Uncle Hit Rental Car in Driveway

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Aug 1, 2017
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#1
Hello,

I rented a Kia Soul in Florida from Avis. The vehicle was parked in my (wife's) uncle's driveway when her uncle had backed up into the bumper. The bumper crumpled and his insurance company had covered the cost of repairs ($682.44). However, they did not cover the fees from Avis... Now, Viking is after me for some fees:

-Loss of use: $58.06
-Administrative fee: $100.00

I am wondering how I can get out of this situation... I was not driving the car, it was parked when hit. The driver covered the damage. But now I am subjected to some arbitrary fees... Admin fee of $100?! Get out of here.

I have read through the forums a bit and I see that these Vikings are a legit entity. I also noticed that it might benefit me that I paid for the rental on my Chase Visa. I also have Geico, but I did not sign up for Avis's insurance at the time of the rental.

How can I convince Viking to drop these fees?

Any feedback is appreciated! I am very glad I found this website.
Thanks to everyone that participates on Elliott!
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#2
If it was me, I'd pay the $158 and then hit your wife's uncle up for the money. For that amount of money, it may not be worth pursuing this through Avis or Viking and potientialy having the issue impact your credit and/or the amount owed be increased due to late fees.

Loss of use is pretty standard for the industry and covers the day or two the car was out of commision being repaired. Admin fees cover the time they spent dealing with the accident. From reading this, they're not charging you unreasonably, and trust me, we've seen plenty of companies tack on unreasonable fees and charges. Typical insurance policies don't cover them either.

You can try to appeal to Avis or Viking using our company contacts above if you'd still like to pursue the issue.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#3
Contact the insurance agency that covered the collision and ask them for the release of liability that Avis signed when they accepted payment from the insurance company. that is your ticket out of the situation.

If they didn't obtain one, ask them why not as that is standard practice, and expected when a client pays for insurance services. Then ask them where they want the bill sent, so they can pay it.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#4
These fees are fairly standard and will be included in your rental agreement. Most insurance companies do not pay these fees, though many of the rental companies CDW may cover them.

I always book through USAA, because they have agreements with 3 major rental companies not to charge these fees! :)

Contact the insurance agency that covered the collision and ask them for the release of liability that Avis signed when they accepted payment from the insurance company. that is your ticket out of the situation.

If they didn't obtain one, ask them why not as that is standard practice, and expected when a client pays for insurance services. Then ask them where they want the bill sent, so they can pay it.
Any release is going to apply to the insurance company and their insured customer. In any case, these fee are not normally covered by regular vehicle insurance, so it is doubtful the release would be of any use. The fees are a based on the written rental contract between the renter and the agency.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#6
I would tell them that, in order for you to consider the claim, they need to prove loss of use and the admin fees, show how they calculated it, etc

Once they provide proof then consider it. If they change the values on you tell them no and to sue you.

I doubt they will provide proof, just keep saying "I am happy to take it into consideration, I need detailed proof of why it is due to you"
 
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Aug 1, 2017
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#7
This is what I was thinking... $100.00 is a flat rate, rather than a meticulous calculation of man/woman hours and that is something I have trouble submitting to.

So what would happen if they sue me?
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#8
This is what I was thinking... $100.00 is a flat rate, rather than a meticulous calculation of man/woman hours and that is something I have trouble submitting to.

So what would happen if they sue me?
You would go to small claims court and the would have to PROVE how they arrived at their fees. Meanwhile you can provide proof that you were willing to consider the charges all along and were simply asking for the calculations as to how they arrived at those fees, not to mention they would have provide that same breakdown IF you went to court.
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 14, 2016
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#9
I'm with Technomage on this one. The damage was done and this isn't a questionable claim like so many that we see here. Reasonable administrative fees are in the contract and don't have to be "proven". After all, someone had to take the time to drive the car to the repair shop and process the insurance claim. Loss of Use can be questioned but $58 is far more reasonable than many of these fees we see and frankly I don't see the use in trying to get Avis to produce the fleet utilization logs over $58.

Send a copy of the bill to your Uncle and let him pay the $158. Or pay it yourself and, if your Uncle refuses, file a case in small claims to recover the $158. But this is a proper and reasonable claim from Avis. The car was damaged in your care and I recommend paying this bill.

