What are my rights/responsibilities regarding liability for a rental car?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my rights/responsibilities regarding liability for a rental car?

I rented a car using my credit card car insurance. The car had a blowout that damaged the rear wheel well. The car rental company is wanting me to pay $3,250 through my credit card account. My credit card company is going to put the $3,250 on my account because they have insufficient information to decide the case. The rental car company has refused to furnish any information other than a 19 page invoice. Can the credit card company make me pay this amount and can they put a lien on my home in if I don’t pay?

Asked on September 3, 2017 under Accident Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Normally, you are only liable for damage to a car if you were at fault (e.g. driving carelessly) in causing it in some way; ordinarily, therefore, you would not be liable for a blow-out, unless you careless drove over road debris, etc. you should have been able to avoid. But this can be changed by contract: review the rental agreement to see if you agreed to be liable, or responsible, for damage and charges like this. An agreement to be responsible for damages or charges is legal and enforceable.
If you were at fault or did agree in the rental agreement to pay this, you have to; otherwise, you should not. If not, if the credit card company charges you for it, sue them seeking a court order that you are not responsible for the charge; in the lawsuit, name the rental car company, too, and let the court decide who is responsible for the amount.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption