How do I pay to rent a car after a car accident?

thumb pressing auto start button that says rent

If you were involved in an auto collision that was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation from the negligent driver and their insurance company. Even if you suffered no injuries, they could be responsible for paying for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.

If you are like many car accident victims, you will need to rent an auto while yours is in the repair shop or while you are waiting for a new vehicle. However, the cost of renting a motor vehicle can add up quickly. You need to know your options for paying the car rental fees.

Two Ways to Obtain Reimbursement for the Cost of Renting a Car

You have more than one option for getting your car rental fees paid while you do not have your own automobile. They include:

  • Negligent driver’s insurance company. The insurance company for the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating you for your losses caused by the car crash. This includes paying the cost to repair or replace your auto and rent a vehicle.
  • Your insurance company. In New Mexico, you are not required to purchase insurance to cover the cost of renting an auto while yours is in the shop. However, if you have this coverage, you could file a claim to pay for your car rental fees with your insurance company.

Which Insurance Company Should You Ask to Pay for Your Car Rental Costs?

One of the decisions you will need to make is whether to file a claim with your or the negligent motorist’s insurance company. Here are the considerations you need to weigh when making your decision:

  • It will be faster to get your car rental fees paid by your own insurance company, which will make it easier to rent a vehicle if you cannot afford to pay for it while you wait to settle your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
  • Under your insurance policy, you will only be entitled to reimbursement of your car rental costs for a certain number of days. They will also only authorize a specific daily rate for renting a vehicle, which may not be enough money to cover the cost of renting a vehicle that meets your family’s needs.
  • There is no fixed limit on how long you can rent a vehicle or the per-day cost of the rental when you are filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
  • The negligent motorist’s insurance company will take longer to investigate your claim and agree to pay the car rental costs for you. You may have to be without a vehicle or pay for it yourself while you wait for them to settle this portion of your claim.

What Type of Motor Vehicle Can You Rent?

The insurance company for the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating you for the cost of renting a vehicle that is comparable to the one damaged in the car accident. While your own insurance company is also responsible for paying for a similar auto to yours, they are only required to pay the daily rate stated in your contract. This may not be enough to rent a comparable automobile, and you could have to pay the balance owed after the car rental company receives their payment.

Will You Have to Pay a Deposit to Rent a Car?

The rental car company will most likely require you to provide your credit card information when you pick up the rental vehicle. If you do not have a credit card, you will need to find out if they will accept a debit card or other form of deposit.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver and have questions about your right to payment for your car rental fees and other damages you may be entitled to, our dedicated car accident lawyers are here to help. We handle claims for auto crash victims in Roswell and southeastern New Mexico. To learn how we can assist you, call our office at 575-300-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.