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What To Do if You Have an Accident in a Rental Car

Rental car accident

Wondering what to do if you’re involved in a car accident with your rental car? Follow these steps:

  1. Check that everyone involved is safe: The first and most important step is to check if anyone has been injured as a result of the accident. If other cars or pedestrians have been impacted, check the welfare of all involved.
  2. Call emergency services if anyone is hurt: Where the accident results in injury or death—or if the accident has occurred due to criminal behaviour (including where drugs and alcohol are involved or the other party drives away from the accident scene)—call the Police and Emergency Services. In Australia, the Emergency Hotline is 000. Do not leave the site of the accident until the police have arrived and a statement has been made.
  3. Call your rental provider: It’s important you don’t leave the site of the accident until you have spoken to your rental provider. They will need you to complete an Accident Report Form with details of what happened and where the incident occurred, and should a tow truck be required, they may need to grant authorisation for this.
  4. Secure the rental car: Where practical, move the rental car out of the path of other traffic, and take photos of the damage and the accident site for your personal records.
  5. Damage assessment and repair: At the time of the accident—or when you return the rental car to the depot, whichever occurs sooner—the rental provider will inspect the damage to the rental car and will calculate the cost to repair the vehicle. It may take a few days for this process to be completed.
  6. Lodge a claim with your insurer: If you purchased rental vehicle excess insurance, you will be able to lodge a claim with your insurer to obtain reimbursement for your out of pocket expense. Commonly, the insurer will require a completed copy of their claim form, a copy of the vehicle damage report, and a copy of the receipt from your rental provider that outlines any repair costs you paid.

What Options Are Available to Reduce My Financial Liability?

It's important to review the details of any protection products that you purchase for your rental car. To understand the options available to you, visit our insurance page.

Watch the video below to learn more about your financial liability when renting a car in Australia.

Read more about driving a rental car in Australia.