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How to Handle a Car Rental Damage Claim


There are two kinds of car rental damage claims. In the first case, you’re aware that the car became damaged while you were renting it.

The second kind of claim is much sketchier.

Imagine that you drove the car without incident, returned it, paid your bill, and reasonably believed that your transaction was over—only to receive a hefty bill two months later with a vague claim that the vehicle had been damaged in your possession.

Since you declined the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) when you rented the car, the rental company explains, you are now on the hook for repair costs as well as administrative fees and Loss of Use fees. The rental car company may or may not offer a description or proof of the damage.

A Quick Primer on Car Rental Insurance

Now you have three options: You can pay up, hand the claim off to your auto insurance company or credit card company, or reject the claim. If you choose the second or third option, you’ll need to be prepared. Here’s what to do.

How to Protect Yourself Against Car Rental Damage Claims

If you opt for the CDW when you rent the car, you’re covered for any damage to the car. If you decline the CDW, you should take some just-in-case precautions.

Ask AutoSlash for a Quote on a Cheap Car Rental

What to Do if You Receive a Damage Claim on a Rental Car

Let AutoSlash Track Your Car Rental for Price Drops

If your rental car didn’t suffer any damage while in your possession, it is unlikely that you will receive a dodgy damage claim. Still, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.


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