Claiming Car Hire After an Accident in Queensland


Has your vehicle been damaged or written off completely after an accident? Claiming costs for reasonable hire car expenses can be your lifeline, allowing you to stay mobile for essential things like attending work or medical appointments. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the rental car claims process and see how it varies depending on who was at fault.

If the Accident Was Not Your Fault

If your accident was clearly the other driver's fault, your options to recover your rental car costs include:

  • Other Driver's Insurer. You can potentially lodge a claim directly against the at-fault driver's Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer or comprehensive insurer if they have one. These generally cover reasonable like-for-like replacement car costs when their insured driver is liable.
  • Your Own Comprehensive Insurer. Many car insurance policies have benefits to 'front' you a like-for-like rental car, even if the claim itself is against another driver. They would handle collecting those costs from the at-fault driver or their insurer later. 

Important: Before hiring, take photos of your damaged car and retain written quotes from different rental companies in advance. This strengthens your claim for reimbursement.

Tips for a "Not My Fault" Car Rental

Some rental companies try to make 'non-fault' clients still pay the rental excess and 'get it back' later when their claim is finalized. Try to avoid this excess wherever possible, as it is usually unnecessary. If your fault position is clear, good insurers and rental companies can avoid this inconvenience.

You should also stick to vehicles comparable to your own car while it's being repaired. Trying to upgrade or get ‘payback’ from the person at fault will backfire when costs are reviewed. 

If the Accident Was Your Fault

Recovering car hire costs becomes more difficult if you are the at-fault driver. Check your insurance policy for the most accurate information, but here is how being at fault typically impacts your claims:

  • Comprehensive Insurance with Hire Car Benefit. Your policy may include a rental car allowance after an accident, sometimes up to a daily limit. Check if you must first pay an excess for this service. Many insurers have a fixed daily fee for a car rental they will arrange, and it may be capped at a maximum number of days, such as 14 or 30 days.
  • Commercial Rental Services. If you don’t have a hire car benefit on your comprehensive insurance and need to rent a car, you will most likely need to fund this yourself. Some rental companies offer discounted monthly rentals. Roadside assistance services such as RACQ have discounted rates negotiated with rental companies, which may save you some money.

Key Takeaways

  • Keep Your Car Hire Period Reasonable: Aim to cover the necessary time for repairs or a reasonable amount of time to wait before an insurer declares an irreparable write-off.
  • Seek Early Guidance: Lawyers experienced in car accident claims can guide you on securing a reliable replacement vehicle to keep disruption to your life minimal.

Where to Find More Information and Help

It's always a good idea to speak with a lawyer after an accident, especially if there are injuries involved. Having experienced legal support can protect your rights and ensure your claim starts off strong.

Last updated:
March 20, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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