Travel Tips October 30, 2017
Here’s What To Do If You Get A Ticket While Driving A Rental Car
It happens to us all. You find yourself going a touch too fast on the highway or unknowingly parking in the wrong place. Unless you’re a perfect driver, tickets are a majorly annoying fact of life. But what happens when the car you’re driving is a rental?
In today’s connected world, those rental plates (probably) won’t protect you from ponying up for a violation. In fact, getting a ticket in a rented car can be a bit more complicated than you’d think.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
It’s a familiar scenario: you’re on vacation in an unfamiliar city with parking signs that you’d need to be a cryptographer to decode. You leave your rental car in what you think is a legal parking space, only to return and find a nasty parking ticket on your windshield.
While it may be tempting to just throw that ticket away and assume that you’re out-of-state status will make you hard to find, it’s important to remember that your rental company has all your information and insurance details. Furthermore, in this digital age it’s common for states to share vehicle information with each other and with insurance companies. That means that the rental company will probably be alerted to the fine and pass along the bill to you, even if the state authorities somehow aren’t able to track you down. Which they probably will be able to do.
In this case, it’s probably best to just pay the parking ticket and avoid the collection calls.
Obviously if you’re pulled over by a cop for speeding, you know the drill. But what about getting snagged by a speed camera in a rental car?
If you’re renting a car in the United States, it’s highly likely that your rental contract included a small section about how the company is allowed to share your credit card information with American Traffic Solutions for collection purposes. What is American Traffic Solutions? It’s a firm that installs and manages speed and red light cameras across the country and collects fines from violators.
So while you may think that speed cameras aren’t a problem when you’re not in your own vehicle, that’s really not the case. Most likely, you’ll notice the fine pop up on your next credit card statement. If you aren’t directly billed, American Traffic Solutions will likely ask for payment directly. Pay up or you will have collection agencies at your heels.
There’s not much you can do to contest this type of ticket, save for providing evidence that you were elsewhere at the time of the ticket and potentially turning up in court. If you live across the country (or across the globe), it might be more trouble than it’s worth to fight the ticket.
Red Light Cameras
If you’re caught running a red light by a camera, expect to receive a violation notice from your rental car company. It many cases, the rental company will also charge administrative fees to your card related to notifying you of the violation.
Again, your options here are pretty much to either pay the bill directly or fight the ticket. Red light cameras are triggered by movement and typically take at least two photos of the violating car. In order to get the ticket dismissed, you’ll have to prove that you were either elsewhere or not driving the car at the time of the violation.
We hope this quick guide has helped you understand a bit more about what happens behind the scenes when you get a ticket in a rental car. For more travel tips,