At Fault Accident in a Car Rental

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Apr 2, 2021
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Hello Everyone,

I was involved in a car accident in my Toyota Corolla rental in late February. It was completely my fault and I am willing to pay for the damages out of pocket. I lost control while I was driving and I ended up rear-ending another vehicle causing damage to the front bumper and minor damage to the hood of the vehicle. There weren't any damages to the other person's vehicle so I don't have to worry about that.

I was recently contacted by an Enterprise agent and he sent me a document of the repairs that were made and the billing. I own up to my mistakes, but I don't know whether the repairs were fair because some of the parts that were replaced were not visibly damaged. I don't have much experience with these types of situations so I am asking you guys could give me some advice on whether or not I have a reasonable claim to dispute these charges.

The damages and repairs I am skeptical about include:
- Replacement of both HeadLamps
- Radiator Components
- Radiator Support
These were the most expensive components on the repair list totaling $1673.68 including price and labor.

The amount due for the charges are:
Damage: $3985.30 Amount Due: $3485.30
Admin Fees: $150.00
Loss Of Use: $230.87
Diminishment of Value: $398.53
Total Amount Due: $4264.70

I also told them I would be paying out of pocket and I already paid for the $500 deductible, but they still filed a claim on my insurance anyways. I have had multiple claims in my insurance in the year so I didn't want another claim that would increase my rates or possibly lose coverage from my insurance. Can you guys give me some advice on what I can do? Thank you in advance!

Link for images of damages:
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
25,517
27,954
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
You are responsible for all the damages, whether you were at fault or not.

They are also charging you for loss of use, which is the time it took for repairs and the car not being able to be rented. That is something you can ask for proof of. Did they give breakdown of every component plus labor ( and don’t forget that labor is charged by the hour) that was damaged besides what you gave us? We really need to see everything you were charged for.

If you didn’t buy the insurance the car rental company offered, you should have out in a claim with your own auto insurance company. Did you do that? They should be able to negotiate this on your behalf- they are the ones who would know if you were charged properly
 
Apr 2, 2021
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You are responsible for all the damages, whether you were at fault or not. I don’t think they bill is very high for that damage and it is absolutely possible there was that much radiator damage in that picture.

If you didn’t buy the insurance the car rental company offered, you should have out in a claim with your own auto insurance company. Did you do that?
Thank you for your reply. I just wanted to know whether or not the bill is fair so I can take further action if it wasn’t. I did not file a claim through my insurance because I am willing to pay out of pocket for the damages. However, they did file a claim on my behalf even though I requested to pay out of pocket.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
25,517
27,954
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I am thinking that the OP does not hope his insurance will honor the claim ( maybe hope they never know about it). Although I disagree with this thinking. I do understand it.
Then he needs to have a lot of cash to pay out. He can also check with the credit card he used to book the car with to see if they have any coverage.
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
3,319
5,128
113
Maui Hawaii
Hello Everyone,

I was involved in a car accident in my Toyota Corolla rental in late February. It was completely my fault and I am willing to pay for the damages out of pocket. I lost control while I was driving and I ended up rear-ending another vehicle causing damage to the front bumper and minor damage to the hood of the vehicle. There weren't any damages to the other person's vehicle so I don't have to worry about that.

I was recently contacted by an Enterprise agent and he sent me a document of the repairs that were made and the billing. I own up to my mistakes, but I don't know whether the repairs were fair because some of the parts that were replaced were not visibly damaged. I don't have much experience with these types of situations so I am asking you guys could give me some advice on whether or not I have a reasonable claim to dispute these charges.

The damages and repairs I am skeptical about include:
- Replacement of both HeadLamps
- Radiator Components
- Radiator Support
These were the most expensive components on the repair list totaling $1673.68 including price and labor.

The amount due for the charges are:
Damage: $3985.30 Amount Due: $3485.30
Admin Fees: $150.00
Loss Of Use: $230.87
Diminishment of Value: $398.53
Total Amount Due: $4264.70

I also told them I would be paying out of pocket and I already paid for the $500 deductible, but they still filed a claim on my insurance anyways. I have had multiple claims in my insurance in the year so I didn't want another claim that would increase my rates or possibly lose coverage from my insurance. Can you guys give me some advice on what I can do? Thank you in advance!
When you are involved in a rear-end collision driving a car such as shown in the picture that has no bumper and no frontal impact protection for the hood, grille, headlights, and components behind the grill such as the radiator, you will likely cause significant damage beyond the externally visible damages.

