couple exchanging insurance details after car crash

Peace of Mind After a Collision: 4 Must-Knows While Choosing the Right Rental Car

Crashed car? 4 tips to rent the right car & stay mobile while yours gets fixed

If you’ve ever found yourself in the unfortunate situation of being involved in a major car collision, you know just how overwhelming it can be. From the initial shock of the accident to dealing with insurance companies and arranging for repairs, it’s a challenging time. One aspect that usually gets overlooked is what happens when you need a rental car after such an incident. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what you can expect when renting a car after such an event, shedding light on the process, psychological shock, and how things work in the UK. We will also walk you through the steps you should take when making a road traffic accident claim.

The Rental Process After a Major Collision

So what is the rental process after a major collision? After a major collision, your own vehicle might be inoperable, in the repair shop for an extended period, or even written off by your insurance company. In any of these cases, you might require a temporary replacement to keep your life moving. This is where renting a car comes into play.

1. Insurance Coverage and Liability

The first thing to consider is whether you have rental car coverage as part of your insurance policy. Many comprehensive insurance policies offer this as an option, but it’s crucial to understand the terms and limitations. If you do have rental coverage, your insurer will typically foot the bill for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.

If you lack rental coverage or are not at fault for the accident, the responsibility for covering your rental car expenses may fall on the at-fault driver’s insurance. In the UK, determining fault is more complex, as the law doesn’t designate a specific at-fault party; instead, fault is assigned based on the accident’s circumstances.

2. Choosing a Rental Car

Once you know who will be covering the cost of your rental car, it’s time to select a vehicle. Most rental agencies offer a range of options, from compact cars to SUVs and even luxury vehicles. Your choice will depend on your needs, preferences, and the availability of vehicles at the rental agency.

Documentation and Information

When renting a car after a major collision, you’ll need to provide some essential documentation and information. This typically includes:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance coverage
  • Details of the accident, including police reports if available
  • Contact information for your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurer if applicable

Having all of this information ready will expedite the rental process and ensure that you get back on the road as soon as possible.

Vehicle Inspection

Before you drive off with your rental car, it’s essential to perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle. Check for any pre-existing damage and make sure the rental agency documents it. This step is crucial because you don’t want to be held responsible for any damage that occurred before you rented the car.

3. Psychological Shock After a Car Accident

Understanding Psychological Shock

Beyond the logistics of renting a car after a major collision, it’s important to address the psychological impact of such an event. Car accidents can be traumatic experiences, leaving individuals with various emotional and psychological reactions.

Psychological shock is a common response to a traumatic event like a car accident. It’s characterized by feelings of confusion, disbelief, and a sense of detachment from reality. Individuals in psychological shock may also experience physical symptoms like a racing heart, trembling, or dizziness.

Emotional Responses

In addition to shock, people involved in car accidents often go through a range of emotional responses, including:

Fear and Anxiety: It’s entirely normal to feel fearful and anxious after a car accident. The fear of getting behind the wheel again or reliving the incident can be overwhelming.

Anger and Frustration: If the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, anger and frustration are common emotions. Dealing with insurance companies and repair processes can exacerbate these feelings.

Guilt and Self-Blame: Some individuals blame themselves for the accident, even if they were not at fault. This self-blame can be incredibly distressing and may lead to depression.

Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Car accidents can trigger or exacerbate depression and PTSD in some individuals. Symptoms may include nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety.

Seeking Psychological Support

Recognizing and addressing the psychological impact of a car accident is crucial for long-term well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with the emotional aftermath of a collision, it’s essential to seek support. This can come in the form of counselling or therapy to help individuals process their emotions and develop coping strategies.

In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) offers mental health services that can be accessed through your GP or by self-referral. It’s essential to reach out for help if you’re experiencing ongoing distress after a major collision.

4. Legal and Insurance Considerations in the UK

car loss Insurance UK

UK car rentals post-collision depend on complex legal & insurance systems, with fault impacting the process significantly.

Rental Car Insurance

When renting a car in the UK, you’ll have the option to purchase rental car insurance directly from the rental agency. This insurance typically covers damage to the rental car, theft, and third-party liability. It’s essential to carefully review the terms and coverage options before deciding whether to purchase rental car insurance, as it can add to the overall cost of the rental.

When should I report the accident to the police UK?

If you’re involved in a major collision in the UK, you must report the accident to the police if:

  1. Someone Was injured
  2. There is damage to property (including vehicles) or animals
  3. The other driver leaves the scene without providing their details

Reporting the accident to the police is a legal requirement and helps ensure that the incident is properly documented.

Insurance Claims and Rental Car Expenses

The process of getting your rental car expenses covered in the UK can be somewhat different from other countries. Your ability to claim rental expenses may depend on the outcome of the investigation into the accident and the determination of fault.

If the accident is deemed to be the fault of the other party, you can typically claim rental car expenses from their insurance company. However, if the fault is shared or if it’s challenging to determine who was at fault, you may need to rely on your own insurance coverage or rental car insurance.

The Rental Experience

Once you’ve sorted out the insurance and legal aspects, renting a car in the UK is relatively straightforward. Most rental agencies in the UK offer a wide range of vehicles, from economy cars to larger models and even specialty vehicles.

Making a Road Traffic Accident Claim with National Claims

At National Claims, we understand that being involved in a road traffic accident can be a distressing experience. Our aim is to guide you through the process of making a road traffic accident claim, ensuring that you receive the support and compensation you deserve.

Initial Consultation

The first step in making a road traffic accident claim with National Claims is to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced claims specialists. During this consultation, we will gather essential information about the accident, the location, and the extent of the damage. We will also discuss any injuries you may have sustained and the impact on your daily life.

Determining Liability

In the UK, determining liability in a road traffic accident is a critical aspect of the claims process. Our team will work diligently to establish who was at fault for the accident, taking into consideration witness statements, police reports, and any available evidence. This determination is crucial for establishing responsibility for the accident and subsequent rental car expenses.

Inoperable car due to accident?

We’ll help you secure a rental car to keep you mobile. We understand the importance of maintaining your mobility during this challenging time, and we will ensure that you have a suitable replacement vehicle to keep your life on track.

Claim Submission

Once we have gathered all the necessary information and determined liability, we will proceed with the submission of your road traffic accident claim. Our team will prepare a comprehensive claim that includes all relevant details, ensuring that you have the best chance of a successful outcome.


Renting a car after a major collision can be a necessary step in getting your life back on track. Understanding the rental process, insurance considerations, and the potential psychological impact of the accident are all crucial aspects of this journey. In the UK, the specific legal and insurance systems in place add another layer of complexity to the process. However, with the right knowledge and support, you can navigate these challenges and move forward after a major collision.

Remember, it’s not just about getting back on the road; it’s also about taking care of your mental and emotional well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftermath of a car accident, don’t hesitate to seek help and support. Your health and recovery are of paramount importance, and there are resources available to assist you during this challenging time.

If you find yourself in the position of needing to make a road traffic accident claim, organizations like National Claims are here to provide the guidance and support you need. With experienced professionals by your side, you can navigate the claims process with confidence, ensuring that you receive the compensation and assistance you deserve.

Contact us today to start your claim for your road traffic accident and let us at National Claims look after your hire car and car repairs.

Click below to see why we are one of the most trusted claims management companies in the UK.


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