How do I get reimbursed for my car rental if they failed to repair my car during this time?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2010

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How do I get reimbursed for my car rental if they failed to repair my car during this time?

I had a rental while I was waiting for my car to be repaired. The auto body shop kept my car for 6 days and did not repair it. Now, I don’t want to get the work done by this auto shop. I want the auto shop that kept my car for 6 days to pay for my rental when I take it to the new shop. They owe me 6 days of car rental for not working on my car. I called them 6 or 7 times to check the status of the car and the shop did not call me back until I said, “I was coming to pick my car up.”

Asked on July 19, 2010 under Accident Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you can recover the cost of the rental in this situation depends mostly on whether you had any sort of a committment from the body shop as to when the repair would be done. If they made a committment, either in writing (ideally!) or even orally, particularly as part of inducing or convincing you to use them (e.g. you took the car to this shop because they said "we can it fixed by Wednesday"). If there was such a committment, it may be enforceable, and you may be able to seek compensation for rental past the day your car should have been ready. However, without an explicit committment of  the  type described above, it is very unlikely that the body shop would be liable--repair shops are not automatical responsible for the costs their customers incur, and they are not obligated to repair by a certain date unless they actually expressed or took on such an obligation.

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