Did You Scratch On Rental Car? What Happens If You Scratch A Rental Car?

Patrick Oziegbe
Published On:

A scratch on a personal car can cause headaches, not to mention lacerations on the car you rented

While these are inevitable, it is important to learn what steps to avoid implications, what insurance to take, and, if need be, how to hide or fix minor scratches and avoid unnecessary expenses by taking the proper rental steps in case there is scratch on rental car.

What The Law Says About Scratch on Rented Car

If you ever get your car scratched, fixing or hiding it before returning carries a risk. Legally, it would be a violation and subsequent breach of the rental contract, which could result in a civil suit.

 The rental company may refuse to repair the scraped rental car, and you will be responsible for the damage costs after returning from your road trips. As a result, it is preferable to report the scratch from a legal perspective.

However, these are all dependent on the severity of the scratches. In most cases, the rental company will overlook minor scratches as the small issue is typically not a problem. 

Hidden significant dents and scratches are unlikely to elicit the rental company’s backlash if the repairs are done correctly. 

Nevertheless, reporting the hidden scratch as soon as possible is best to avoid legal complications. It’s important to perform a vehicle inspection with the rental agent as it was while renting the car.

What Happens If You Scratch A Rental Car?

Scratched body of a car
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

So, what happens if you roughen a rented car, even if small? It mainly depends on the damaged size of the car and the cost involved in repairing it. 

If there is a minor incision on your rented car, the company may not take any action against the renter.

 A minor on a rental car is mainly described as not hurting the vehicle’s metal. Otherwise, a dollar coin is also used to indicate the severity of the damage to the car. 

It is always recommended to sign a waiver form to avoid any legal complications that may arise due to scratches on the car. 

However, admit it honestly if the car company calls out the body alterations. As per the staff, they must report it to have the car fixed officially.

How To Deal With Scratched Rental Car I Did Not Cause?

When renting a car, taking the Damage Waiver Protection before taking control of the vehicle is essential and highly advised. The Damage Waiver covers some alterations.

Failure to do so would make your case contractually liable for anybody’s alteration or what may be considered damage. 

As a precaution, before driving the car off the lot, please point out anybody’s alteration and take a picture of it from every angle with your phone. When you turn it in, do the same.

If a third-party motorist caused the body alteration or any of scratched rental car while the vehicle was in your possession, notify the rental agency immediately.

Implications of Rental Car Scratch Without Insurance

The type determines the implications of returning a rented car without insurance. Barely visible scratches would elicit no response from the rental company. In contrast, major ones that reach the metal parts will almost certainly provoke a reaction from the company and subject you to repair charges.

 Theoretically, the incise must not be larger than a dollar coin or longer than a foot. 

A policy known as Unlimited Non-Owned Car Coverage (UNOC) for rental-car drivers provides an additional layer of insurance protection. 

Moreover, getting car insurance coverage is always a good way to avoid complicated circumstances and massive repair costs.

Does Vehicle Rental Insurance Cover Scratches and Bumper Damage?

Returning dented Rental Car
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Yes, the Rental Car Insurance covers incisions, minor and even bumper damage. These include dings, dents, and windshield chips. 

You can buy an additional damage waiver form to protect against any liability.

However, if you do not purchase a damage waiver, you will be personally liable for any damage caused to the car.

Are There Charges for Scratches on Car or Some Dent?

A scratched or dented vehicle has a lower resale value. Damaged cars mean the rental company will lose money by not renting them out while they are being repaired, and you will be charged for this. 

The cost is usually subsidized if you fix it yourself but consult the company first, even if minor issues and worse like bumper lacerations.

How to Hide Dents from a Car Company?

Follow these 7 simple steps to how to hide a scratch on a car or perfectly remove a minor incision from your rented car quickly:

  •  Conceal scratches with shoe polish

Car scratches can be easily concealed with shoe polish. For minor issues on your rental car, shoe polish works similarly to toothpaste. 

This item will only benefit vehicles with darker paint colors. Lighter colors, such as cream and tan, are available in some auto markets. 

  • Cover up with duct tape.

Duct tape is handy when the laceration on the car is small and shallow. Its versatility can make surface body alteration invisible. 

Find a close match in color and use duct tape to cover it as evenly as possible. While being smooth, try to avoid wrinkles and other airy lines.

  • You can also make use of nail polish.

Yes, nail polish can be used instead of shoe polish; unlike the former, it comes in various color hues. It is worth noting that many nail paints produce a significantly different color after drying, necessitating a brief test before application.

