Can you afford to pay for the hire car you just crashed?

SOUTH AFRICA, GAUTENG, 25 SEPTEMBER 2015

Negligence when driving any self-propelled machine can be costly, albeit with your life, your dog, your neighbour’s dog, your wallet, your reputation, but negligent driving when it comes to your hire car is going to cost you, most likely more than you can afford.

Negligence means failure to take proper care over something. Negligence when it comes to the law means breach of a duty of care, which results in damage. When it comes to negligence and car hire, you are now taking responsibility for a large machine that probably costs more than most South African’s annual salaries, so when there is negligence, there is more often than not, major damage to a rental car, which means hundreds of thousands of Rands you are now responsible for and have to pay.

In “law-speak”, negligence is a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.

It normally goes like this – the average negligence story – you’ve got your car hire sorted, signed the rental document and the terms and conditions, not really listening to the rental agent explaining certain clauses to you because you can’t wait to jump into that expensive rental car you booked, (which in truth when it is a luxury vehicle, you would probably not be able to buy because repayments would be too expensive); you have signed for the best car hire responsibility waivers, so you can be certain you won’t have to pay a cent more, whatever happens, right?