car rental accident? what happens?

Old Oct 10, 19, 1:05 pm
  #1  
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car rental accident? what happens?

Hey,

So I saw a got into an accident thread here and then did some searching online.. Either I suck at google or there isn't any clear info anywhere.

say I get into an accident and car is not drivable. assume I have credit card insurance and don't have to worry about any deductible...

But what then? does the rental company provide a replacement? do I have to pay for it? is that dependent on the coverage I have? Or would I have to suck it up and pay for another rental?

I can't find that info anywhere
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Old Oct 10, 19, 1:32 pm
  #2  
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First off, you would need to get the rental towed back to the original renting location. Unless you opted for the rental company's roadside assistance option (which usually is an optional service for an extra charge) then the rental company will charge you for this. If you have AAA or other similar roadside assistance service, then it's highly recommended that you take advantage of that to avoid the towing charge since it's very possible that your credit card and/or personal auto insurance will not cover the tow.

As for getting a replacement rental car, it's generally up to local management’s discretion. Lots of factors go into it—how much damage, whether it was clearly the renter’s fault, whether a claim is filed and active (helping to assure the rental car company they’ll get their money), whether the renter is willing to pay his/her deductible on the spot, etc. Generally though, assuming there was some obvious negligent behavior or unauthorized use (drunk driving or driving on unpaved roads which is against the rental contract), and no insurance/coverage issues, then the rental company should be amenable to doing a vehicle swap on your existing contract.

You may also find this blog post from AutoSlash helpful.
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Last edited by AutoSlash; Oct 10, 19 at 1:37 pm
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Old Oct 10, 19, 1:51 pm
  #3  
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Don't rely on terms such as "credit card insurance." Your coverage varies vastly.

Before renting in the first place, it is really important to know what coverages you have, what you are going to need, and how you are going to obtain them.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 2:12 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Don't rely on terms such as "credit card insurance." Your coverage varies vastly.

Before renting in the first place, it is really important to know what coverages you have, what you are going to need, and how you are going to obtain them.

oh for sure.. I've looked at the coverage terms so pretty confident with that.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 4:16 pm
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I was in a crash with a Hertz car in 2018 in Florida. The car was not remotely drive-able (a state trooper had to use his squad car to shove my car out of the active roadway until the tow truck came).

After making sure everybody was OK and calling 911, my personal insurance (because other vehicles were involved), and Chase (I had rented the car with a Chase card), I called the local Hertz location. They sent out a tow truck to bring me and the vehicle back to the location, which wasn't far. I filled out an accident report and they gave me a replacement vehicle for the balance of my trip.

It took about two months before Hertz finalized their claim. They claimed about $4k of property damage, $275 loss of use, a $150 administration fee, and $1700 diminution of value. I did not have premium roadside assistance and Hertz dispatched the tow truck (they actually use AAA's dispatching system), but they did NOT charge for towing or storage. I'm not sure how they decide who gets charged for that and who doesn't (maybe it varies by state, or by distance of tow, or by the location's specific towing arrangements?).

Initially Hertz didn't send me a copy of the claim--they just sent it to Chase and my insurance company. But after a couple of weeks they couldn't agree on a settlement value and got me involved. You should know that in states that allow diminished value claims (like Florida), Hertz WILL claim diminished value, and neither Chase (which specifically excludes diminished value from their rental coverage) nor my personal insurance (which won't pay diminished value claims on "my" car, which they consider a rental to be) would cover diminished value.

Hertz was willing to negotiate, but they weren't willing to give up on the whole diminished value amount, so in the end Chase agreed to pay everything except the diminished value, and I had to pay $200-300 to put it to bed (Hertz gave up on the other $1400).

The irony of this is that if the car is declared a total loss, Chase will cover the whole thing. A few years ago a family member had a Hertz car stolen (also rented with Chase) and didn't have to pay a penny.* But if it's recovered and reparable, you can get stuck holding the bag on diminished value, which sucks. I'm not aware of any insurance that covers diminished value for rental cars, except the rental agency's own LDW.



