Canada: Quebec Case Confirms Car Rental Company’s Duty in Verifying the Renter

According to the Montreal Gazette, a car rental company won a suit against one of its customers for $24,139 in damages to a rented vehicle.

In February 2011, the car rental company rented Anne Marie LaPointe a 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer, which was involved in an accident two months later. The damages cost more than the value of the vehicle.

LaPointe denied that she was involved in the accident and said the car had been stolen even though there was no report filed with the police or the car rental company.  A clause in the rental contract, pointed out by Quebec Court Judge Henri Richard, states that any damage to the vehicle, even if caused by theft or vandalism or unknown sources, is the responsibility of the renter.

LaPointe also tried to claim in her defense that because her license was suspended at the time, the car rental company shouldn’t have rented her the vehicle in the first place, making the company responsible. However, there is no law in Canada that says car rental companies have any duty to investigate the renter’s license other than that it matches the renter and that it’s not expired — which is the same in the United States (click here for an ARN article "Investigating the Renter: Are You Responsible for Varifying Licenses with the DMV?").

View the full story here from the Montreal Gazette here:
http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Wheels+Justice+Novel+defence+flops+rental+suit/6602614/story.html

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