Renting Your Ticket to Jail
So you think that renting a car is an easy, pain free process? Most of the time we know that is generally true. But what about the times when there is a problem? There is one important thing that every car renter should know before signing the contract to have great pleasure ride on car.
Most people are unaware that a car rental agency can send you to jail, where you could end up for a good long time. The charge? Felony auto theft. Before you start panicking lets examine the reasons a car rental company would do this, and what you can do to prevent it.
Being a car rental agency is an expensive venture. Your investing thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars in cars that you hope will return the investment to you. You also are paying a lot for routine maintenance, cleaning, and security. You have to pay the attendants who book the cars and the technicians who fix them. As a car rental agency, a lot is riding on each car you have, quite literally.
As a method of protecting their investments rental agencies set limits on the amount of time they will rent each car out consecutively, and expect their vehicles back on time. When a vehicle has not been returned at the time the renter said they would return it, not only is the company potentially losing revenue for renting the car out again, but they also have more potential that the car could be damaged due to not maintaining the strict maintenance schedule. After the allotted time the agency is very keen to get their vehicle back, to make sure it will continue to return on their investment.
So what steps does the rental agency usually take in this matter? First they attempt to track down the renter, though the phone number and the address left at the time of the rental. If the renter does not comply with returning the car, or is unable to return the car they move to the next step. At this point the car is assigned either to the company’s repossession department, or a separate recovery company. They make every effort to either get the renter to turn the car in, or they will repossess the vehicle.
If the repossession department or company are not able to retrieve the vehicle, that is when matters get serious. At this point it is usually about 45-60 days past the date that the vehicle was supposed to be returned. The rental agency gives a call to the local police department, and reports the vehicle as stolen. The vehicle is put on a list called NCIC where if the tag of the vehicle is ran, the police will pull the renter over and arrest them. The agencies renting the cars out would prefer not to let it go that far. This is something to seriously consider though if you rent a car. Usually the car companies are pretty amenable if you can’t return the vehicle at the time you tell them, but they do have a limit to their patience. So be happy, be safe, and enjoy the rest of your summer.