You’ve rented a car, and you’re on a trip with your family. As (bad) luck would have it, there is some damage to your rental car. Whether it’s a scratch in the car park, a minor collision, or serious damage, these kinds of situations usually cause a lot of stress - especially since the car isn’t yours. What to do if you are responsible for the incident, how to behave if the collision was not your fault, and how to avoid the unpleasant consequences associated with costly repairs?
When you hand over your car, you should receive a registration certificate and a certificate of insurance to prove that you can take the vehicle on the road. If you do not receive these documents, ask for them. With the full set of documents you can freely travel, but remember that although the car doesn’t belong to you, you should take care of it as if it were your own. If any damage happens during the rental that you are at fault for, you will be obliged to cover the costs of repairing it. Here are some examples of the kinds of damage we have in mind:
All damage, scratches that are your fault, for example, you ran into a signpost in the car park,
Fender-benders and accidents you caused, for example, you did not yield and there was a collision,
All damage to your vehicle that you didn’t cause, but the person responsible is not identified, for example, someone scratched the car in a car park, broke a mirror or broke a window.
You can prevent such situations and take advantage of additional protection packages, which waive the liability for damage caused during the rental. Some people believe – wrongly – that they are such good drivers that they don’t need additional protection. In fact, it’s not about the driver’s skills, but rather random situations that we have no control over, like getting a flat tire while on the road. The price of additional insurance depends on the scope of coverage: usually it’s anywhere from a dozen to several dozen PLN per day, depending on the company. We always encourage you to ask our representatives about the scope of coverage, to be sure that both damaged tires and broken windshields are covered by your chosen package.
If you’ve been in a collision or accident and you’re too stressed to remember what to do, your best move is to call the emergency number of the rental company and follow the instructions given to you by their employee. Kaizen Rent cars display our emergency number +48 76 727 99 91 in several places:
on a sticker on the driver's side door,
on a sticker on the sun visor,
on the fragrance tag,
and in the information folder in the glove compartment of your vehicle.
Always summon the police to the scene. Even if the at-fault driver humbly admits to their guilt, for your own safety you should make sure that the police come to prepare a report. There have been situations where the person liable, despite admitting to their fault at the beginning, changed their statement to the insurer. And if the insurer refuses to pay damages for this reason, then you will be held liable for the cost of repair.
When the police arrive, you should write down the following details:
the number of the police report, case number and police unit,
registration number of the at-fault driver’s car,
the first and last name of the other driver,
information about the owner of the other driver’s vehicle as it appears in the car’s registration certificate,
the number of the perpetrator's insurance policy and name of the insurer.
Immediately notify us of the damage by calling +48 76 727 99 91. If the damaged vehicle is not drivable, we will provide you with a replacement car and ask you to fill in a damage report form. Do this as soon as possible, because we decide about further settlement of the claim on the basis of the information you provide. If you don’t give us this document quickly, we can’t repair the car, which in practice means that the car is left in the garage instead of being driven. In such a situation, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions, we may charge you with any costs resulting from the vehicle being out of service.
If the damage is the result of an act of vandalism, report this fact to the police. Very often, thanks to CCTV monitoring, it is possible to identify the perpetrator. Similarly, in the case of damage incurred in a car park, if there is CCTV monitoring of the lot, you should speak with the administration or security company responsible for nearby buildings.
If we are discussing a typical comprehensive claim resulting from damage for which you are at fault, you should make a joint statement about the road incident at the scene of the event and provide the original statement to the injured party.
Immediately inform us about the damage by calling the following number: +48 76 727 99 91. During the call, please give us the following information:
The time and place where the damage occurred or was first noticed,
description of the circumstances of the incident,
description of the scope of damage and, if possible, send us photographs of the damage.
Remember that, just like in the case of a third-party claim, you are required to fill in a damage report form, which you should deliver signed to us as soon as possible so that we can begin the claim settlement procedure.
In case the damage to your vehicle does not allow you to continue driving, we will provide you with a replacement vehicle. Exceptions are situations in which the framework agreement with the rental company provides otherwise.
In case of damage to a rented car, you should not try to repair the car yourself. Please remember that we will take care of all formalities related to reporting the damage to the insurance company and subsequent repair of the car. You report the damage only to a Kaizen Rent representative.
When using rental services, you should remember that even if you buy a package with additional protection, it doesn’t mean you can forget about taking proper care of the car. If you commit gross negligence or damage to the interior of the car during the rental, the insurance company may refuse to pay compensation, and you will be obliged to cover the repair costs.
To sum up... treat a rented car as your own, find out about the range of coverage available from the rental company, and choose the right options for you to avoid unnecessary stress and costs in case of damage to the vehicle. And above all, travel safely!