Imagine stepping off an overnight long haul flight where you’ve barely slept. You find the local car rental and are focused on just getting to your hotel to relax. The attendant hands you a huge form filled with countless steps and checks you should take and filled with long legal text hidden within is your acceptance of any damages. You quickly walk around the car and see there isn’t anything obvious, flick to the last page, sign it and take your keys. On your return the attendant does a thorough check and notes some damage on the vehicle you hadn’t noticed but you know it wasn’t you. What are you to do? You’ve signed the agreement and didn’t take photos or note the damage beforehand. How much will that cost you?
Within such a common story, there are countless opportunities for intentional and accidental fraud for rental vehicles. We outline below the various forms of fraud that both renters and rental companies can attempt and how to easily avoid it within just a few minutes with DriveX’s guided solution.
Types of Fraud
Vehicle damages don’t always have to be just the big things. Infact, many people do not realise that “damages” according to rental agreements could be anything over a 2 inch scratch anywhere on the vehicle. From the side mirrors to the windshield or even the bumper, the slightest scratch could be added to your rental bill without you being responsible if not spotted beforehand.
The more commonly known fraud types are from rental clients attempting to hide damages or claiming that damage they have caused was already there. However rental companies themselves have been known to have their own ways of defraud clients too.
Clients can be defrauded by (source);
- Being charged for damages already on the vehicle
- Overcharging for minor damages
- Charged for completely fake damages and/or claims
- Charged for alleged missing equipment
- Delayed damage reports submitted a long time after the vehicle was returned
Should a client reject these claims, some cases have seen that companies can take aggressive actions with harassing calls and letters, involve debt collectors and look to threaten greater action. Additionally, some fraudsters also repeat claims across clients using legitimate damages to collect money from as many clients as possible.
Not all fraud is intentional, in the example at the top, our client was tired and didn’t pay enough attention to spot the earlier damage, and perhaps the attendant was also not focused enough and rushed to have the car ready. Both parties missed the damage at first and as a result, the client may be asked to pay damages or the rental company could be out of pocket for the repairs.
Putting a stop to fraud
With these cases the solution is so simple and yet often taken advantage of. A thorough documented check before and after the car is rented would prevent any confusion, attempted fraud and clarify the whole process. However we know that, especially when busy, people have a tendency to skip ahead or not be as detail oriented as is needed to avoid fraud. It is in these cracks in peoples focus, we find that fraudsters thrive and look to take advantage of the opportunities.
This is where DriveX can become a trusted solution for both clients and companies alike. With the AI guided solution, DriveX’s SmartScan, walks the client and staff member around and inside the car collecting key high quality images proving the condition of the car before and after the renting period. The damage detection system automatically identifies any damage (dents, broken lights, paint damage, scratches, rust and scrapes) allowing any user, regardless of their car inspection experience, to perfectly capture the necessary images for a perfect inspection in a single attempt. Within just a few minutes, DriveX can protect clients and companies alike. Available at any time, the inspection process works seamlessly with any rental experience, whether that be the traditional airport car pickup, or the city-driving micro rental becoming more popular.
Contact DriveX to find out how to add client and company protection back into the rental market and prevent yourself becoming a victim to the billion dollar fraud industry.