What to do if your rental car gets stolen

This is why you’ll want to consider a full insurance package the next time you rent a car…

At some point during your driving miles, you may need to make use of a rental car. Perhaps your car needs a service and you need a temporary replacement, or you need a car while you’re out of town.

Just as likely, is the chance of you falling victim to car theft, particularly in South Africa where a large number of vehicles are stolen on a daily basis.

Apart from trying to track down the car yourself (we don’t suggest this) what else should you do if your rental car gets stolen?

Also read: How to make sure you’re not buying a stolen car 

Here are some helpful tips from Trackimo to keep in mind if your rental car gets stolen…

1. Notify the police

As soon as you’re made aware that your rental car has been stolen, contact the police immediately.  Try and give as much information as possible: Where was the vehicle stolen from? Describe the vehicle. Were there any personal belongings in the car? Was there a tracking device on the car that you were aware of? Get details of the report you have filed with the police, to give to the rental company.

2. Call the rental company

Once you’ve notified the police, your next step is to contact the rental agency that you hired the car from. Inform them that you have contacted the police and give them the necessary details from the filed police report. If the stolen rental car has a GPS tracker, the rental company can try and locate it, if the police don’t first.

3. Request for an incident report

It’s important that you ask for an incident report from the rental company, because liability insurance claims will need this, especially if you’ve taken out a comprehensive insurance plan (which is the most expensive) but offers you coverage in the event of theft.

4. Contact your credit card company

If you used your credit card to rent the car, you might want to contact your credit card company, especially if you didn’t apply for theft coverage. “Most of the time, credit card companies assist their client in finding secondary coverage offers. Or if you own a car, contact your car insurance agent and check if your current policy also includes rental theft coverage,” says Trackimo.

Once you’ve read over these tips, you’ll probably agree that opting for full insurance on your next rental car is a good decision. Unfortunately, car theft in South Africa is as unpredictable as it is common, so better to err on the side of caution.