Should You Repair The Scratch Or Dent On Your Rental Car?
If you return your rental ca with any kind of scratch or dent that wasn’t on it when you picked it up, there will most likely be a very steep surcharge in store for you.
You may not even be responsible for the scratch, as it is not difficult for someone else to accidentally (or even maliciously) scratch your car in a parking lot while your car is left unattended.
Nevertheless the rental company is not going to care if you are responsible or not; from their point of view you are responsible no matter what happened.
Accordingly you will be expected to pay for the repairs one way or the other, either by paying their damage charge (often quite hefty) or by having the car repaired yourself.
If it is a relatively minor scratch or ding, then the latter option could prove to be far less costly for you. There are a number of shops that specialise in the repair of minor dents like Mobile Smart Repairs. If the paint has not been scratched off but only the body which has been dented, this can be repaired easily for a small fee per dent. If the damage requires any repainting, however, it may prove to be much more expensive.
Should you repair a scratch or dent on a rental car?
If the damage is minor it is generally advisable to have it repaired yourself before returning the rental car.
Please remember that there is a risk involved because if the repair job is not done perfectly then the rental company may not accept it and you may end up paying to fix the damage twice.
If the repairs will involve painting, we recommend not to get it fixed yourself but leave it up to the rental company.
And if you didn’t cause the damage?
As previously stated, the rental company is not going to care if you say that it wasn’t your fault. They don’t want to pay for it, and if they have the excuse to charge you for it (based on the documented damage listed on the car at the time when you picked it up), then they will do so and they will not take your word for it.
For this reason it is important to check the car carefully against this list before you drive it off of the lot and alert one of the rental agents if you see any damage that is not accounted for in the documentation.
Make sure that the documentation is updated and signed before you leave in case the agent becomes “forgetful” when you return the car.
Guidelines for fair wear and tear
The guidelines for fair wear and tear which apply to long-term car hire arrangements or leasing, but unfortunately these rules do not apply to short-term rentals.
You need to have the car far at least 2 years in order for fair wear and tear rules to be recognised, so unfortunately if you are going on vacation with a rental care you are going to have to return it in the exact some condition it was in when you picked it up, or else face the consequences.