What Happens After a Rental Car Accident in Saudi

What Happens After a Rental Car Accident in Saudi

There are a lot of things to think about when you’re renting a car. You have to decide what car you need and which company has the best deal. But there are also some important things to keep in mind about your responsibility if you’re involved in an accident while driving the rental. Because let’s be real, no one wants to get stuck footing an enormous repair bill or being held liable for damages to another car. Yikes!

To save yourself a world of trouble (and money!), it’s important to understand what comprehensive insurance included in your rental agreement covers and what to do if you get into an accident while driving a rental car in Saudi Arabia.

The big question: Who pays when you crash a rental car?

In Saudi Arabia, all rental cars come with mandatory third-party liability insurance that covers damages to others if you’re at fault in an accident. However, this basic insurance does not cover repairs to the rental car itself.

To avoid paying for repairs to the rental car, you’d need comprehensive insurance, which is an optional add-on. When you rent a car, the contract will clearly state what insurance is included and the deductible amount (your out-of-pocket cost for repairs in an accident).

What to do after you crash a rental car in Saudi Arabia

Following an accident in Saudi Arabia, the most important thing is to check on everyone’s safety. Once you’ve confirmed everyone is alright, here is what to do:

1. Contact Najm to get the accident report

No matter how big or small — Don’t leave the scene before reporting the accident to Najm.

In Saudi Arabia, all non-injury car accidents, even those involving hitting stationary objects, must be reported to Najm. Without an official accident report, you’ll have trouble with your rental car company and insurance.

2. Document everything with photos & videos

To avoid any future disagreements with the rental company, make sure to take various photos and videos from all possible angles. Hold on to these photos, they can be valuable evidence to protect your rights.

3. Contact the rental company & return the car ASAP!

Rental agreements in Saudi Arabia require renters to notify the rental company and authorities right away if the car is involved in an accident or stolen. In fact, the accident report’s date and time puts an end to your rental period.

That’s why, once you receive the accident report from Najm, you need to:

  • Call the rental car company right away and tell them what happened.
  • Arrange to return the car to the nearest branch in the area.

4. Check your rental car insurance coverage

Rental car insurance in Saudi Arabia can be a bit confusing, especially with different types and names. But, there are three main types of rental car insurance:

Insurance TypeWhat you pay if you have an accident
Basic insurance (Third-party Liability)You pay to fix the rental car, but it covers damage to others.
Comprehensive InsuranceYou pay a small fee (deductible) between 2,000 – 3,000 SAR, and it covers fixing both the rental car and damage to others.
CDW Insurance You don’t pay anything if you have an accident, no matter whose fault it is.
Types of rental car insurance in Saudi Arabia

Don’t just skim the names! Read the details of each insurance policy to see what’s covered and what’s not. Pay attention to things like deductibles (the amount you pay out-of-pocket in case of an accident) and coverage limits (the maximum amount the insurance will pay).

⚠️Watch out! Rental car insurance comes with exclusions

The last thing you want after purchasing comprehensive or CDW insurance is to be on the hook for paying any cash after the accident! Even with insurance, there are situations where you might still be on the hook for costs. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • If you were involved in an accident and you don’t get an official report from Najm or the authorities, you’re responsible for all the rental car damage.
  • Driving under the influence (drunk or high) automatically voids your insurance in Saudi Arabia, and you’ll face serious legal issues.
  • Only people listed on the rental agreement as “additional drivers” are insured. If someone else gets in a crash, you might be on the hook for repairs.
  • Expired rental agreements mean no insurance coverage for accidents after the expiry date.
  • Using the rental car for anything other than its intended purpose (like joining a rideshare or food delivery app) breaks the contract and cancels your insurance.
  • Get authorization from the rental company first before driving outside Saudi. Driving the car out of the country without permission means you’re responsible for any accidents.
  • Did you leave the car unlocked with the keys in it and it gets stolen? Insurance does not cover negligence. Remember to take all safety precautions to prevent any damage.
  • Speeding, running red lights, or drifitng can void your insurance. Drive safely and follow the traffic rules to avoid any accidents and unexpected costs.

3 Rental car must-dos for a smooth ride (Anywhere!)

Renting a car should be easy, no matter where you are in the world. Here are 3 key tips to ensure a smooth experience:

  1. Check Reviews Online (Google is your friend!): Before renting a car in Saudi, find customer reviews online to get an idea about service, car condition, insurance prices, and how easy it is to book with different rental companies. Trust us, a little research & some price comparison goes a long way!
  2. Read the Fine Print: Don’t just sign! Understand all fees, insurance details (including your deductible), and rental rules before finalizing your payment.
  3. Inspect Before You Drive: Take a walkaround the car – any dents, dings, or scratches? Check the interior too – is everything working, including the AC!
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