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One in four have found unrecorded damage on rental car

Written by  Ernesto Suarez Wednesday, 15 July 2015 00:00

Man pointing at car damage


  • Two thirds (64%) always check rental cars for pre-existing damage
  • Only a third (34%) check rental car wheels and tires for pre-existing damage
  • 4% believe they have been wrongly accused by a rental company of damaging a rental car

One in four people who have rented a car (23%) said they had found damage on the car which was not highlighted on the check-out sheet, according to a new YouGov survey, commissioned by Insuremyrentalcar.com, a new specialist provider of CDW/LDW insurance.

The survey found that whilst almost two thirds (64%) of rental car drivers always check their car for damage before they drive it, only a fifth (19%) take a photo of any existing damage on the rental car before they leave the rental lot, and only a third (34%) check the condition of the wheels and tires, despite the fact that these areas of the vehicle are high risk.

Any damage to a rental car, even if it isn’t your fault, can lead to you having to make a claim on your insurance, whether it is your auto insurance, credit card CDW protection, rental company CDW policy, or protection from an independent CDW provider. Whichever cover you have in place it is always best to try to avoid a claim, and it is therefore important to check you aren’t going to be charged for existing damage.

It isn’t just on pick-up that drivers need to be vigilant. Over a quarter of rental car drivers (29%) have been concerned that a rental company will try to charge them for damage to the car that they weren’t responsible for, but a fifth (22%) have had to return their rental car without seeing a rental car representative, because no-one was available and only 15% take a photo when they return the rental car to prove it was undamaged when they left it. With one out of every 25 car renters (4%) believing they have been wrongly accused of damaging a rental car, not getting it signed off by a company representative is a risky move that could end up costing a small fortune.

However rental cars do get damaged. The survey found that 7% of drivers have returned a rental car with damage which wasn’t their fault, and 6% have returned a rental car with damage which was their fault, so it is important to carefully consider your insurance options.

Insuremyrentalcar.com offers CDW / LDW from only $7.50 per day, $17.50 per trip, or $93.99 for an annual policy. Its policies offer LDW coverage of up to $100,000*; can be purchased from six months to one day in advance; cover rental car use at home and overseas; and are available for purchase by residents of 46 US States**.

“When you pick up a rental car it’s essential to check it over thoroughly and note every mark, no matter how insignificant on the checkout sheet, including any damage and scuffs to the wheels. We see plenty of people getting charged for minor wheel damage or scratches on the fender which were on the car when they picked it up but unfortunately were not noted in the paperwork. Sadly in the modern world of vehicle rental this can be tantamount to writing a blank check to the rental desk,” said Ernesto Suarez, founder and CEO of Insuremyrentalcar.com.

He continued: “Rental car drivers wishing to avoid paying for the expensive waivers at the rental desk tend to have to use either their own credit card CDW protection, or their auto insurance to protect them when driving a rental car, but there are issues with this. Credit card cover is sometimes only secondary cover, meaning it pays only what can't be first recovered from other insurance held by the traveler, which could mean a big hit on their regular auto insurance. Insuremyrentalcar.com offers CDW / LDW from only $7.50 per day, $17.50 per trip, or $93.99 for an annual policy, a fraction of the price of the cover available at the rental desk.”

* The actual level of cover may vary by state and product selection. Please check the Insuremyrentalcar.com website for full details.
**Not currently available for residents in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Vermont.

For more information please contact Cath Roan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Full data is available on request.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. Total sample size was 2,358 adults, 1,372 of which have rented a car. Fieldwork was undertaken between May 28 – June 1, 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).


Launched in January 2014, Insure My Rental Car offers competitively priced Loss Damage Waiver cover for US travellers renting vehicles and aims to make it easier for drivers to understand their options and save money. Insuremyrentalcar.com was created specifically for US residents renting within the USA and overseas but also caters to Non-US residents travelling inbound to the USA. For more information please visit www.insuremyrentalcar.com.