If something very unorthodox happens like a kid throwing a stone and breaking the front windshield of your rental car, you will be liable for the particular damage. This is clearly written somewhere in the small print of your car rental agreement: the bottom line is that you are responsible for damages to the rental car while you are driving it, whether you personally caused that damage or not. You probably know this, but still you did not decide to purchase additional insurance to cover these minor details. Nobody believes it will happen to them!! But it can happen to you, this is a reality.
The chances of your hired vehicle sustains an accidental damage is not very high. But it is also true that once this damage occurs, you will probably end up in trouble. Let us consider the following scenario.
You arrive at your destination airport and rent a car from a reputable airport car rental company. A few days later, you return the car without any incident.
Few weeks later, you receive a note from your car hire company saying that a damage or loss to the vehicle you rented has occurred and that you should immediately contact your insurance company and/or credit card company to report this insistent to them.'
Now it is your word against the Rental Company’s word.
It is almost impossible for you to prove that the damage did not happen while the vehicle was in your care, even if you never noticed the claimed damage yourself. Indeed, it is not inconceivable that a kid threw a stone and damaged the front windshield of your rental car, but it does not matter much. The reported damage is still your responsibility.
We can not really dispute this claim as the management of the drop-off location that reported the damage will confirm that the damage is your responsibility.
What we suggest is that you should do your own detailed pre-inspection as well as a detailed examination of the delivered vehicle at the drop-off location. Make notes of all scratches and small damages on the interior as well as the exterior of the vehicle and go back to the service counter and get someone to document those damages. If the Car Rental Company’s employees are very busy they will not be enthusiastic in inspecting the car themselves.
When you return the car, ask the receiver to inspect the vehicle there and then. Ask for something in writing indicating the vehicle had no damages on drop off. You may need to be patient and wait a while. A good move is to take pictures of the vehicle after you hand over the keys. All modern mobile phones are equipped with cameras nowadays.
We hope that this never happens but if you are proved to be liable you can use your insurance or the insurance of your credit card issuer and your own money off course to pay for the liability.