Roger Van Horn is the vice president for corporate loss control at Enterprise Holdings, which owns Enterprise, National and Alamo. Since I’ve received a lot of recent questions about car rental damage claims — many from Enterprise customers — I wanted to ask him a few questions about what happens when a car is dinged or scratched.
How is the rental process supposed to work, in terms of inspecting a vehicle for pre-existing damages?
We conduct a pre-rental vehicle inspection, which includes cleaning, refueling, necessary maintenance and damage review, for all of our brands. Our Enterprise Rent-A-Car service model involves employee interaction with every customer during the vehicle selection process. This allows us to make a physical inspection with our customer – before a rental car is driven off the lot.
Our Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental service models don’t involve employee interaction unless questions arise, so cars are not inspected in the presence of customers at the commencement of the rental. Because accidents are an unfortunate fact of life, some of our Alamo and National customers do personally inspect rental cars for additional peace of mind and to provide them a clear understanding of the overall condition of the vehicle from the start of the rental period.
Regardless of brand, it is our normal practice to inspect the vehicle upon return with the customer present.