Whether you are hiring a vehicle or driving your own car, chances are at some point or another that considering what you would do in the event of an accident has crossed your mind. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and understanding your rights and responsibilities when one does is vital, particularly if the car or van you are driving does not belong to you.
As a professional car and van rental expert, we aim to offer a transparent and informed solution for those looking to hire a vehicle, and providing customers, both new and existing, with the information they need to deal with accidents should they occur is a vital part of our service. Here we take a closer look at what steps every rental customer should take in the event of an accident and what cover is available as part of your rental agreement.
Your cover options
Your rental quotation not only includes the cost of the hire itself but also your insurance, breakdown cover and VAT, a great package that makes renting with us as effective, efficient and affordable as possible. The standard insurance cover that we provide is known as a Collision Damage Waiver or CDW and covers the driver of the hire vehicle for most eventualities including, unlike most policies, theft and accidental damage to the windows, undercarriage and roof. This insurance does come with a £500 excess which is due in the event of a claim, however any repair costs beyond this are covered by our insurance provider.
For added protection, Excess Damage Waiver (EDW) is available at extra cost. This insurance will reduce or completely cover the cost of your excess if you need to make a claim.
What to do in an accident
At the scene of an accident, you should take the same approach as you would do with your own vehicle. If you are involved in an accident and a person (other than yourself) is injured, damage is caused to another vehicle and/or an animal is killed or injured you must remain at the scene until it is reported to the authorities. During this time you must exchange details (including your vehicle registration number, name and address) with the other driver and vice versa. You may also be asked to produce your certificate of insurance at the scene or within 24 hours at your local police station. Your hire agreement will be adequate for this, and it is advisable to carry this with you whenever you are in your rental vehicle.
Whilst you may be in shock following your accident, taking a detailed description of what happened and collecting as much evidence as possible, including photographs is recommended. Makes notes and/or take photographs of the scene, the vehicles involved, damage caused and people involved. Notifying the hire company about your accident is an important step, and in some circumstances phoning the insurers immediately will minimise your costs, even in the middle of the night. These steps initiate the process to allow necessary arrangements to repair or recover your vehicle to be made on your behalf.