Clark Howard: Take a picture of your rental car before leaving the lot

ATLANTA — Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard says the next time you need to rent a car, take pictures before you leave the lot.

“When I first get to the car, I do a complete walk-around. Even if there is a little tiny scratch on the car, I take a picture,” Howard said.

Clinton Burke and Samuel Holloway did just that when they noticed a scratch on the left front wheel of the car they rented from their local Budget Rental.

“We had the car for a while, we took it back to them, they were pleasant with us then, no issues,” Burke said.

But when the couple went back to rent another vehicle, they were told they needed to fill out a claim for the vehicle they’d just returned.

Burke said they weren’t concerned because they’d paid for the partial damage waiver.

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“We were told by the young lady that would cover everything,” Burke said.

They were shocked when Budget sent them a bill for just over $650 and asked for pictures of the damage.

“I have pictures of the damage prior to me picking the car up. The picture that they sent me, it matches exactly my picture,” Burke explained.

Still, Budget told them they were responsible for the damage.

Channel 2 contacted Budget and it dropped the claim the same day but declined to give a comment, citing customer privacy.