  • Utilize scratch-removal pens

The removal pens help fix minor body alterations on your rental cars, and they can match any paint color to cover it at a cheaper cost. 

These magic pens have no paint as they are designed to restore the clear lacquer applied over the top of the paint on car bodies.

Fuel tank and rare light view
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos
  • Try spray painting 

Spray paint is an excellent choice for covering significant body alterations because it is readily available and simple to apply. 

However, make sure that the paint color matches the car’s color. Before spray painting, thoroughly clean the surface and sand it perfectly with fine sandpaper. After that, you can apply the car spray paint to coax and wax the alteration.

  • Use a sticker or artwork.

This technique leans towards the creative side, but hey, it works! If you’re dealing with small dents in a rental car, you can easily use a sticker to cover them up. 

And for bigger dents, you can use a small artwork or painting. 

  • Apply touch-up paints

Finally, and perhaps most notably on this list, are touch-up paints. Touch-up paints come with a color guide for precise color matching. 

Your car dealer should be able to recommend a specific color based on your car’s VIN, which can be found in the lower-left corner of the dashboard, in front of the steering wheel.

What to Do if You Slightly Damage a Car You Rented?

If you get a laceration on your car, it is essential to inform the rental car companies as soon as possible. The company will likely have a process for reporting damages to the vehicle.

It is advised to take photos of the body alteration on the car from various angles before turning it in.

This way, you will only be liable for the damage you caused. While notifying the company, you might be asked to fill out a form and attach photos of the scratched car.

Reviewing the rental insurance policy and checking whether the scratched incidents are covered under your car insurance policy is also advised.

If the scratches on the car are significant and the insurance does not cover them, you will have to pay for the damage.

Finally, you should always keep all documentation related to the damage, including the damage report and any repair receipts.

It’s important to note that if you don’t report the damage and the rental company finds out about it after you have returned the vehicle, you may be charged for the damage and any additional fees incurred.

How Much is Dents Cost With Car Companies?

What would it cost me to rectify scratches on the car? The spot and severity of the blemish determine the value of repairing car body incisions. 

It also depends on the car model and the location of the repair. The average prices are what will be evaluated here.

Scuffs (surface dent) typically cost $150-$300 to repair. If you fix it yourself, a deeper one could be valued between $1,000 and $2,500. 

Rental companies are notorious for charging a higher rate because they charge you for the initial repairs and time out of service due to damage.

What Happens When Someone Dents My Rented Car?

Dented car body
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

What happened about the car scratch incident I did not cause? Car dents in rental cars caused by someone else will be treated the same as the ones caused by the owner if the other driver at fault is not identified or if they don’t accept the blame for the incident.

With that said, here are a few note-worthy points to remember. While renting a car, it is vital to take photos from every angle before and after using it. 

However, if the vehicle gets damaged and you did not cause it, you must notify the car rental company immediately. 

It is also advised to sign a waiver so you do not have to pay if the rental car gets scratched. 

If you did not damage the vehicle, it is imperative to collect the other driver’s insurance information and contact them so you can file a claim against their insurance company for the incision on a car.

FAQ About Dent on Car I Rented from car companies!

How to deal with little damage on rental-car Hertz?

Hertz provides a choice for speedy claim resolution at the time of return. Hertz has a Low-Cost Damage Claim Policy through which you can resolve car rental damage claims instantly, and it is available in rentals nationwide except in New York. 

Most car damage fees tallied by Hertz are far less expensive than any substitute and are remedied on the spot.

What is the policy on scratching with Enterprise?

Enterprise car policies include a Damage Waiver that covers minor dings, dents, and windshield chips and can be added as an extra layer of insurance to your rented car contract. If you choose not to obtain the Damage Waiver, you will be personally liable for any necessary repairs.

Would I pay for any dent on the car rental Avis?

You most certainly will. The terms and conditions of your Avis rent-car contract state that you must return the vehicle in one piece and without blemishes. 

Failure to do so would subject you to repair fees, either through the Loss Damage Waiver or out of your pocket.

Summary of scratching and car companies policies!

Every vehicle is susceptible to getting scratched, and getting incise on the car is no exception. Following this guide’s instructions, you can hide car scratches and avoid unexpected costs when returning your rental vehicle. 

However, we suggest you be honest if any problem occurs. Conversely, you may avoid driving a car with a bad body by walking around the car and pointing out any imperfections and agreed before you embark on your sweet road trip.


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