My Rental Car Was Hit While Parked: What to Do?

My Rental Car Was Hit While Parked: What to Do?

If your rental car is hit and the other driver leaves no note, you may have to cover costs out-of-pocket until their insurance company acknowledges fault. 

To avoid this scenario, ensure collision coverage on your vehicle or credit card used when renting one.

Contact the Police

Rental cars provide a convenient and economical way of travel, but should your rental be struck. At the same time, it is parked, identifying who caused it can become complicated and challenging. 

Unfortunately, unlike personal car insurance policies that might cover you if an incident arises involving one, rental vehicle policies typically do not. Therefore, if a hit-and-run occurs, you will likely have to cover damages yourself.

As soon as the scene has been assessed and ensured no injuries exist, it’s crucial to call the police and file an accident report to assist authorities with tracking down and prosecuting those responsible for this mishap.

First, check for any indication on your vehicle that indicates who hit it – for instance, a note on the windshield or in any visible spot that says so would help immensely. Some drivers will leave contact details so you can reach them, inquire about what happened, and obtain insurance details from them if applicable. 

If a car hits and runs away without leaving any message behind, it is considered a hit-and-run accident and often illegal in most states.

At the scene of an accident, it’s always best to take photos and gather any pertinent evidence, such as witness accounts or security camera footage from nearby. Doing this will strengthen your case when representing yourself or dealing with insurance companies.

Call Your Insurance Company

After an incident involving a rental car, your first step should be contacting your regular auto insurer and inquiring whether their policy offers additional or replacement coverage in addition to or of that provided by the car rental firm.

Depending upon where you reside, your rental car might be protected under state or country insurance laws. In any event, contact the police to file a report regarding damage to your rental car – even though this might initially seem cumbersome or complicated. 

Law enforcement professionals have experience handling cases like these, so they will help guide and support you through it all.

Be sure to collect any contact details left by the driver who hit your rental car, such as their name, insurance information, and phone number. Also, take pictures of both vehicles involved and the accident scene.

Gathering evidence such as witness statements or nearby security camera footage may strengthen your case when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company later on. 

Suppose they dispute liability and refuse to give back your rental car immediately. In that case, this may take longer to resolve, and you may need to cover any expenses yourself before receiving reimbursement from their policy.

Gather Evidence

Once an accident occurs, you should gather as much evidence as possible at the scene. This could include witness accounts or security camera footage as well as any other pieces of data that can help establish what transpired and who is responsible.

Once damage occurs, taking multiple photos from different angles and perspectives is essential in documenting its extent and may aid your claim or legal actions. This may help show what caused it.

Make sure to capture video footage of the incident, if possible. Doing this will allow you to identify who caused it and their name and license plate number (if applicable). This could help support a claim for financial compensation for damages to property and loss of use.

Police should always be your first port of call in an incident like this, as they have more workforce and authority in investigating than you alone would. They may also offer suggestions of people you should talk to or locations you should explore should you have trouble locating who hit your rental car.

Stay at the scene until police arrive, speak with any witnesses, and gather their contact information if it occurred in a store or gas station with surveillance cameras capable of recording license plate numbers of vehicles parked nearby.

Contact a Lawyer

An attorney with experience in rental car accidents can assist in calculating how much compensation is owed to you for damages sustained and ensure your insurance company provides adequate coverage. 

If the at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage, filing a lawsuit against them could be possible.

After being involved in an at-fault hit-and-run collision, recovering can be incredibly challenging. The defaulter typically flees without leaving their contact information behind or stopping to exchange details with you.

When dealing with this kind of incident, it’s crucial to identify any witnesses. They can provide essential details regarding the offender and evidence available at the scene. It would also be prudent to take photographs of both areas involved and potential evidence.

Once you’ve collected as much information as possible, the next step should be calling your rental car company and informing them of what has occurred. 

They may instruct you to return the vehicle so they can inspect and verify any damages – an inconvenience but worth doing to safeguard your rental car’s protection. 

You can further minimize vandalism or theft risks by parking it securely, driving defensively, and taking extra security precautions such as adding additional locks.


In conclusion, swift and strategic actions are crucial if your rental car is hit while parked. Understanding the steps to take, from documenting the damage to contacting the rental company and local authorities, ensures a smoother resolution process. 

Navigate this unexpected situation with confidence using our comprehensive guide.


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