What To Do If Your Rental Car Breaks Down

One of the benefits of renting a car from Hawk Car Rental is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the car you are driving is relatively new and in good repair.

Things to Ensure Before You Reserve Your Rental Car

Even before you start looking for a good rental car rate, take a few minutes and look at your automobile insurance policy, credit card paperwork and Automobile Association information.

Find out whether your automobile insurance covers towing or roadside assistance for any vehicle you drive, including rental cars.  Call your credit card company and ask whether your card benefits include towing or other perks related to renting cars. If you belong to AAA, ask about towing, tyre repairs and other roadside assistance benefits that might apply to rental cars.

If you don’t already have towing or roadside assistance for rental cars, you may be able to purchase travel insurance that includes coverage for rental cars.

Always remember to bring your policy, credit card and / or membership information with you on your trip.

Reserving Your Rental Car

  • Once you have found the best rate for the type of car you want to reserve, do review the rental terms and conditions.
  • Many car rental companies’ exempt repairs and services for these items from Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage, which means you will have to pay for the entire cost of repairs and compensate the car rental company for loss of use of the vehicle during the repair period.

At the Car Rental Counter

  • Ask whether roadside assistance is included in your rental rate. In some countries, some car rental companies charge extra for a 24-hour roadside assistance.
  • Verify that your coverage from your insurance company, credit card issuer and / or Automobile Association will be honoured if your rental car breaks down.
  • Find out what to do if your rental car breaks down and needs to be towed to a repair shop or car rental office.
  • Look to see if your rental car has a spare tyre and, if it does, whether it is a small “doughnut” tyre or a full-size spare. If there is no spare, find out what you should do if something happens.
  • Ask about the specific roads you plan to travel if you are not familiar with the area.

If the Rental Car Breaks Down

Situation #1: Your Rental Car Has a Problem, but driveable

  • You should always contact your car rental company when there is trouble with the car
  • However, if you know you will be held responsible for a minor, fixable problem (a flat tyre, for example), it might be easier to change the tyre, provided you have a spare, and continue with your trip.
  • If you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car, always contact the local police as well as your car rental company.

Situation #2: Your Rental Car Can’t Be Driven

If your rental car’s oil light comes on or a major system fails, you will have no choice but to stop the car, call for help and wait for assistance to arrive.

Do your best to get to a safe place, but do not continue driving if you know that doing so will damage the car.

If you break down far from a car rental office and there is no quick way for your car rental company to help you, ask for authorization to have your car towed to a local automotive shop for repair.

Write down the name of the person who gave you authorization and save all documentation related to the repair so that you can be reimbursed when you return the car.

Never pay for a local repair unless you have been authorized to do so by your car rental company. Always get authorization for repairs, towing and rental car exchanges.