Summary & Quick Facts
- Don’t think you can get away with not paying tickets on a rental car, the rental company will find out eventually.
- Handle tickets that you receive on your rental car like you normally would: pay or fight the ticket as soon as you can.
- Always keep a copy of your receipt if you pay a ticket, this will help you prove to the rental company that you’ve paid any ticket received.
- Failure to pay a ticket on a rental car will result in late fees added to your ticket in addition to extra charged added by the rental company.
What Happens If You Get A Ticket On A Rental Car
Using a rental car can be a great way to get around New York City. It’s particularly useful if you don’t want to own a car but need one on occasion. It may also be great for tourists who prefer to rent one for a trip rather than using their own. After all, you can save on the wear and tear a long road trip can have on your personal vehicle. While there definitely are some perks that come with a car rental, there are still some challenges. Sometimes car renters, particularly tourists, are often driving in new places and unknown streets. Driving in a new city can leave a driver vulnerable to getting tickets. If you don’t properly handle parking tickets for rental cars, it can come back to bite you. You could end up with hefty additional fees from both the rental company and city.
Rental Car Traffic Tickets (Moving Violation)
First of all, it’s important for all drivers to know the differences between getting a traffic ticket in a rental car and getting a parking ticket. When you receive a moving violation from an officer, they apply the violation directly to your driver’s license, which means you may receive points on your license. If the violation is, however, more serious, penalties can be a lot worse depending on the severity of the violation.
If this happens while you’re in a rental car, simply pay the ticket as quickly as you normally would. However, if you choose to pay the ticket rather than fight it, always make sure to keep a copy of your receipt for records. Things happen and you wouldn’t want to face a penalty for an unfortunate error made somewhere along the way towards the ticket’s resolution. Most likely, the rental car company will never be informed of the ticket unless you fail to pay for it. If it comes to this, the city will attempt to contact the rental car company that owns the vehicle you rented when the violation occurred. At this point, the rental car company may pay the ticket and then send you a much larger bill along with pricey administration fees to cover the fine that you were responsible for.
Rental Car Parking Tickets
Things are a little bit different with a parking ticket. Unlike moving violations, parking tickets are connected directly to the vehicle and not to your driver’s license. This is because parking tickets use license plate numbers to identify offending cars. As a result, it is more likely that the rental car company will find out about a parking ticket than a moving violation. The best way to handle this is to pay the parking ticket immediately and contact the rental car company to provide them with proof of your payment. Again always remember to get a copy of your receipt! You don’t want to have the headache of the rental company hounding you when you already fulfilled your driver duties.
What if I get a Red Light Camera ticket?
Red light cameras capture a vehicle’s license plate number while you’re on the move. While this may seem like a moving violation, red light camera tickets are actually treated like a regular parking ticket. As a result, the city can and will automatically bill the ticket to the person or company that owns the vehicle. This means the company you’re renting the vehicle from will be the one to receive the ticket. From there, they will most likely pay it and send you a bill for the cost of the violation in addition to the administrative fee.
What to Do if You Receive a Letter From the Rental Company
If you receive a bill from the rental car company for a parking ticket, consider these few things. First, if you know you already paid for the ticket, pull out that receipt you smartly saved and send them a copy. This will always be your fail-safe proof that you handled the parking ticket appropriately. We live on planet earth after all and things can always go wrong. For example, sometimes there is lost paperwork or miscommunication between the city and rental car companies.
If you haven’t paid the ticket, you will, unfortunately, have to pay the full cost of the ticket as well as any additional late fees and fines. One exception to this would be if you choose to fight or dispute the ticket in court. If this is something you plan on doing, let the rental car company know about your intentions as soon as possible. Keep in mind, however, that you will still be responsible for all costs if you lose your case.
Getting a traffic or parking ticket while in a rental car can be a major headache. Moreover, tickets unnecessarily add to your travel costs while you’re cruising the town. The best thing you can do is to be proactive in getting the parking ticket resolved as soon as possible.