I went to a new city two weeks ago and rented a 2011 Civic in the meantime. On the last week of the rental, someone hit my car in the front bumper in a parking lot.
The damage was a 2 by 3 inch dent in the front bumper. There were pre-exisiting scratches on the front bumper (these were documented during check out)
The rental car company had come up with a ~$2k estimate to repair this!
I called their bluff and negotiated it down to $950.
However, the dent is really superficial and in no way compromises the safety and functionality of the car.
I could have repaired it myself for ~$50 using those dent repair kits, but the terms of the rental stated that no repairs could be done by me.
My own car insurance covers this rental, but my deductible is $1.5k
I am considering offering the rental car company $250 - a fair figure considering a brand new OEM front bumper is $175.
What happens if they turn down my offer? Will they forward this to a collection agency or possibly litigate against me? (I am assuming $1k is too small to warrant a litigation suit!)
If they forward this to a collection agency, how much of the $950 could I be really required to pay? If I negotiated with that agency and paid them $150, how would this affect me, esp. my credit?
Would this affect my credit in any way (other than if the collection agency reported me to the beauru)
Can the rental company charge my credit card, that I used to pay the rental amount, for the cost of the damage without my written approval?