As the saying goes, “Accidents happen” and you’re just as likely to have an accident when in a hire car than you would be driving your own car. So, it’s important to know what to do should the worst happen and you have an accident in your hire car.
All rental companies and tour bus service have different policies and procedures to cover for accidents, and you should make yourself familiar with the particular procedures of your chosen rental company (these can usually be found on the rental agreement and covered somewhere in the terms on their web sites).
When you find yourself in an accident, it’s important to record as much information as you can at the time. Always try and make a note of the following:
- You will need the name, address, phone number, insurance details and drivers license number of any one else involved in the crash.
- Note down a description of the vehicles in the accident, including their make, model and registration numbers.
- Write down the time, date and location of the accident.
- If there were any witnesses to the accident, you should get their names and contact details.
- Depending on the laws in the country you’re driving in, the police may need to be informed of the accident. Ignorance is no excuse, so this is something you need to find out about before you begin driving the hire car. If the police are involved, ask for a copy of their report.
- Inform the rental company of the accident as soon as possible. They will advise you what you need to do next and probably ask for all those details mentioned above.
- In the event of an accident the rental company may decide not to replace the car for you (assuming it’s not drivable). Again you should check for this in their terms when hiring.
If the car is still drivable and you continue your rental after an accident makes sure you leave plenty of extra time when you return to the vehicle at the end of the rental. They’re going to have lots of forms for you to fill out.