if the plastic undercover panel is not secured soon.
Or have you bent the steel structure?

How did it happen? Did you know it happened at the time?
What sort of car?
Where?

OP's other thread on this car: - Upgrade by oil change?
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Old Jun 10, 18, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
How did it happen? Did you know it happened at the time?
So I guess I should better face it sooner than later... English is not my first language so it's hard to explain it for me; the road had like a hill of dirt and I was driving through it with a part of the car while the rest of it was much lower so the hill actually hit my car. It happened somewhere in the country of North Dakota with a Nissan Sedan.

Update; I called Roadside Assistance and because there's no corporate location in the area they call somebody to fix the issue on my car today (I guess?) or tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get out of this fairly good.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Jun 10, 18 at 5:54 pm Reason: consecutive posts merged
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Old Jun 10, 18, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by heubergen View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions! It seams like some would recommend to go to a location right know and others think it's better to just not do anything at all... I didn't know that dirt roads are not included into the agreement and I was never told that. It was a county road but I'm not sure if that gonna help me out here...

I don't know much about cars itself so I can only tell that it's underbody damage. It's a the right front of it and some plastic is hang down.

I have a insurance coverage independently from the rental company with a 1k$ deduction so I guess that will help me there. Should I first contact my insurance or should I go to the hertz location first and than find out what to do?
As noted, you still need to read your insurance policy and your rental agreement. If indeed you agreed not to drive on dirt roads and did and that caused damage, you will likely find that your separate insurance won't cover rental damage in violation of the agreement.

But, none of us can be sure of anything. You, on the other hand, can be.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:07 pm
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Hertz will cover the cost for the mechanic for now, I just don't know if I'll have to pay it at the end or not...
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Old Jun 10, 18, 8:47 pm
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The rental contracts used to forbid travel on "unmaintained roads" but now they say "unpaved". Your failure to read the agreement is no defense I'm afraid. You haven't told us enough to suggest other possibly creative solutions. I will say that when I drive a rental on unpaved roads, I do a fair amount of work to clean out the dirt so it doesn't show on return. On a dusty road, you get dust around all the door seals, sometimes inside the compartment around the gas cap, and in the wheel rims. That being said, if I damage the car on an unpaved road, it's clearly my responsibility if my insurance questions violation of rental terms. The cleanup is mostly so the rental companies won't get mad at me, or charge me extra for a deep clean.
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Old Jun 10, 18, 9:02 pm
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On rental terms here, there is an exception for use on unpaved roads for normal cars for activities such as egress and ingress to national parks and similar

For vehicles designed for use off road, there is no such exclusion and would not be an issue

In this case, it seems that it might be worth popping by the rental office t some point and getting it sorted rather than a holdup when might be in a hurry on return - from what the OP has stated, it seems that Hertz would be well aware of the situation
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Old Jun 10, 18, 10:30 pm
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Thank you for all your opinions, I just hope this ends well for me. I already changed two cars after driving on dirt roads so I guess I'll figure it out what they want me to pay.

Last edited by heubergen; Jun 10, 18 at 10:38 pm
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Old Jun 11, 18, 5:34 am
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OP: are you sure you caused the damage on the dirt road? I've had plenty of instances where I ran over something on the road (stick, can, etc) and I'm sure t cause damage and when I pull off there isn't any. Do you have pics of when you picked it up?

on the dirt road thing. If it's a city, county, state, whatever dirt road you'll be fine. What they are trying to prevent is off-roading on trails and whatever else. This is mostly old language that wouldn't hold up if it ever went to court BUT a lot of rentals these days have GPS tracking in them which is fairly easy to back audit if you took the thing through a woods rally course...
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Old Jun 11, 18, 4:18 pm
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I needed some help when I started this thread and you helped me by reply to it, thank you for that! It was just some splash guard damaged and there were no actual body damage so I guess I was very lucky The garage didn't even charge me for ripping of the plastic so beside some other damage I'm shouldn't be charged. @ucfjoe: Yes, I heard something, stopped the car half a mile later and saw the new damage.
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Old Jun 11, 18, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by heubergen View Post
I needed some help when I started this thread and you helped me by reply to it, thank you for that! It was just some splash guard damaged and there were no actual body damage so I guess I was very lucky The garage didn't even charge me for ripping of the plastic so beside some other damage I'm shouldn't be charged. @ucfjoe: Yes, I heard something, stopped the car half a mile later and saw the new damage.
OK. What I thought it would be.
Has the splash guard been refitted? Hertz may notice if it is missing.
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