5 Tips for Getting a Rental Car
When you’re involved in an automobile accident, getting treatment for your injuries can be your top priority. You may not be thinking about the damage to your personal vehicle (and whether it’s even drivable after the accident).
Even after you get medical attention, your focus may shift to pursuing a personal injury claim if your accident was caused by another driver’s carelessness.
It may take days or even weeks before you realize that you’ve been left without reliable transportation to important appointments. You may qualify for a rental vehicle while the insurance companies sort what to do with your personal automobile. Before you congratulate yourself on a problem solved, keep in mind that finding a rental can be an exercise in frustration because of an ongoing rental car shortage.
What’s causing the rental car shortage?
Getting a rental car can be challenging these days for a variety of reasons. The most prominent cause of the shortage is that during the covid shutdowns, many rental car companies sold off their inventories. They did this for one of two reasons:
- No one was traveling and they were taking a loss on maintaining rental cars no one needed.
- They sold some of their vehicles to consumers desperate for used automobiles when car dealerships were running low on their own inventories.
Now that pandemic restrictions have eased and people are traveling more, the problem has worsened. Rental agencies haven’t managed to restock their inventories to pre-covid levels, even though demand for their products has soared.
Increasing your odds for rental car success
Your automobile insurance company can provide coverage for a rental vehicle. They can even help you get reimbursement for the rental from the at-fault party. What they can’t do is find you an available rental if none are to be found.
So, what’s a person to do? Here are some tips you can follow to increase your odds for rental car success after an accident.
- Don’t wait to request a rental
The longer you wait, the more likely you’ll have difficulty securing a rental vehicle. If you think your automobile is unsafe to drive after the accident, then start finding a replacement right away. You may need to have a friend or family member make the calls for you if you’re in the hospital recuperating from your injuries.
- Disclose the reason for your rental need
Rental companies sometimes prioritize long-term rentals because they can be more lucrative. The first thing you should do when calling for a rental is to let the agent know your situation. Tell them you were involved in an automobile accident and need a long-term rental while the insurance company sorts what to do with your vehicle. It’s important to mention you were not the at-fault driver in the accident to ensure rental agencies aren’t leery about providing you with a car, truck, or SUV to drive.
- Be willing to take what’s available
Some insurance companies pay for a rental vehicle that’s comparable to yours. However, that doesn’t mean the rental agencies have one available. You may have to agree to take what’s available if you need a rental right away. Otherwise, you could find yourself without reliable transportation. You can always ask the rental agency if it’s possible to upgrade (or downgrade) your rental if one more to your liking becomes available.
- Rent from a local
There are alternatives to traditional vehicle rental agencies. Some car owners rent out their automobiles. Just like an Airbnb or Vrbo property rental, there is a version of this service for automobiles. One of the quickest ways to find people who lend out their vehicles is through a service called Turo. Just plug in the dates you need a car and your preferred model, and the platform generates a list of possibilities.
- Rent from a car dealership
Here’s an option that many people don’t realize exists because it’s a well-kept industry secret. If you’re struggling to find a rental from one of the usual local agencies, you can consider this alternative. Some car dealerships rent out parts of their own fleets. Nissan and Toyota are among the automobile dealers that let you easily rent from them. There’s no guarantee they’ll have anything available, but it never hurts to ask.
Seeking help with car accident property damage New Mexico
Dealing with all the moving parts after an automobile accident can be stressful. Finding a rental car shouldn’t be one of the things added to your anxiety. Reach out to the car accident property damage lawyers in New Mexico who can help sort it all for you.
Contact Cameron & Russell at 505-218-7844 or request your free case evaluation online. We’ll make sure all your needs are covered.