Can a rental car company be liable for an accident if a driver has a crash on the road? This depends on a number of factors.
When you rent a car, part of the rental agreement will state that any fines accrued for parking illegally, speeding, not paying tolls or any other reason will be paid by the driver.
This is, of course, a perfectly reasonable request. After all, as the driver, you are responsible for your actions in the car. However, there are other incidents where the rental car company can be liable.
When can a rental car company be liable for an accident?
Just as the rental company have the right to expect you to drive their vehicles carefully and safely, so you have the right to expect a roadworthy car.
Your responsibility is simply to drive within the limits of the law and any specifications laid out in the agreement. This would include things like a daily mileage allowance, not taking the car overseas unless otherwise agreed and topping up with fuel, oil, screen wash etc. when necessary.
For the rental company, they must ensure that the car they give you is fully taxed, has a valid MOT and service and has no known damage that could impair the driveability.
Rental cars should be subject to regular, stringent inspections. Say, for example, you are out driving and a problem with the brakes causes you to have a road traffic accident. If the rental company did not perform sufficient safety checks, then they are liable.
This is just one example where the rental car company can be liable. Others would include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- Steering failure
- Engine problems that were known about and ignored
- Engine problems that were missed
- Engine problems that were misdiagnosed
Such is the potential severity of any accident on the road, ensuring the quality and reliability of rental cars is of paramount importance.
Making a road traffic claim
As well as negligence on the part of the rental company, you could also be owed road accident compensation if the incident was the fault of another motorist. Accident Advice Helpline has over 16 years’ experience in processing personal injury claims. Our unique 30-second test will establish your eligibility to a compensation claim. You can also call our expert advisors on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from mobiles.
Date Published: March 6, 2017
Author: Accident Advice