Why you should take photos and video of the rental car before use
Are you going to rent a car abroad? It is important to take pictures and video of the rental car before and after use. Many people experience the big scare, and are charged for damage to the car they have not done themself. Here we show you what you need to document with pictures and video before you leave the car rental office.
Damage to a rental cars is a common problem for most people on holidays abroad. Another driving culture, unknown roads, and low respect for cars from car hire companies among locals in general, means that a large proportion of the cars are returned with minor damages. As a result, rental car companies will try to transfer the cost to the consumer – especially when it’s expensive car repairs.
Many times, it’s also a human failure, the major car rental companies have thousands of cars that go in and out every single day, and many times small dents and scratches are overlooked, and the next customer gets the exact cost right in their lap.
Why it’s important to take pictures and videos of the rental car
To be charged an extra charge on the credit card from the car rental company for a dent or a scratch after getting home from a holiday is a problem that many people experience. Often the customer is not aware of the damage, and has no documentation that can prove that it is not their fault. Then you will be faced with a possible complaint, and most people will have to bite into the acid apple and pay the damage, even though the customer may not be responsible for it.
Our advice is to take the time to go over and document any damage to the rental car before and after use. Then you have documentation of the car’s condition when you received it, and the condition when you returned the car. Many large rental cars will inspect your car there and then with you, and present an invoice for any damage that occurs during the rental period, to alleviate the fear of a future credit card fee, or withdrawals from the deposit.
Nevertheless, some disputes will occur. The rental car companies must document and justify each additional fee they make, before they deduct from your credit card. If you have experienced a claim for damages that you think you have not done, it is possible to complain to the Consumer Europe. You will find information about how to complain at the end of this article.
How to take video and pictures of the rental car
The simplest way is to use your mobile phone. Then you have everything stored in one place and you can send the documentation forward easily if needed. Important that you spend a couple of minutes on this so you get the most important things. What is not documented before using the rental car, will be required for compensation if there are not already documents in the lease upon acceptance. After taking pictures and videos of the rental car outside and inside, send a copy to your email in case you would be unlucky to lose your phone or delete the documentation by mistake.
If you notice damage to the car, and this has not already been noted by the company, it is important that you immediately make sure that this is notified to the rental car immediately.
Checklist rental car outside
Take photos and videos of the entire car outside. Walk around the car and film with your mobile phone. If you notice paint injuries, dents or scratches. If you notice damages while you are filming, take your own pictures afterwards. Look specially for scratches and dents on the doors, and the front and rear bumper. In addition to paint damage it is important to document the condition of the following:
Checklist rental car inside
Take photos and videos of the entire car inside. Check in particular for damage, stains and holes in the front and rear seats, check that there are no cracks in the interior or lack of a lid. Most rental cars only have electric windows in front. Check that these work. Otherwise, it is important to document the following inside the car:
Full insurance provides zero liability and no deposit
Most people who hire a car abroad are offered additional insurance when they pick up the rental car. Each rental company sells its unique version of Super Collision Damage Waiver, a full insurance policy that gives you no liability for any damage to the car. It usually covers car parts that basic non-life insurance does not cover, such as damage to wheels or mirrors. If you purchase an SCDW insurance, it is common that you have no deductible for damage and that you do not have to hold a deposit.
How to proceed to complain about a rental car abroad
If you use credit cards when renting a car, you are buying additional security. The law gives you the right to complain to creditors, if the rental car does not provide you with what is agreed. You can complain that they will charge you extra for damages you do not knew about. You must first try to resolve the case, but if you do not get anywhere with the rentalcompany, you can go to the bank. If the complaint is rejected by the bank, you can file a complaint with the Finance Appeals Committee.
1. First, complain to the car rental company that is stated on the booking confirmation or the contract that you will receive when picking up the rental car. It pays to complain in writing. Then you reduce the risk of misunderstandings and you can prove that you complained in a timely manner.
2. Complaint to the Consumer Council. If you do not agree with the car hire company, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Council. If you want to complain about a car rented abroad, you can complain to Consumer Europe.
Consumer Europe offers free help and guidance to consumers on purchases in the EU, Iceland and Norway. The network is a measure under the aegis of the European Commission, and the Consumer Council is the Consumer Europe Host Organization. Consumer Europe provides information and guidance to consumers about rights and obligations in cross-border trade.
Consumer Europe has expertise, and may ask one of their sister offices to contact the business owner, possibly refer the matter to the relevant complaints. If Europe also consults Europeans, consumers from other EU / EEA countries complain about goods and services ordered or purchased during a visit, and may refer any complaints to the relevant complaint board or contact the self-employed person. Consumer Europe’s services are free.