Car rental is a convenient and popular option for travelers who want to explore new places at their own pace. However, rental cars are also a prime target for thieves, and stolen car rental is a growing problem in the industry. As of 2021, the total number of rented cars around the globe was 29.2 million. According to Hertz, 0.014% of its rentals are reported stolen each year. Thus we can assume that 4,000 rental cars are stolen every year. If you’re planning on renting a car for your next trip, it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to prevent theft. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the stolen car rental, how it happens, and what you can do to protect yourself and your rental car. We’ll also discuss the responsibilities of rental companies, what to do if your rental car is stolen, and how rental car insurance can help cover the costs of stolen car rental.
How does Stolen Car Rental happen?
Stolen car rental can happen in many ways, and it’s important to be aware of the common methods that thieves use to steal rental cars. One of the most common ways rental cars are stolen is through fraudulent means, where criminals use stolen credit cards or fake identification to rent cars. They then drive off with the rental car and never return it.
Another way rental cars are stolen is through “carjacking,” where thieves forcibly take the car from the renter. This can happen when the renter is stopped at a traffic light, or when the car is parked and left unattended.
Thieves also target rental cars that are parked in public places or in hotel parking lots. They may break into the car and hotwire it, or use a duplicate key to start the engine. In some cases, thieves may even steal the entire rental car trailer or tow it away with a truck.
The consequences of stolen car rental can be significant. The renter may be liable for the cost of the stolen car and any damage caused, as well as any lost revenue for the rental company. Additionally, stolen car rental can result in higher insurance premiums and may even impact your credit score.
By being aware of the risks of stolen car rental and taking steps to prevent theft, you can help ensure a safe and stress-free rental car experience. This includes being cautious when renting a car, using a reputable rental company, and taking precautions when parking and leaving the car unattended. It also means knowing what to do if your rental car is stolen and having appropriate insurance coverage to protect yourself in case of theft.
Prevention measures are important for protecting rental cars from theft. Here are some steps that you can take to help reduce the risk of theft and keep your rental car safe:
- Research rental car companies and locations: Look for rental car companies with good reputations and avoid renting from companies with a history of theft or poor security measures. Avoid high-risk areas, such as neighborhoods with high crime rates.
- Keep doors locked and windows closed: Always keep the rental car doors locked and windows closed, especially when parked. Do not leave valuables visible inside the car, as this can attract thieves.
- Never leave the keys inside the car: Always take the rental car keys with you when you exit the vehicle, even if you are just running a quick errand. Thieves can easily steal a car if the keys are left inside.
- Be aware of surroundings: When parking the rental car, choose well-lit, visible areas that are populated with people. Be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the rental company or law enforcement.
By taking these prevention measures, you can help reduce the risk of theft and keep your rental car safe. It’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, and to take proactive steps to deter thieves and protect your rental car. With these measures in place, you can enjoy your rental car experience with greater peace of mind.
The Rental Company’s Responsibilities
The rental company has a responsibility to take reasonable measures to prevent stolen car rental and to ensure that renters are aware of the risks and precautions they can take. This includes properly maintaining and securing their fleet of rental cars, as well as training their staff to identify and report suspicious activity.
Rental companies should also have procedures in place for reporting and responding to stolen car rental incidents. This may include requiring renters to report any theft or damage to the rental car immediately and cooperating with law enforcement agencies to recover stolen cars.
In addition, rental companies have a legal obligation to provide safe and well-maintained vehicles to renters. If a rental car is stolen due to the rental company’s negligence, such as failing to properly secure the car or maintain its safety features, the rental company may be held liable for any damages or losses resulting from the theft.
Overall, the rental company plays an important role in preventing stolen car rental and ensuring a safe and positive rental car experience for their customers. Renters should feel comfortable asking the rental company about their policies and procedures for preventing theft and reporting incidents, and should choose a reputable rental company that takes these responsibilities seriously.
What to Do If Your Rental Car Is Stolen?
If your rental car is stolen, you should take the following steps:
- Contact the police immediately: Call the local police department to report the theft and file a police report. Provide them with as much information as possible, including the make and model of the car, license plate number, and any distinguishing features.
- Contact the rental car company: Inform the rental car company about the theft and provide them with the police report number. They will guide you on the next steps and help you with the insurance claim.
- Check your insurance policy: Check your insurance policy to see if it covers rental car theft. If it does, contact your insurance company to file a claim. If not, the rental car company’s insurance may cover the theft. Third party Car rental insurance can provide important protection for rental car drivers who are concerned about theft. In the event that a rental car is stolen, car hire excess waiver insurance can help cover the cost of any excess fees or charges that may be imposed by the rental company.
- Follow up with the rental car company: Follow up with the rental car company to ensure that they are handling the situation appropriately. Ask for updates on the investigation and the status of the insurance claim.
- Be prepared to pay for any damages or fees: In some cases, the rental car company may hold you responsible for any damages or fees associated with the theft. Make sure to read the rental agreement carefully to understand your responsibilities. If you buy car rental insurance online, the excess amount can be eliminated and reduced to zero for as low as $6.49 per day* to $94.90 for an annual car hire excess insurance.
It’s important to act quickly if your rental car is stolen, as the longer you wait, the less likely it is that the car will be recovered.
See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance
In conclusion, rental car theft is a serious issue that can cause significant financial and logistical problems for renters. However, by taking prevention measures and being prepared, renters can help reduce the risk of theft and protect themselves against unexpected costs.
Prevention measures such as researching rental car companies and locations, keeping doors locked and windows closed, never leaving keys inside the car and being aware of surroundings can all help to deter thieves and keep rental cars safe.
In the event of theft, renters should contact the police immediately, inform the rental car company and check their insurance policy to understand their coverage and responsibilities. By being proactive and taking these steps, renters can minimize the impact of theft and ensure that their rental car experience remains positive and stress-free.
Overall, prevention measures and preparedness are key to protecting oneself and one’s rental car against theft. By staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of theft, renters can enjoy their rental car experience with greater peace of mind.
Have a safe trip!