Highland, NY asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Products Liability and Car Accidents for California

Q: According to car rent agreement (CA), I am responsible for damage, but not collision?

I am responsible for damage that occurred after I returned a rental car outside of business hours (yes, I had permission to return after hours), according to the California car rental agreement. There was no damage to the car when I returned it. According to CA Code, Civil Code - CIV § 1939.09, the customer is not on the hook for damage unless it results from a collision (and in other limited circumstances). The damage is not obvious and I have no clue what caused it or even whether it is fraud (they could have just chalked the car and sent me photos). Am I responsible (I am the renter)?

This is what I base my understanding on:


"A few states, such as California and Nevada, have enacted statutes governing the types of damages for which a renter can be responsible. In other words, the statutes limit the damage responsibilities that can be passed on to the renter in the rental agreement...."

1 Lawyer Answer
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: as is the case with most legal questions, there is a need to learn more.

the contract should control........did you get permission to drop off after hours?

the challenge is that retaining a lawyer may be as costly as the PD.

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