Accident with the hire car: easy to master with a few rules
It is a horror for most drivers to be involved in an accident with their own car. It gets even worse when such a mishap happens with a hire car. But do not panic. With our checklist you will get safely and smoothly through the dicey situation.
Securing the accident site
First, it is essential that you secure the accident site using a warning triangle. In Germany, the warning triangle must be set up 50 metres away from the accident site in urban traffic. On rural roads, the distance is 100 meters. And on motorways, the distance should be at least 200 metres. Other rules may apply abroad. It is best to find out about the relevant laws before you start your journey.
Notify the police
No matter how harmless the damage seems: in the event of an accident, you should always notify the police first. This is the only way you can be sure that the accident has been officially recorded and that, in case of doubt, it is not your word against theirs. Please be sure to inform the police if anyone was injured in the accident. The officers can then organise an ambulance. As emergency numbers can vary from country to country, you should save or write down the correct number in your mobile phone before you start your journey.
Insist on interpreter
You will have to overcome an additional hurdle when abroad. Here, you may find that the police officers present you with a protocol that they do not understand. In this case, always insist on an interpreter and never sign a document that they cannot translate. If you have any questions about the protocol, have the police officers explain everything to you in detail.
Notify the hire car company
After calling the police, you also need to notify the hire car company. They will be able to advise you and tell you exactly what steps to take next. The hire car company’s number is usually on the rental agreement. It is even better if you save this important phone number in your mobile phone before you start your journey.
Should it come to trial, it is always helpful if you can take photos of the accident scene. These photos can also serve as a memory log for you, because when it goes to court some time later, the memories have usually faded.
Note the names of the accident opponents
Let the other party in the accident show you their ID or driver’s license and write down their name and address. Also write down the license plate number of the other party. This will help you make sure the other party in the accident doesn’t disappear without a trace.
Damage report from the lender
Back at the hire car station, you must insist on a detailed damage report from the rental company. It is important to be meticulous about not listing any additional damage that was not caused by the accident at all.
Back abroad, you must provide the hire car company with the following documents.
Police accident report
Lender’s damage report
Proof of bail payments already made (credit card receipt)
To make sure none of the documents disappear in the mail or at the lender, always send copies only.
We can inform you about the correct insurance cover in the event of an accident here.