Car accident lawsuits

There are scratches, damage, breakdown, accident, theft, delay, contravention. There is no lack of reasons for disputes with car rental companies. Rental contract, inventory, vehicle condition sheet, deposit, etc. How is car rental regulated? What is your recourse in the event of litigation?

Car rental: obligations of the lessor and the lessee

Obligations of the vehicle rental company

  • In accordance with the vehicle rental regulations, the rental company must:
  • Maintain the vehicle and take care of major repairs, including those that occur during the rental.
  • Establish a rental contract and give a copy to the tenant.
  • Give the tenant a vehicle in perfect working order.
  • Check the condition of the vehicle before handing over the keys: the rental company must carry out an inventory of the vehicle with the tenant. All damage observed on the car must be listed (crumpled sheet metal, scratches, broken lights, etc.) as well as the fuel level and the mileage. A copy of this document, more often called the vehicle condition sheet , is given to the tenant.
Good To Know: Should you take out additional insurance offered by the rental company? "

Car rental companies always offer additional insurance, but are they really useful?

Thanks to the compulsory civil liability insurance taken out by the rental company, you are covered against:
  • Personal injury or material damage that you may cause to others (pedestrians, other drivers).
  • Damage suffered by passengers in your vehicle.
However, bodily injury caused to the driver is not covered. By taking out Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), you will be covered for damage you may suffer and theft of your personal belongings.

Other complementary insurances guarantee the repurchase of franchise. The deductible is the sum which remains the responsibility of the customer in the event of an accident responsible or without third party and in case of theft of the vehicle. Its amount is fixed in the rental contract. If you want to avoid having to pay it, it is preferable to take out additional accident insurance “CDW” (Collision Damage Waiver) and additional theft insurance “TPC” (Theft Protection Coverage).

Check beforehand the insurances included in your bank card. If you used a Visa Premier or Mastercard Gold card to reserve the vehicle, you benefit from insurance covering the excess of the rental contract. So watch out for duplicates. Using the Pittsburgh car accident lawyer is important now.

Obligations of the lessee of the vehicle

When you rent a car, you must:

  • Be over 21 years old.
  • Provide a driver's license valid for at least one year. Present proof of address.
  • Pay a security deposit when collecting the vehicle. Generally, its amount corresponds to the amount of the deductible. Most often, this amount is provisioned on your bank card and will only be actually charged in the event of damage. Be forward-looking: check in advance that you have not exceeded your authorized ceiling, otherwise the rental company may cancel the rental for lack of funds on your bank card. Especially since the rental companies do not accept checks for the security deposit.
  • Perform routine maintenance of the vehicle during rental: water and oil level, tire pressure.
  • Return the vehicle in the same condition, on the date and time agreed at the time of rental.
  • Return the vehicle with the same amount of petrol as at the start, otherwise you will have to pay high fuel costs.

Car rental: the most common disputes

The model of the reserved vehicle is not available

You have the right to request another model without rate increase, even if it is a higher category model. Conversely, if the replacement model is of a lower category, demand to pay the price corresponding to this category. You can also request compensation (see below: Vehicle model not in accordance with the reservation).

If the replacement model does not meet the criteria set out in the contract (for example a vehicle with a manual gearbox instead of an automatic one), you are entitled to cancel your reservation.

The vehicle model does not conform to the reservation

You have realized that the vehicle does not correspond to the reserved model (vehicle type, power, air conditioning, etc.). In this case, send by registered mail with AR a Request for compensation for rental car not in accordance with the reservation to get compensation.

The lack of inventory of your rental car

No inventory, no rental! You must require an inventory before handing over the keys and when returning the vehicle in order to protect yourself against any accusation of damage to the vehicle. Especially since there is no inventory, you are held responsible for the condition in which you return the car.

It happens that by renting a vehicle (in an airport or a station in particular), the renter offers to go and pick it up directly in a parking lot. In this case, carefully check the condition of the vehicle and return to the counter to report any discrepancies with what is indicated on the vehicle status sheet.