By the way, they won't sue you. They'll just ding your credit report (and in this case, rightfully so).

Now with all that said, you may want to go back to Avis for one thing. Their standard agreement (clause 21) says that an additional Damage Administration fee of $75 plus GST will be applied for processing damage claims. You might want to ask them why yours is $100 instead of $75. Also, their contact states this fee may be refunded if it is proven that the damage was not due to the hirer's fault. They know it wasn't your fault so you might want to ask them to waive the fee and then just pay the loss of use.

So write them a nice email and ask about the $75 vs $100 and if they would kindly waive the fee since they knew the accident wasn't your fault. You might get a positive answer.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#11
I'm with Technomage on this one. The damage was done and this isn't a questionable claim like so many that we see here. Reasonable administrative fees are in the contract and don't have to be "proven". After all, someone had to take the time to drive the car to the repair shop and process the insurance claim. Loss of Use can be questioned but $58 is far more reasonable than many of these fees we see and frankly I don't see the use in trying to get Avis to produce the fleet utilization logs over $58.

Send a copy of the bill to your Uncle and let him pay the $158. Or pay it yourself and, if your Uncle refuses, file a case in small claims to recover the $158. But this is a proper and reasonable claim from Avis. The car was damaged in your care and I recommend paying this bill.

By the way, they won't sue you. They'll just ding your credit report (and in this case, rightfully so).

Now with all that said, you may want to go back to Avis for one thing. Their standard agreement (clause 21) says that an additional Damage Administration fee of $75 plus GST will be applied for processing damage claims. You might want to ask them why yours is $100 instead of $75. Also, their contact states this fee may be refunded if it is proven that the damage was not due to the hirer's fault. They know it wasn't your fault so you might want to ask them to waive the fee and then just pay the loss of use.

So write them a nice email and ask about the $75 vs $100 and if they would kindly waive the fee since they knew the accident wasn't your fault. You might get a positive answer.
I am totally ignorant on this subject and don't want to start an argument ... but if your insurance company won't pay these fees, why should you? They're in the rental car business, part of the cost of doing biz is taking care of damages. You've paid them to rent their car. This is just common sense to me.

I agree with SAS, argue nicely with them, but be ready to back off at a moment's notice if your credit rating might be affected.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Nov 14, 2016
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#12
I am totally ignorant on this subject and don't want to start an argument ... but if your insurance company won't pay these fees, why should you? They're in the rental car business, part of the cost of doing biz is taking care of damages. You've paid them to rent their car. This is just common sense to me.

I agree with SAS, argue nicely with them, but be ready to back off at a moment's notice if your credit rating might be affected.
Because it wasn't his insurance company that paid. It was his Uncle's. That insurance company has no fiduciary duty to Goober. Goober owes Avis money. The Uncle owes Goober money. And the Uncle's insurance company may owe the Uncle money depending on his coverage for short paying the claim.

Getting the car cleaned and changing the oil is part of the cost of doing business. Repairing the car isn't and that is specifically spelled out in the Terms. If you think it should be then everyone's rates go up slightly to absorb the labor cost of getting the car repaired. Just like the damage itself, isn't it more rational that cost be passed on to the one who caused the damage? We're so in the habit of fighting all of these bogus rental car claims that it's tough to think of how to approach a legitimate one.
 
Likes: krisseye
Aug 1, 2017
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#13
Yes Kahhss, it is definitely an interesting situation here. And @jsn55 , I think this is worth fighting because logistically, I have no influence in this accident (apart from the location where I parked the car, which was at a private residence).

Maybe an exaggerated circumstance can speak more loudly- if someone totaled the rental car while it was parked on the driveway of a private residence, by a lucid driver or a drunk driver, should I be responsible for the fees associated with this damage? I had no hand in the incident. It seems to me that the at-fault driver's insurance should be covering this, at the very least. It is unreasonable to think that having your parked rental car destroyed by a third party would be a part of the cost of doing business...
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#14
Yes Kahhss, it is definitely an interesting situation here. And @jsn55 , I think this is worth fighting because logistically, I have no influence in this accident (apart from the location where I parked the car, which was at a private residence).

