How I Avoided Getting Charged for a Minor Scratch on My Rental Car

How to avoid getting charged for minor scratches on rental cars

Over the summer, I rented multiple cars, and I accidentally scratched one of them on a protruding tree branch while pulling out of a driveway. When I pulled up to my brother’s house, he asked me what was wrong. I told him I’d just scratched my rental car and I was probably looking at a big charge because of it. “Don’t be silly,” he said. “That scratch will come out with just a little bit of rubbing compound.”

He went into his garage, pulled out a silver tin and a rag and started rubbing. Within minutes, the car looked like new. Next time I rent a car, I’m bringing some rubbing compound (like this stuff) along just in case. It may not always fix the scratch (or mean no money will be owed to the rental company), but when properly applied, it can be a big help.




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Johnny Jet

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How I Avoided Getting Charged for a Minor Scratch on My Rental Car
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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

7 Comments on "How I Avoided Getting Charged for a Minor Scratch on My Rental Car"

  1. Johnny After a battle with hertz over virtualy nothing damage I make a video of every rental. Not only did Hertz try to charge me for the damage they wanted payment for the days the car was supposedly out of service. Luckily for me the damage was so slight they repaired the wrong end of the car and ended up apologizing

  2. Can you fly with that under TSA rules? Would they consider it the equivalent of a gel-like substance?

  3. Toothpaste will also work for minor scratches.

  4. In a pinch try toothpaste. It’s a mild abrasive!

  5. Be careful – always try an inconspicuous area first

    You should try polishing compound first, followed by rubbing compound if it improves but is not completely fixed. If you are using toothpaste make sure the rag is sufficiently damp Also don’t forget to use sapphire prefered when renting-primary damage coverage, most cards are secondary.

  6. Under NO circumstance should you be using any rubbing / polishing compound other than a “light” or “white” compound (if you are using a rubbing compound.) Anything above that you run the risk of taking the finish off of the paint and creating a dull finish where you have used the compound. Yes, toothpaste will also work and make sure to use a clean, soft rag (cotton) and be sure the rag is “damp” as 809 Pineapple noted.”

  7. My rental car got a dent in the plastic bumper. Luckily an auto body shop was able to fix it for €30. If there is visible damage take the time to have a pro fix it while you have lunch with the locals. Our lunch experience was another story that made our trip to Portugal one we will never forget!

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