The car rental company will insist on the replacement of any component with even minor damage that you might ignore on your own vehicle in a similar crash. The car rental company needs the rental vehicle restored to pre-collision condition 1) to preserve its ability to continue to rent the vehicle, and 2) to maintain the vehicle's resale value in the future (or charge the Diminishment of Value: $398.53).

You are not in a position to dispute the repairs or their cost. To do so you would have to have had the car inspected by an independent repair shop (which the rental agency would not allow since it is not your vehicle). Once the repairs are performed you are respsoible for the cost of the repair, as well as the other charges. You might be able to negotiate the loss of use, diminishment of value, and admin fees, but there is no realistic prospect of getting a reduction on the actual repair costs.

You will need to decide how to deal with the charged costs through your credit card, auto insurance, or paying out of pocket. If you do not wish to make claims on your auto insurance, you need to pay for LDW insurance through the car rental agency when you rent a car.
 
Jun 12, 2019
134
303
63
44
Hello Everyone,

I was involved in a car accident in my Toyota Corolla rental in late February. It was completely my fault and I am willing to pay for the damages out of pocket. I lost control while I was driving and I ended up rear-ending another vehicle causing damage to the front bumper and minor damage to the hood of the vehicle. There weren't any damages to the other person's vehicle so I don't have to worry about that.

I was recently contacted by an Enterprise agent and he sent me a document of the repairs that were made and the billing. I own up to my mistakes, but I don't know whether the repairs were fair because some of the parts that were replaced were not visibly damaged. I don't have much experience with these types of situations so I am asking you guys could give me some advice on whether or not I have a reasonable claim to dispute these charges.

The damages and repairs I am skeptical about include:
- Replacement of both HeadLamps
- Radiator Components
- Radiator Support
These were the most expensive components on the repair list totaling $1673.68 including price and labor.

The amount due for the charges are:
Damage: $3985.30 Amount Due: $3485.30
Admin Fees: $150.00
Loss Of Use: $230.87
Diminishment of Value: $398.53
Total Amount Due: $4264.70

I also told them I would be paying out of pocket and I already paid for the $500 deductible, but they still filed a claim on my insurance anyways. I have had multiple claims in my insurance in the year so I didn't want another claim that would increase my rates or possibly lose coverage from my insurance. Can you guys give me some advice on what I can do? Thank you in advance!

Link for images of damages:
I have done many estimates on the front end damages and the areas that you are skeptical can be accident related.They would need to document why the headlamps needs replacement, the outer housing may not be cracked or have other damages but the impact may have damaged the housing or the hidden components. They would of have to have a picture of the damaged part of the headlamp, so I would ask for that. The radiator and radiator support will need to be replaced if any of the metal is damaged. This is something that they can't repair. So if any part of the radiator is scratched or bent, it would require it to be replaced. They would still need to show the damages of radiator and the supports.

I know you are wary of making a claim but I think in this case your insurance company may be better to deal with all of the junk charges such as Diminished Value ad the admin fee.Loss of use seems reasonable and maybe on the low side. I would still let the insurance company deal with this and have the loss on your record vs paying 4k out of pocket.
 

Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
612
1,260
93
He can also check with the credit card he used to book the car with to see if they have any coverage.
I know for my credit cards rental coverage ( fairly decent coverage) , Before I can get any coverage from my credit card I must 1st claim under my current auto insurance( insurance is a 2nd party insurance). Then after my auto policy pays out my credit card insurance will pick up the slack, So basically they would cover auto policy deductible and charges like loss of use my insurance might refuse to pay. I do remember when doing a foreign rental they might become the 1st party insurer, But I might be remembering wrong.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
3,319
5,128
113
Maui Hawaii
I know for my credit cards rental coverage ( fairly decent coverage) , Before I can get any coverage from my credit card I must 1st claim under my current auto insurance( insurance is a 2nd party insurance). Then after my auto policy pays out my credit card insurance will pick up the slack, So basically they would cover auto policy deductible and charges like loss of use my insurance might refuse to pay. I do remember when doing a foreign rental they might become the 1st party insurer, But I might be remembering wrong.
Some credit cards provide primary rental car insurance. You may wish to consider changing cards.

 
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