Stupid Tip of the Day: Take Photographs Immediately After Being Involved in an Automobile Accident

Note: The replacement name for the Stupid Tip of the Day series of articles has not yet been chosen; and your suggestions are still welcome.

A reader of The Gate — who will remain anonymous — recently contacted me privately with regard to an accident which involved another vehicle struck the rear end of the rental car in which the reader was driving…

Stupid Tip of the Day: Take Photographs Immediately After Being Involved in an Automobile Accident

…but after submitting all of the paperwork and waiting some time until this matter was resolved with the rental car company, this reader received a notice with an additional claim by the rental car company for an additional $3,000.00 for the tires, which were allegedly replaced with “worn” tires.

Could someone have stolen the good tires overnight while the reader was in a hotel room and replaced them with worn tires? As unlikely as this may seem, people have apparently swapped out a rental vehicle after stealing parts from it and then exchanged it for a different vehicle — as well as parts having been stolen from rental vehicles in general — and this happens more often than you might think.

Unfortunately — unless you have taken clear photographs of the condition of all vehicles which were involved in an accident — if a rental car company levels an additional claim against you, the battle becomes your word against that of the rental car company. Ensure that you take plenty of photographs from all different angles to prove the condition of the car at the scene of the accident as soon as possible — assuming that you are not injured or hurt.

You should also call the police as soon as possible after the accident occurs so that you may obtain an incident report to provide to the rental car company and the company which provides insurance.


Chevrolet Lanos LS rental car in Egypt Avis

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Of course, this is in addition to the photographs you took of the rental car prior to driving off with it at the beginning of the rental period — as well as those you take at the conclusion of the rental period. Photographs — as well as videos — are your best evidence to protect you in the event of a discrepancy resulting from an incident which causes a disagreement between you and the rental car company.

I learned through personal experience that you should call the police when you are involved in a hit-and-run accident — no matter how minor — and this really applies to almost any accident.

Renting a car is usually uneventful — but when a problem occurs, it can consume valuable time, effort and even money to ensure that it is finally resolved.

Other articles which I wrote pertaining to renting a vehicle which offer potentially valuable information for you include:

Photograph ©2006 by Brian Cohen.

4 thoughts on “Stupid Tip of the Day: Take Photographs Immediately After Being Involved in an Automobile Accident”

  1. Christian says:

    Three grand for tires? That must be some car.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I guess the $3,000.00 includes installation and those little caps which cover the valves, Christian

      …and air. Cannot forget the air…

  2. DaninMCI says:

    Good tip. I’d add that if you can enable timestamp or use a timestamp photo app to take the photos that is a much added bonus for such photos. I do this with all rental cars. Especially important in countries where minor existing damages are typical.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is a good idea, DaninMCI; although one can usually go to the information source of a photograph or video to see when it was created.

      Of course, there are ways of changing the creation date of a file such as a photograph or video — just as there are ways a person can manually add a false time stamp…

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