*While that family member didn't have to pay anything out of pocket, Hertz's crappy computer system had a heck of a time accepting that the car was permanently gone. For months afterwards my family member would get automated phone calls reminding him that his car was overdue for return. Each time he'd call back to speak to an agent and they'd promise it was fixed in their system. He kept renting from Hertz, though, until one day he showed up at an airport (after dropping off another Hertz car earlier the same day at another airport) and was refused service because their system showed he still needed to return the stolen car. He eventually got it straightened out, but that was an unpleasant surprise.

Last edited by themicah; Oct 14, 19 at 8:03 am Reason: typo
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Old Oct 10, 19, 9:53 pm
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interesting info, themicah!

My experience is from 9 years ago, so things may have changed. Hertz rental in California paid for with an AA card. I was the cause of the wreck (first and only time in my life) and it was a total loss for my rental and for the other vehicle. My insurance, Geico, covered the loss of the vehicle I hit I believe ~8k. The card insurance covered Hertz' loss up to $10k, and I believe the total was around $10,400. I called Hertz on a few occasions and no one could ever help me with making a payment on the balance, so I never did. For awhile I wondered if that was gonna go to collections, but it doesn't seem to have ever done so and my credit has always been excellent.

Hertz gave me a replacement the next morning (accident occurred late in the evening) but I had to go to a nearby location to pick it up (different from where I had originally picked up and was returning to). The replacement was actually an even nicer car. I do not recall how I got the car towed...may have been my roadside assistance, I am not sure. But I am pretty certain I did not pay out of pocket for it, or for anything through the whole ordeal. My insurance premiums went up slightly, but nothing out of the ordinary.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Lee View Post
The card insurance covered Hertz' loss up to $10k, and I believe the total was around $10,400. I called Hertz on a few occasions and no one could ever help me with making a payment on the balance, so I never did.
My guess is that the card insurance actually negotiated the claim with Hertz and they just didn't tell you. In my case I didn't even get a copy of the claim until after Chase had already started negotiating it with Hertz. Chase actually negotiated a written legal release with Hertz behind the scenes that released me as well as Hertz. If Chase and Hertz had come to a settlement I probably wouldn't have even known about that release (they would have just told me it was done). But in my case, because I had to kick something in to bridge the gap, Hertz wouldn't sign the release until I paid my share.

Not all insurers will get a written release, though. Some will just pay the portion they cover and leave you holding the bag on the rest of it without even getting your permission.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 2:09 pm
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Be insistent with the insurer on the release issue. Remind them that if there is anything left for you to cover and there is no release that you may well come back after the insurer directly.

It has to be in the insurer's interest to obtain a release which covers everything except what you are agreeing to pay. The threat of litigation will do that.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 4:51 am
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I was hit and run by a drunk driver a few years back in a Hertz rental. Luckily, no injuries. My rental car was parked when it was side swiped.

After filing a police report, I drove it to the airport in the middle of the night, filled out forms, and they swapped the car for a replacement on the same contract.

Sure, it took some time, but all things considered the process was pretty painless and hassle free.

My personal auto insurance paid primary, my credit card covered the deductible, and I never heard from anyone about it.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by themicah View Post
My guess is that the card insurance actually negotiated the claim with Hertz and they just didn't tell you. In my case I didn't even get a copy of the claim until after Chase had already started negotiating it with Hertz. Chase actually negotiated a written legal release with Hertz behind the scenes that released me as well as Hertz. If Chase and Hertz had come to a settlement I probably wouldn't have even known about that release (they would have just told me it was done). But in my case, because I had to kick something in to bridge the gap, Hertz wouldn't sign the release until I paid my share.

Not all insurers will get a written release, though. Some will just pay the portion they cover and leave you holding the bag on the rest of it without even getting your permission.
Ahh yeah that makes perfect sense. Thanks for explaining this to me, now I won't have to wonder anymore
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Old Oct 13, 19, 9:10 am
  #11  
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Got into an accident

Help - Hertz Accident

And several other older threads.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 9:10 pm
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i also had a accident today. Rented from LAS but involved in crash/accident in LA. was supposed to return the car in LAS next week. Luckily no body injuries and everyone just in shock and just some muscle pain.
It was my fault and i have LDW and LIS because i am a renter from UK. Called 911 and hertz straightaway. Other call wasn't totalled and just front side damage but unable to be driven anymore.
However the police demanded that i moved the car as it was on a red line (really tough cop). Then while moving the car the whole front fell off and its total loss. Then he demanded their own towtruck driver takes it to their impound. So then hertz said it might take 3-5 days before they can get it.