Maybe an exaggerated circumstance can speak more loudly- if someone totaled the rental car while it was parked on the driveway of a private residence, by a lucid driver or a drunk driver, should I be responsible for the fees associated with this damage? I had no hand in the incident. It seems to me that the at-fault driver's insurance should be covering this, at the very least. It is unreasonable to think that having your parked rental car destroyed by a third party would be a part of the cost of doing business...
If that drunk driver then drove off, do you not think you'd be liable for the damage? It doesn't really matter if you damaged the car. It was in your care and recovery of those damages is spelled out in the rental agreement. Your claim is against your Uncle and not Avis. They're entitled to recover for the damages the car incurred while in your care and that includes the administrative fees (well, $75 of it) and reasonable loss of use. That's what they billed you for. You're entitled to recover from your Uncle, something you seem reluctant to do even though he's the one at fault here. Should you choose not to do so then that's on you. That doesn't go back to Avis. This is pretty simple tort stuff.

I think you have enough information to proceed. How you do so is up to you but know you run the risk of damaging your credit report by not paying a legitimate claim. Good luck.
 
Aug 1, 2017
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#15
Yeah, interesting twist on the hypothetical- I would owe the money... I asked Viking to call me tomorrow and ask if I can have some extra time. I will ask AVIS about the $75 vs $100 administrative fee.

When it comes down to it, I will pay for it myself because I am indeed reluctant to ask my wife's uncle for it. A small part of me hopes his insurance will pay.

Thanks for all the help here! I was ready to accept the $158 until I found this website and it gave me a smidgen of hope being that I have nothing to lose by trying.
 
Jul 4, 2016
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#16
Perhaps I missed something that everyone else is seeing. Forgive me, please, if that is the case.

But, the way I read the opening post, it sounded like the car was damaged, repaired, and then returned to the rental agency.

I am gathering that others have read the chain of events to be the car was damaged, returned to the rental agency - along with funds for the repair.

If the latter is true, I understand the administrative fees and the loss-of-use fees. If it is the former, there was no loss-of-use fees - as the vehicle was being "rented" while it was being repaired.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#17
Perhaps I missed something that everyone else is seeing. Forgive me, please, if that is the case.

But, the way I read the opening post, it sounded like the car was damaged, repaired, and then returned to the rental agency.

I am gathering that others have read the chain of events to be the car was damaged, returned to the rental agency - along with funds for the repair.

If the latter is true, I understand the administrative fees and the loss-of-use fees. If it is the former, there was no loss-of-use fees - as the vehicle was being "rented" while it was being repaired.
I think you are reading it wrong. The insurance company paid for repairs which means while it was being repaired the car was out of service. Thus the fees.
 
Aug 1, 2017
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#18
So, I have contacted Viking for the fleet utilization log during the repairs... They said they do not have that information and I have to contact Avis.

I contacted Avis customer service, they sent me to their claims. Claims said they do not have access to my case because it was outsourced. They transferred me back to customer service. I requested my rental agreement and I asked for a manager and then gave up while on hold.

I emailed the Becky Peachey and she said her team does not have access to that information.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#19
Are you contacting them in writing? If not then (re) start the process by sending an email to the person at Viking and ask, again, for the fleet logs. Send the same letter to customer service. Receive the replies and then act on whatever the replies say. If Viking again tells you to contact Avis - email Avis and ask for the information. If Avis replies and sends you to claims, email claims. Continue.

If the reply from claims is that no one can help you, and claims sends you back to customer service, then use our company contacts to contact executives.

At each step your letter should be polite and concise. Mention that you understand that these charges may be relevant, and are simply acting in good faith by trying to verify the validity of the charges.

At the end of each email restate that you hope to resolve the matter promptly and, in the event that Avis/Viking is unable to provide you with documentation of the validity of the charges, you would ask that they drop the claim for these charges entirely, and zero out any balance remaining.

VTY,
renter.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#20
the reason for the email paper trail is that, if you do go to mediation, you want to be able to show that you did act in good faith to get the issue resolved and that it was Avis/Viking that was not being cooperative.
 
Likes: jsn55