The Keating Firm has been purchased by Kisling, Nestico & Redick, a personal injury law firm serving all of Ohio. Visit Site >
top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

How Long Does It Take to Get a Rental Car After an Accident?

Updated: Jan 17

Getting involved in a car accident can involve a lot of consequences for both the parties involved and the vehicles. Some car accident victims may not have sustained severe injuries, but they may lose their car. In these cases, they need to get a rental car immediately so that they can resume their daily life for a few extra days.

It's important to note that waiting for a car to get repaired at a repair shop can take too much time, especially if the victim had their car totaled. Thankfully, it's possible to get a rental car company to provide victims with a rental car under some circumstances. However, it's vital for the victims to talk to the right people to assess their options.

Talking to a Law Firm

The Keating Firm LTD's team is composed of legal experts that can help car accident victims start their claim process and get a rental car promptly. Talking to the insurance company for rental car coverage can be an exhausting process for everyone, so the lawyers at this law firm can cover that process.

This article covers the basics about getting an insurance company to provide car accident victims with a rental car, as well as some other important factors the parties involved must consider to get the process done much faster.

When Is It Necessary to Get Rental Car Coverage?

When Is It Necessary to Get Rental Car Coverage?

In most cases, it's vital for all drivers to get rental coverage from insurance companies. While no one wants to get into a car accident, it may still happen at some point, so it's better if people are prepared for those scenarios. A car insurance policy isn't that expensive to pay in comparison to how much victims would pay a rental car company for a car.

Using GAP Insurance

A popular insurance type is GAP coverage, which is used alongside collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. It helps people cover additional rental car costs and fees in case the regular insurance doesn't provide enough money.

Rental Coverage in the Country

Legally speaking, most states require drivers to get liability coverage from a car rental company if they don't have insurance. Still, if a driver already has coverage from an insurance company, it's a great idea to get extra protection from liability coverage.

In some cases, regular coverage from an insurance company doesn't have adequate car collision coverage, or it may only insure people under a commercial car insurance policy. On the contrary, rental coverage offers collision damage, personal effects, and personal accident coverage.

Who Pays for a Rental Car After a Car Accident?

This is one of the most common questions people have after experiencing car accidents. Overall, the victim's goal is to pay as little money as possible for their rental car, so it's vital to get all the information they need from their insurance company or legal experts.

Typically, it depends on who was at fault for the accident, meaning that it's the at-fault driver's insurance company the one responsible for paying. However, many insurance companies tend to make investigations before deciding what to do after an auto accident.

In some cases, the at-fault driver's insurance company may take too long to get a rental vehicle to the victim. There, the victim must explore other options with their own insurance policy to avoid losing more time.

Talking to the Victim's Own Insurance Company

As mentioned before, the at-fault driver's insurance company may take some time reviewing police reports, evidence, and testimonies before deciding to pay for a rental vehicle for the victim. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the at-fault driver's insurance company may directly get billed by the victim's insurance company; in other cases, the victim's insurance company may reimburse them for their rental vehicle.

What If the Insurance Takes Too Long?

If the at-fault driver's insurance adjuster takes too long to provide a rental vehicle for the other driver, they may use their rental insurance to get a rental car. It's important to note that while a car insurance company may cover victims with a replacement vehicle, they may not offer enough money to get one in some cases.

In case the car accident victim isn't happy with what the insurance companies are willing to pay for rental cars, they may decide to pay the cost upfront and seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver at another time. Here, the victim must get approval from their insurance company in advance to prevent any legal issues in the future.

Talking to the At-Fault Driver's Insurance Company

The best-case scenario is the one where the victim is able to obtain a rental car from the at-fault driver and their insurance company. There, the victim only has to worry about filling up paperwork before getting a rental car and waiting until their vehicle leaves the repair facility.

However, the process may be a bit complicated to get at-fault drivers' insurance companies to pay for rental reimbursement. Here, the victims must provide enough evidence that shows the other driver was at fault for causing the car wreck. Even if the victim is able to provide enough evidence of their claims, the insurance company may decide to settle for as little money as possible, meaning the victim is not going to have enough to cover all the rental car fees.

In these cases, it's best for the car accident victim to seek legal advice from legal experts. Many attorneys offer a free consultation for car accident victims, which is great news for those who are looking to get help as soon as possible.

What Rental Company Can Victims Use?

It depends on the circumstances. If the victim gets the rental car through the at-fault driver's insurance, they must work with the rental company that the insurance company chooses.

Still, in case the car accident victim is unhappy with the car rental company the other driver is working with, they may choose to go for another rental provider, pay upfront, and seek rental reimbursement through an insurance claim later. However, victims must get approval from their insurance company to avoid problems.

What Rental Car Can Victims Get?