So now i am without a car and no clue if they give me a replacement and if i have to pay something. And if their LAX store will give me a new car that i can drive to vegas and/or if i then need to pay one-way-fees and when i will get one. Wish there was more info available online about this stuff indeed. Will try to contact them tomorrow to see if more info is known. And hopefully the insurances will cover all. Stressfull enough to involved in a heavy accident and then even more not knowing what's going to happen.

Anyone know if they are good in further communication after accidents? Do i call the emergency line again with a case nr or the local hertz that will come pick up the car at some point?
The emergency line also said its up to the local store if they give you a new car or not. I am Pres. circle and never had issue before so hoping they forgive me...
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Old Oct 16, 19, 9:34 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by itisme View Post
i also had a accident today. Rented from LAS but involved in crash/accident in LA. was supposed to return the car in LAS next week. Luckily no body injuries and everyone just in shock and just some muscle pain.
It was my fault and i have LDW and LIS because i am a renter from UK. Called 911 and hertz straightaway. Other call wasn't totalled and just front side damage but unable to be driven anymore.
However the police demanded that i moved the car as it was on a red line (really tough cop). Then while moving the car the whole front fell off and its total loss. Then he demanded their own towtruck driver takes it to their impound. So then hertz said it might take 3-5 days before they can get it.

So now i am without a car and no clue if they give me a replacement and if i have to pay something. And if their LAX store will give me a new car that i can drive to vegas and/or if i then need to pay one-way-fees and when i will get one. Wish there was more info available online about this stuff indeed. Will try to contact them tomorrow to see if more info is known. And hopefully the insurances will cover all. Stressfull enough to involved in a heavy accident and then even more not knowing what's going to happen.

Anyone know if they are good in further communication after accidents? Do i call the emergency line again with a case nr or the local hertz that will come pick up the car at some point?
The emergency line also said its up to the local store if they give you a new car or not. I am Pres. circle and never had issue before so hoping they forgive me...
Sorry to hear about your accident. If you have LDW & LIS you should be fine and likely won't have any out-of-pocket costs. The only thing could be a tow to get the car back to LAS, which could be quite expensive, but our guess is that with LDW included, there's a good chance they won't charge you.

Your best bet is to go into the LAX location tomorrow and speak with a manager. Be sure to have your rental contract handy. Ask them whatever questions you have and then politely ask if it would be possible to pick up another car for the remainder of your trip. Have a backup reservation with another company ready just in case they say no. The locations in/around are pretty close. You could probably walk to many of them, but failing that, Uber/Lyft is always an option.
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Old Oct 16, 19, 11:48 pm
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Originally Posted by itisme View Post
i also had a accident today. Rented from LAS but involved in crash/accident in LA. was supposed to return the car in LAS next week. Luckily no body injuries and everyone just in shock and just some muscle pain.
It was my fault and i have LDW and LIS because i am a renter from UK. Called 911 and hertz straightaway. Other call wasn't totalled and just front side damage but unable to be driven anymore.
However the police demanded that i moved the car as it was on a red line (really tough cop). Then while moving the car the whole front fell off and its total loss. Then he demanded their own towtruck driver takes it to their impound. So then hertz said it might take 3-5 days before they can get it.

So now i am without a car and no clue if they give me a replacement and if i have to pay something. And if their LAX store will give me a new car that i can drive to vegas and/or if i then need to pay one-way-fees and when i will get one. Wish there was more info available online about this stuff indeed. Will try to contact them tomorrow to see if more info is known. And hopefully the insurances will cover all. Stressfull enough to involved in a heavy accident and then even more not knowing what's going to happen.

Anyone know if they are good in further communication after accidents? Do i call the emergency line again with a case nr or the local hertz that will come pick up the car at some point?
The emergency line also said its up to the local store if they give you a new car or not. I am Pres. circle and never had issue before so hoping they forgive me...
Good luck getting the car back from the tow truck’s impound lot. This was a huge mistake. You should have towed the vehicle to a Hertz location directly. The impound lot is likely privately owned charging $100+ per day for storage, and you can be sure Hertz won’t be paying for it. Get it out of their ASAP. There shouldn’t be a reason why you can’t exchange the car at a location mid rental, damaged or not.
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