A black rental car without damage.

I didn’t damage this rental car! Why should I pay $600 to fix it?

Could a car rental company bill you for damage you didn’t cause — six weeks after you return the vehicle? As you’ll soon read, the disturbing answer is, “Yes, definitely.”

Hertz recently accused Akshay Ghalsasi of causing $600 in damage to a rental car he drove in January. But Akshay says he returned the vehicle in precisely the same state of disrepair as he received it. 

He claims the rental car had a plethora of pre-existing damage, and he’s sure that the company knew about it. Akshay insists he has some powerful evidence that proves he isn’t responsible for the repair of the vehicle.

But unable to get anyone at the car rental company to review his photographic evidence, Akshay is looking for help. He hopes Consumer Rescue can deliver those photos to Hertz and get the car rental giant to drop the damage claim against him. 

So what exactly do those photos of the damage on the rental car show?

This is a dirty rental car being driven through a muddy bog. There are yellow reeds on the sides of the waterway. The car is becoming engulfed in sludge.

You should never return a rental car dirty. Here’s why

Messy people, beware! Car rental companies will charge you up to $450 if you return a dirty vehicle. 

Avis customer Bart M. recently found this out the hard way. Shortly after returning his last rental car, Avis notified him that the vehicle was excessively dirty. As a result, the company intended to bill him hundreds of dollars to clean the car.

Bart admits he left behind “some” garbage in the rental car when he returned it. 

However, he says there is no way it cost Avis much of anything to remove that trash. He suspects the fee to clean the messy rental car is just an illegal cash grab.

Now Bart is hoping Consumer Rescue can convince the car rental company to drop its pursuit of the cleaning fee. 

But just how dirty was this rental car?

Let’s have a look…

car rental might not have unlimited miles, car rental mistakes

Warning: Your rental car may not come with unlimited miles

Richard Wallerstein and his wife made an expensive car rental mistake when they assumed their reservation included unlimited miles. It didn’t. Unfortunately, they discovered the zero mileage allotment on their rented SUV only after they completed a 1,150-mile road trip.

If you’re like the Wallersteins, you may be unaware that not every rental car comes with unlimited miles. Their tale is a reminder that when making your own reservations, it’s important to pay careful attention to all details. The information this couple needed was in plain sight — if only they had looked — before they took their lengthy road trip.

Oregon coast, road trip down the Oregon coast, ocean and flowers to see on a road trip in a rental car.

Budget charged me twice for the same car rental! Can you help?

Eileen Wendorf says a Budget mistake caused her to pay twice for the same car rental. She wants her money back. But there’s a big problem with her discovery — it occurred nearly seven months after she returned the vehicle.

Now she’s asking our advocacy team to convince Budget of its expensive billing mistake and retrieve her $426. Can we do it?

This rental car went missing after it was towed. Now what?

My rental car was towed after an accident — now it’s missing!

Traveling through the mountains of Colorado at dusk during a snowstorm, Annoris Perez suddenly lost control of her rental car. She was shaken but unharmed. The vehicle? Not so lucky. The rental car was towed from the accident scene, and she assumed she was no longer responsible for it.

She was wrong.

Weeks later, when the rental company called asking for its missing vehicle, Annoris found out just how wrong. Now, she needs our team’s help to determine what happened to her rental car after the driver towed it away.

Hertz sent a customer to collections after it offered him a goodwill gesture. The car rental began and ended in Seattle, Washington.

Can Hertz give a goodwill gesture and still send you to collections?

Hertz customer Aaron Baird made a costly mistake during his last car rental. Because he returned the vehicle to the wrong location, the car rental giant slapped him with a $780 upcharge. Ultimately, in the spirit of positive customer relations, Hertz offered Aaron a goodwill gesture and erased the debt.

Lesson learned, and all was well – or so Aaron thought.

A few weeks after Hertz offered the goodwill gesture, a different department within the company resurrected the invoice. That Hertz team sent Aaron’s account to collections and put him on the Do Not Rent (DNR) list.

What happens if a drunk driver demolishes your rental car?

A drunk driver crashed into my rental car but I got the $22,158 bill!

Just days into Joe Vandetta’s recent Florida family vacation, a drunk driver crashed head-on into his rental car. Luckily, the hit-and-run accident didn’t cause serious injuries, and the Vandettas — bruised but otherwise unharmed — completed their trip as planned.

But the shock of getting smashed by an intoxicated motorist was nothing compared to the jolt Joe received a month later. That’s when Budget Rental Car sent a $22,158 bill — the cost of the vehicle damaged by the drunk driver.