You may be involved in an accident while you are driving a hire car, or the other vehicle involved in the accident could be a hire car. The person who is responsible for any damage will depend on who is at fault and who the driver is.
Hire car companies are generally not responsible for damage caused by the drivers of their cars, unless the driver was their employee. When a person hires a car and they cause an accident, they will be responsible for any damage caused.
When someone hires a car they may pay extra for third party property insurance. The hire car company may be able to help you if you are making a claim. You should provide them with quotes for repairs to your car. If you are not sure if the driver of the hire car has third party property insurance, you should get
If the driver was not insured for third party property damage, then you would need to make a claim on the driver directly. For more information, see
Owed money after a car accident?
If the driver is visiting Australia but lives overseas it may be difficult to make a claim against them, and you should get
If the driver of a hire car doesn't stop and exchange their details you could make an application to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS, formerly known as the RTA) to get the details of the hire car company. For more information, see
Exchanging details. Once you have the hire car company's details, you may be able to get the details of the driver from them. If you are having difficulty getting the details of a driver from a hire car company, you should get
If you think you were at fault in the accident, you should not admit this to the hire car company or their insurance company.
If you are the driver of a hire car and are involved in an accident, the hire car company's insurance will generally cover any damage caused to their car. You may need to pay a higher excess.
If you are the driver at fault and the hire company's insurance policy doesn't cover third party property damage, the owner of the other car may claim against you. For more information, see
Being chased for money after a car accident?
When hiring a car, you should read the conditions of hire carefully to see what the insurance will cover.
In some cases an employee of the hire car company will drive the hire cars as part of the service. For example, limousines and wedding cars are often hired with a driver and these hire cars are licensed to carry public passengers.
If you have an accident with a specialised hire car and you are not sure who to make a claim against,
or if you cause an accident while you are the driver of a specialised hire car and don't know whether you have to pay for the cost of any damage, see
Driving for work.