Wrecked Tesla: Rental Car Advice

Wrecked Tesla: Rental Car Advice

My beloved Model S got T-Boned when someone ran a red light today. Good news, no one injured and my Model S actually probably saved the lives of a crowd of people in the crosswalk that the car that T-boned me would have otherwise been plowed over. More good news, there was a cop right there that saw this person run a very cold red so it is all cut and dried.

Sadly, my Model S is on the back of a flatbed on its way 140mi away to Orlando to the nearest Tesla certified body shop where I fully believe that it will take over a month to get it repaired.

Question is this: I'm paying a fortune every month to lease this car. If I'm paying a massive lease and driving a Hyundai for 1-2 months I feel like I'm getting robbed. How do I make sure I get an "equivalent level" of vehicle and have their insurance pay for it? (They are insured) Ideally, I'd like a loaner Tesla but I know that probably isn't possible. I would consider anything in the same zip code as the price range of my beloved S reasonable.

Advice? I've never owned a car in this price range, before I would have considered any rental car as "reasonable".

sp_tesla | 23 septembre 2016

Costco offer best rates by far.

Mathew98 | 23 septembre 2016

Ask/sue for rental coverage of silimilar class vehicle. The offending driver's insurance needs to settle a middle ground with you.

Email Frank at the address below for advice.

Haggy | 23 septembre 2016

I once had an issue where the opposing insurance company wouldn't pay, so I got a lawyer. Ironically I got my replacement vehicle much sooner than I had expected and had they agreed to pay it would have been only a few days more than they had agreed to. So I ended up getting compensation for my injuries instead. I'm not saying I didn't deserve it. I probably deserved far more than what they gave me. But had they given me the rental car in the first place, I wouldn't have pursued anything, and a year later when I realized I was still in pain, I don't think many lawyers would have cared to take the case.

Start by telling them what you want. If they say no, you can take it further.

compchat | 24 septembre 2016

Not going to happen. Take the daily amount insurance will pay and deal with it somehow.

compchat | 24 septembre 2016

Good luck. Not going to happen. You'll probably get the daily rate paid for by the at fault driver's insurance. If not you'll get your daily rate from your insurance. For my Geico insurance it was $35 dollars per day for one month.

And yes you will still have to pay for your car and not get to use it. Hope that it's bad enough that it will be totaled and you can order a new one (or get a pre-owned) one.

Insurance companies don't recognize the fact that you're driving a 100 K car and that giving you a loaner is not making you whole. Renting a Model S for one month would probably cost you around 5 thousand dollars (from what I recall of my research). This happened to me and I just had to suck it up.

NKYTA | 24 septembre 2016

Well that just sucks. No advice, just commiseration.

Millionmilesorbust | 24 septembre 2016

Check out You can rent people's personal cars and most will offer you a discount the longer you rent it. You'll be able to get something nicer than what the insurance company wants to give you.

david | 24 septembre 2016

Ouch... sounds like my options are pay $1500/mo for a Hyundai or lawyer up. Calling insurance companies today. is a good tip though; I see some great cars (couple years old but nice) in the $60/day range which might be more possible to push an insurance company to.

JMR | 24 septembre 2016

Just an FYI I was rear ended and had to have the hatch replaced. It takes about 2 month at least.

High Plains Drifter | 24 septembre 2016

Wrecked a leased vehicle? I would be more concerned about how this affects my residual value at lease end.

david | 24 septembre 2016

RE: JustSendIt
I only learned about this type of claim a couple of years ago. When we went to sell my wife's Prius we filed a second claim against a wreck that happened 2 years ago for the delta between what the car would have been worth if it had never had a wreck. We called their insurance, provided them with the buyout quote vs. KBB and they cut us a check.

I would assume (but don't know for a fact) that the lease company will do a diminishment of value claim as a normal course of business.

Jeff Hudson | 24 septembre 2016

When I read or hear "T-Boned" and "saved lives" I automatically picture the vehicle as being totaled. I would put a lot of effort towards getting the insurance company to evaluate the vehicle ASAP. If its totaled you can order a new one while you drive a rental.

david | 26 septembre 2016

AWFUL UPDATE: The other driver's insurance had expired a few days before the accident so now I'm dealing with an uninsured motorist situation.

