It’s the last thing that’ll be on your mind when hiring a rental vehicle, and, arguably, probably the thing you’ll plan for the least (if at all).
However, accidents do unfortunately happen. The good news is that you’re far more likely to undertake your journey without a single scrape, but it’s a great idea to know what you’ll need to do in advance, if something goes wrong on the road.
This is particularly the case with hire vehicles, due to the fact you’re not the legal owner.
So, before you hire any vehicle, here are a few things to keep in mind if you have an accident while driving.
Check for injuries
The first and most important thing in the aftermath of a road traffic accident is to check for injuries to those around you (and yourself), and seek medical assistance, if required.
If anyone has been injured, you’re obliged under the laws of the Road Traffic Act to contact the police as soon as possible. Don’t wait – do it as soon as you’re physically able to do so.
When accidents take place on the motorway, you’ll almost certainly need assistance quickly, which is why it’s essential to move a safe distance from the carriageway immediately and get on the phone to the police.
Similarly, never remain in your vehicle on the hard shoulder of a motorway (or on any road, for that matter). That is, of course, unless you’re physically unable to remove yourself from the vehicle.
If it’s a rental vehicle…
If the car isn’t yours and you’ve hired it from, say, a company like Squab, after checking for injuries and calling the police, you’ll need to call the relevant insurance handling company.
The details for this company should have been handed over to you when you rented the vehicle.
It’s also a good idea to call the rental company to let them know what’s happened. Indeed, they can probably assist you with the insurance side of things to make your life a little bit easier.
While we’re on the subject of insurance…
If you’ve just had an accident, don’t admit responsibility, or discuss the fault. This will come later.
The most important thing is to ensure everyone is OK and involve the relevant authorities as quickly as possible.
Chances are, you’ll probably be shaken up and not thinking straight after an accident, therefore discussing anything relating to fault or insurance immediately after the crash is always a bad idea. It can wait.
Don’t forget the Motor Accident Report form
If you’ve hired the vehicle, you should have a Motor Accident Report Form (or similar) in the pack you were given by the hire company.
This will ask for key details, and possibly a rough sketch and description of exactly where the accident took place. You don’t need to fill this in immediately, but it’s a good idea to do so as soon as you can while the details are fresh in your mind. Be as honest and descriptive as you can.
As noted at the start of this blog, it’s unlikely you’ll be involved in an accident while out driving, but if we’ve raised any questions today or if you’d simply like to hire a vehicle, just get in touch with the friendly Squab team.