How Long Does a Rental Car Company Have to Charge You for Damages?

The rental car company is required by federal law to make an estimate of the damages and send you the estimate within 15 days of the date of the accident. The estimate must include a description of the damage, an itemized list of charges, and a copy of any written statement from an eyewitness to the accident.

If you don’t receive this information within 15 days after receiving your vehicle back from the repair shop, call or write to the rental car company and request it.

What if the damage is in an area that is difficult to see?

Rental car companies can charge you for damages that occur to their vehicles up to 30 days after the rental period ends. If the damage is in an area that is difficult to see, they might not notice it until much later than 30 days. This means that if you are charged for it, you will have to pay for it even though the company did not notify you about it within 30 days.

Rental car companies have to notify their customers about any damage within 24 hours of it happening. So if your rental car has been damaged and no one has said anything about it yet, call customer service immediately.

If they tell you there’s nothing they can do because it’s too late well, even if that happens, at least now you know about it so next time you can take precautions.

What if the damage occurred when you were not driving the vehicle?

If the damage occurred when you were not driving the vehicle, you are not liable for it. If someone else drove your rental and caused an accident that resulted in damage to the car, then you would not have to pay for that damage. If it was clear that you were driving and caused the damage, then you would be responsible for paying for it.

Can you dispute the charges if they are not reasonable?

Yes, you can dispute the charges. If you feel that the amount of damage is not accurate, or if there is no damage at all, then you can dispute the charges. You should do this as soon as possible after returning the car to the rental company.

Whether or not your claim will be accepted depends on several factors. The type of car and its value will determine how much damage is deemed reasonable. If a car has more than one owner and they disagree over who caused what damage, then this can also affect whether your claim will be accepted or not.

How do you make sure your car is returned in good condition?

A lot of people forget that they have to return their rental cars in good condition. If you damage the vehicle, you are responsible for it and you’ll be charged for it. Many companies charge extra if you return the vehicle with minor damage, and some companies will even charge extra if there’s no visible damage but they find hidden damage once they check under the hood.

Take photos of the car before you leave it with the rental company. Then, when you’re driving back from your trip, check yourself for any dings or scratches that could come back to haunt you later.

What are the time limits for charging you for damages?

In New Jersey and Tennessee, there are no time limits on charging renters for damages. The key word here is charging. This means that if you do damage the car and the rental company doesn’t charge you right away, they can still come back later and make you pay for it but they have to be able to prove that it happened while the car was in your possession.

So if they can’t prove it happened while it was in your possession, they likely won’t try to charge you.

But even if there are time limits on charging renters for damages in your state, there may be exceptions. If the rental company knows about an existing problem with the vehicle before renting it out such as a broken door handle they may not have any recourse against you if something happens after that point.


It is important for you to know that the rental car company has up to 30 days after you return the car to charge you for damage. They can also charge you for any missing items as well. If you have any questions or concerns about this matter, please feel free to contact us at.

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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