Suing this person is not likely to yield anything. I think this means I will be paying $1,000/mo to lease a crappy Hyundai until this is fixed :( UNBELIEVABLE

Millionmilesorbust | 26 septembre 2016

Can take them to small claims court, I mean theres gotta be something that you can do especially since they failed to renew their insurance.

david | 26 septembre 2016

Blood from a Turnip. She's an adult-age student working two jobs that lives in a rural poor part of town with her parents. I don't think she could afford to lease a Tesla-equivalent vehicle for the 2-3 months these repairs are likely to take. My insurance company will pay to fix the car, but I only have the cheap rental car coverage.

Millionmilesorbust | 26 septembre 2016

Well then sounds like you'll just have to suck it up and drive the crappy car that the insurance will pay for in full. Will make you appreciate the tesla that much more when you get it back.

rxlawdude | 26 septembre 2016

Which is why you never want to deal with your insurance company if the other driver is insured. You've got leverage with the at-fault party. You've got bupkis with your own insurance company on being made whole.

Galve2000 | 26 septembre 2016

so now the OP has no choice but to go thru his own insurance?

Millionmilesorbust | 26 septembre 2016

Sadly yes, if someone dosent have insurance then your own policy will cover un-insured motorists. Only other thing that they could do would be to sue the at fault driver but sounds by his description that shes barely making ends meat herself working 2 jobs and still living with parents at "adult age". Just double check your policy and make sure you have un insured motorist coverage and that its adequate for the price of your car otherwise you might be SOL

david | 27 septembre 2016

Tried all the doors at this point. I do have uninsured motorist insurance and my insurance company will fix my car but I'm in the Hyundai until it is fixed sadly. I will accept that I am vastly overpaying to drive a Hyundai but sometimes bad things happen.

Side note, I just learned that Florida has the highest rate of uninsured motorists at 1 in 6 drivers being uninsured. The only legal penalty here is $100 fine and it is only enforced at traffic stops. Intuitively I would think the tiny fine that costs less than 1 month's coverage combined with the minimal enforcement probably created this issue.

My advice to you: Double check your policies cover uninsured motorist! If they don't there are more uninsured on the road than you might think!

tes-s | 27 septembre 2016

Besides being enforceable at traffic stops, I would think they have to have valid insurance to renew their registration. And if their insurance lapses, DMV is notified.

You should look at your insurance policy. My coverage is for a comparable vehicle.

I'm in a Prius rental now, which the at-fault driver's insurance is covering. My agent said in NY they are only required to pay for the cheap standard rental, but the claims rep was reasonable about it knowing I was coming from a MS. A little different than your situation since it is only 2 weeks.

The problem with uninsured motorist is your collision coverage applies - including the deductible. Note this is also for underinsured motorist. I was worried because I got hit in MD which has only $15,000 in required liability insurance. If someone has that insurance and totals your MS, your underinsured kicks in.

$50,000 liability should be the minimum, but even $25,000 would be an improvement.

martin | 27 septembre 2016

In Germany, standard coverage is 1 M $ to cover for damages...

tes-s | 27 septembre 2016

CA, MA, NJ, and PA are the lowest - $5,000!

That is for property damage liability. Higher (slightly) for personal injury.

PhillyGal | 27 septembre 2016

@david - So sorry to hear of this nightmare. I was rear ended by an uninsured, unlicensed driver back in March who promised the moon and stars to pay for the (thankfully minor) damage to my bumper.

Needless to say, he fell of the face of the planet and I haven't seen a dime. Had it been the Tesla however I'd have been devastated. Or in handcuffs for throwing picking the dude up in a hulk-like rage and throwing him over the side of the highway.

rtaylor434 | 27 septembre 2016

I had front damage and am 7 weeks in and still waiting for parts. I was told it will be another 3/4 weeks after all the come in for completion.