A common question accident victims get is which rental vehicle they can get to replace their totaled vehicle. Typically, the victim must get a comparable vehicle to the one they were driving at the time of the car crash. It's vital to note that insurance companies may try to keep rental car costs to a minimum, so victims may want to work with a legal expert to ensure they get a vehicle that works.

Going for a Vehicle with a Low Daily Rate

In case the victim is using their rental coverage, they may choose a vehicle with a low daily rate so that the reimbursement limit lasts longer. Otherwise, they may have to pay for the difference. Insurance companies don't automatically cover a car loan after an accident, so victims must ensure they talk to their lawyers and insurance companies at each step of the rental process.

Car Rentals in Texas

According to Texas law, an insurance company must always compensate the victim based on their car's fair market value, which is excellent news. Still, they may have to negotiate with the insurance company to get something that benefits them.

How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Rental Vehicle?

The process of getting a rental car from an insurance company often depends on the company itself. In most cases, the company is going to tell the victim they must investigate the claim before getting a rental car to them. Unfortunately, that process can take anywhere from five to 10 days.

If the car crash involves a total loss, the process may take even longer than usual, which is why the victim needs to talk to a legal expert to receive the help necessary to rent the right car. Some insurance companies tend to request unnecessary information, such as a recorded statement to make the process faster. However, this is not a legal requirement, and the company may use that information in its favor in the claim process.

Overall, it's important for the parties involved in the accident to talk to a lawyer to get an appropriate settlement offer for the rental car.

How Long Does an Insurance Company Pay for a Rental Vehicle?

Each company has time limits regarding how long they're going to cover a rental car. In the end, it depends on the insurer and the policy. Typically, an insurer is going to provide coverage for up to 30 days, but there may be some cases in which the victim may not receive enough coverage.

Overall, the process depends on whether the car only needs a repair in body shops or if the case was a total loss.

When the Car is Repairable

In these cases, the victim may be entitled to rent a vehicle for as long as it takes the car to be repaired. If the victim can still drive the car, the insurance company may not start paying for the rental vehicle until the victim gets the car to the shop.

It's important to note that some car shops may fail to repair the car in a set amount of time. In the case of a delay, the rental company must talk to the insurance company to extend the rental. Getting additional insurance from a car rental company is excellent in these cases since it makes the process a bit faster.

When the Car is Totaled

Typically, the victim may get a car after an accident right away if it was totaled. However, the victim may need to start looking for a new car right away since, in most cases, the purchased rental coverage ends right after the property damage claim reaches a settlement.

Rental cases for a total loss may be a bit more complicated since insurance companies may try to make lower offers. In these cases, it's vital for people to talk to legal experts to achieve a fair settlement. Typically, the victim must seek reimbursement for their car's fair market value.

What Documents Do People Need to Rent a Car?

Typically, insurance businesses and attorneys handle the paperwork people need to obtain a rental car after an accident. However, if the victim decides to purchase a rental car with their own money, they must provide the rental company with some of the following documents:

  • Proof of full coverage insurance

  • Valid driver's license

  • Cash deposit or credit card

Additionally, the victim must be a particular age before they rent a car. While the minimum age for paying for a rental car depends on the area, most states don't allow younger people to get one.

Can Car Accident Victims Let Another Person Drive the Rental Car?

The short answer is "no." Legally speaking, the only person who can drive a rental car is the person who signed the rent paperwork. However, some rental companies allow drivers to add extra drivers for an extra cost.

In case the victims were to add new drivers to the rental car, they must still talk to their car accident attorneys and insurance to assess these options.

Is It Possible for the At-Fault Party's Insurance Companies to Not Accept Liability?

Is It Possible for the At-Fault Party's Insurance Companies to Not Accept Liability?

It's highly common for the at-fault driver's insurance to not accept liability for a car accident, even if the evidence proves that the driver was - in fact - at fault or it resulted in a death. Overall, most insurance businesses are going to try denying the victim's claims so that they don't have to pay for the rental car.

Getting a Lawyer to Solve the Problem

In these cases, the company may even refuse to provide a rental to the victim, which can be a problem. Here, it may be a great idea to seek free consultation from a reputable attorney so that the victim can provide all the evidence they need to get a replacement for their car.

The lawyer's job is to gather as much evidence as possible to prove the other person was at fault in court; these pieces of evidence include:

  • Recorded statement

  • Police report

  • Photo/video of the accident

  • Testimony

Bottom Line

Paying for a rental can sometimes be an overwhelming process for the accident victim, which is why it's important to get good legal representation to achieve optimal results. The Keating Firm LTD specializes in developing an optimal attorney-client relationship that allows the victims to get appropriate compensation for all the damages caused.


bottom of page