Stolen Car Rental: How to Protect Yourself and Your Rental Car

PUBLISHED ON May, 10 2023


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

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Get Started


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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Travel Tips and Guides

Enterprise Cancellation Policy: Your Guide to Modifications and Refunds

CarInsuRent Team

Insurance Writer Read More

Hertz Cancellation Policy: : What You Need to Know

Gil Farkash

Verified writer Read More

Car Rental Extension: Tips for Keeping Your Wheels Longer

CarInsuRent Team

Insurance Writer Read More

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I cancel my policy before my trip?

You can cancel your policy within 14 days of receiving your PDS and Certificate of Insurance. The premium you have paid will be refunded to you in full, as long as you have not started your trip and do not want to file a claim of any sort related to the policy. Once this 14-day period has passed, you can still cancel your policy but you will not receive any refund.

Does CarInsuRent cover Sand and Ash Protection and Gravel Protection?

Our Iceland policy include Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) and Gravel Protection (GP).

What is Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP)?

Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) is a type of insurance coverage that is designed to protect rental cars from the potential damage caused by volcanic ash and sand in Iceland. Certain areas of Iceland still have loose ash and fine sand from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which can blow around and damage vehicles. SAAP is a specific waiver that was created to cover this type of damage, as Icelandic insurance companies do not include it in their Collision Damage Waiver. This coverage is optional, but highly recommended if you plan to drive in Iceland. Camping Iceland, a local car rental company, claims that SAAP will serve you well and recommends it for all rentals.

When is it Common for the Wind to Toss Sand Onto the Roads?

Sand can be hurled onto roads in Iceland during the Sand & Ash period, which typically occurs in February, March, and April. During this time, the snow has only just thawed out and the grass hasn't grown sufficiently to keep the sand in its place. This can lead to damage to vehicles driving on the roads. It's important to note that sand and dust storms, which can also cause visibility issues for drivers, typically occur when strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere.

What does CarInsurent Sand and Ash Protection in Iceland cover?

Due to the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland the risk of damage to the paint and windows of the cars has increased. Our Sand and Ash Protection (SAAP) insurance can cover damage to the paint, windows, lights, plastics, chromes, and wheels of the rental car caused by sand, gravel, ash, pumice, or other earth materials being blown onto the vehicle. The deductible for SAAP insurance is typically 50,000 IKR for all rental cars in the fleet. No other insurance covers these damages and insurance companies refuse to cover them. Even though all safety rules are followed damage can happen when, for example, wind starts blowing more than was forecasted thus moving the sand/ash and damaging the car.   [carInsurent_sc_get_quote_cta cta_text="See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurence" cta_btn_text="Get Started"]  

Does the Insurance Cover Lost Keys and Remote Locking Devices?

Yes. CarInsuRent insurance covers lost keys and remote locking devices. Losing the keys to a rental car can be a stressful and frustrating experience. Many people wonder if their rental car insurance will provide coverage for lost keys. Rental car insurance policies may vary in their coverage for lost keys. Lost keys are not typically covered by car insurance for loss or theft, as keys are considered personal property.

Steps to Take If You Lose Rental Car Keys

Losing rental car keys can be a frustrating and stressful experience, but there are steps you can take to get back on the road quickly. Here are some tips based on the provided web search results:
  1. Contact roadside assistance: Most rental cars come with a roadside assistance phone number that you can call in the event of a lockout or lost keys. You should be able to call and have someone sent out to help with your situation. Note that our car hire excess waiver insurance may reimburse you for roadside assistance.
  2. Check for a spare key: Some rental cars come with a spare key that is located in a magnetic box under the car or in the trunk. If you have rented a car that has a spare key, this could be an option to get back on the road quickly.
  3. Contact the rental car company: Contact the rental car company as soon as possible to let them know what has happened. They may be able to provide you with a replacement key or arrange for a locksmith to come and assist you.
  4. Check your insurance policy: If you take out our car hire excess insurance you may have coverage for lost or stolen rental car keys.
  5. Take preventative measures: One of the best ways to avoid losing rental car keys is to make them harder to lose. Attach a big, noticeable lanyard or keychain to the keys, something that will make a noise when moved, to help you locate them quickly. Additionally, always double-check that you have the keys with you before leaving the car.
  We encourage you to read our full guide to learn everything you need to know about travel car hire excess insurance.   [carInsurent_sc_get_quote_cta cta_text="See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurence" cta_btn_text="Get Started"]   Please see the Policy Wording for the complete terms and conditions.

Find the answers you’re looking for to the most frequently asked car hire insurance questions as well as other questions relating to our products and services.

Visit the FAQ page