Rental cars - take five and take a picture

Posted Date: 29 March 2014
Rental car scams

Take five minutes. That’s all it takes - just five minutes... to get out your camera and take pictures (or, even better, a short 30 second video) of your rental car.


So that if you were to be accused of doing damage to the car, you have an ‘evidentiary record’ with a time and date stamp to prove that the damage was already there when you first took delivery of the car.

At Southern Cross Travel Insurance we’ve seen it all – and that includes instances of rental car companies trying to make a quick buck by getting customers to pay for historic damage to a vehicle.

Even reputable rental car companies can try this on - many are locally-owned franchises - so it’s worth taking a few minutes to protect yourself. 

Another method we have come across is the rental company saying the ‘damage’ costs $700 but they will ‘cut you a deal’ and charge you only $200.

The last thing you want when you get home from a holiday is a nasty long distance confrontation with an overseas rental car company... so ‘take five’:-

  • five minutes at the beginning to photograph the car, and
  • five minutes at the end to make sure the car is inspected while you wait.

While you’re at it, make sure you get your completed contract with the pricing itemised. That way you’ll avoid problems once home.

Travel smart, travel safe, and always take our award winning travel insurance.

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