Budget car rental loss of use question

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Mar 3, 2019
In 11/2018 I was in a rental car hit by a deer. I did not take insurance. The car was declared a total loss. My own insurance (progressive)will not pay loss of use ($1142);towing/storage ($578)or administrative fees($300) charged by Budget (Sedgwick claims). I am now charged$1692 for the accident. Question ...If the car is a total loss how can I be charged loss of use if the vehicle would never be on the road again? Should I refuse to pay this and what are my legal rights?..thank you.
Jan 6, 2015
The short answer is for you to write to Budget using our Company Contacts (link at top of the page). You will be asking them (politely) for a reduction in the fees and not, in my opinion, challenging them. Here's my explanation:

Budget and others have decided to recoup other associated costs when an accident takes a vehicle out of service (loss of use). Most renters object to that, sincerely believing that agencies usually have cars left on their lot. Some have requested fleet logs, previous damage claims, etc. Rental companies do not typically provide those, so a challenge is then unsuccessful.

In your case:
  • The loss of this vehicle means they do have one less in their inventory from which to gain revenue.
  • They did have to tow your rental and likely store it somewhere off-site (especially if rented at an airport)
  • There are additional administrative costs associated with towing, storing, and disposing of the vehicle, plus filing with the insurance company.
Are their charges unreasonable? Perhaps, but little is gained, in my opinion, by challenging them. I would simply ask for any reduction they can offer, expressing gratitude for their assistance.

For future rentals . . .
Rental car issues generally fall into three categories:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Tire replacement/repair
  • Collision/comprehensive claims

Consumers typically feel that the first two are the responsibility of the rental company. In fact, issues 2-3 are the renters responsibility. Once we leave the lot, it falls upon us to when accidents or tire failure occur.

One frequent misconception is that the rental agency/company will contact the "at fault" driver when an accident involves more than one driver. Instead they will contact our insurance company and leave any negotiations to them and/or us.