What Happens if I Refuse to Pay Rental Car Damage?

If you refuse to pay for damage to a rental car, the car rental company may take legal action against you. Some companies will charge your credit card right away and then pursue legal action later.

Other companies will wait until after the case is settled before charging your card so that they can be sure that they have enough evidence to win their case.

There are three main types of damage

Normal Wear and Tear. This is the normal wear-and-tear that comes with using a rental car. An example would be removing the key from the ignition and scratching the slot in which it sits.

Accidents. If you have an accident while driving, you may be responsible for paying for damage to the car regardless of fault. This includes repainting the vehicle if necessary and fixing any broken parts, such as headlights or windows.

Theft. If your car is stolen or vandalized, you will be responsible for paying for all damages, which may include replacing missing parts and repairing windows and other parts damaged by vandals.

Should I have insurance on the rental car?

If you don’t have car insurance on the rental car, it’s important to know what happens if you refuse to pay for the damage. If you did not purchase optional rental car coverage and damage the rental vehicle, you could face significant penalties and fees.

How do I get out of paying for the damage?

Take pictures and videos of the car before and after your rental period ends. This will help you prove that any damage was already there when you rented the car.

Ask if there’s any kind of insurance coverage that covers this type of thing. Some companies provide it automatically, while others do not; just be sure to read all the fine print before signing anything.

If all else fails, call up your credit card company and tell them what happened—they might be able to help with this one.


If you’re renting a car, you’ll want to take care of it and the best way to do that is to make sure you know what happens if you refuse to pay rental car damage.

If you do have an accident in the rental car, and it’s your fault, then you’re responsible for paying for any damages that result. If you’re unsure how much damage was caused by your accident, be sure to take pictures of the vehicle before and after, so that you can accurately assess the cost of repairing it.

This will help prevent any discrepancies between what you report and what actually needs to be done.

Steven Hatman
Steven Hatman

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