What to Do If You Damage a Rental Car | Budget Car Rental



What to Do If You Damage a Rental Car

What happens if you damage a rental car?

Should you damage your rental car, follow these steps:

  • Contact local police and fill out an accident report form.

  • Contact Budget 24-hour roadside service at 800-354-2847.

  • Complete a Budget accident report and fax it and your local accident report form to 720-479-4034.

If the rental car damage was caused by another person, be sure to get their contact information as well.

Step to Take Immediately After the Accident

Accidents happen. The first thing you should do if you’re involved in an accident is to get to a safe area. Move out of the line of traffic to prevent further harm to yourself, others, or your rental. 

Then contact local police and complete an accident report. If another person was involved in the accident, please ensure their contact information is included in the accident report. You should also keep their information because you’ll need it for the Budget accident report, too. 

Finally, contact Budget 24-hour roadside assistance at 800-354-2847.


Filling Out a Budget Accident Report

The next step is to complete a Budget accident report. Your rental agreement includes one, or you can access the accident report online (you’ll need Adobe Reader).The entire form must be completed to ensure there are no delays in processing your claim. Fax us the form with any other accident reports from local or state authorities. Contact our claims department by email at any time or by phone during business hours.

  • Accident report fax number: 720-429-4034

  • Budget claims department: 800-551-5998 (Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST)

International or non-U.S. drivers can file a claim by contacting Budget via email

Don’t delay! If you’ve been in an accident, fill out the accident report form now.  


Who Pays for the Damage to the Car and Other Expenses?

Payment for rental car damage is dependent on whether or not you purchased a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) from Budget. In addition, the factors below help determine who is responsible for damage fees.

You Purchased an LDW With Your Rental

Renters who purchased the LDW are free from financial responsibility for loss or damage to the Budget vehicle. However, the vehicle must have been used in accordance with the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

If you haven’t reserved your car yet, be sure to purchase LDW at checkout. 

You Didn’t Get an LDW With Your Rental

Renters who didn’t purchase an LDW are responsible for any and all loss or damages to the car, including (but not limited to) damage resulting from the following: 

  • Collision

  • Rollover

  • Theft

  • Tire damage

  • Vandalism

  • Medical conditions

  • Acts of nature, such as flooding or hail

Should your rental be damaged, contact your personal auto insurance company and file a claim. 

If you used a major credit card to cover your rental charges, their customer service department can help you determine if your coverage includes rental car protection.

You don’t have to wait for claim documents from Budget to report your claim elsewhere.

Someone Else Was At Fault

If the damage was not your fault, be sure to get the other party’s contact information. This information allows Budget to pursue them and/or their insurance company on your behalf for damages. However, this does not exclude you from your contractual obligation to pay for damages.

You Rented Through a Company Account

If you rented a car through a company account and the vehicle is damaged, you’ll follow the same steps listed above. You’ll also want to ask your employer if you need to file a claim with your personal insurance, corporate credit card insurance, or your employer’s insurance. 

Where applicable, Budget will contact your employer to verify that you are eligible for the corporate damage waiver coverage. If your employer does not provide a response, you will be held financially responsible for the rental car damage. 


Other Fees After an Accident

  • Loss of Use: As a renter, you are contractually liable for the loss of the specific vehicle you rented, per the terms and conditions of the rental contract. When a Budget car is unavailable to be rented, Budget is entitled to be compensated for that loss.

  • Administrative Fee: Budget is not an insurance company. We are self-insured, and the expense of processing our claims is passed on only to the responsible parties involved. We are legally entitled to have the damaged vehicle repaired and returned to pre-accident condition, which includes any expenses related to administering a claim.

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