Responsibility for rental car accidents lies with the driver

Bolt rental cars.
Bolt rental cars. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

There were multiple traffic accidents involving Bolt Drive rental cars over the previous weekend. Both Bolt Drive and Tallinn's deputy mayor Andrei Novikov say irresponsible traffic behavior is to blame in the accidents.

Bolt Drive's rental service has been on the market since the start of May and there have already been multiple accidents involving the cars. For example, a drunk driver without the right to drive caused an accident on June 10, flipping the car over.

Bolt Drive's head of New Mobility Lukas Yla said traffic accidents are inevitable and the company can ban irresponsible drivers. "If we get a notification about irresponsible traffic behavior, we will contact the client right away. We have their info, we can contact them and ask them to behave better. In case the behavior continues, we also have a right to ask the client to stop the car and finish their drive," Yla said.

Estonian Motor Insurance Bureau (LKF) chairman Mart Jesse said the majority of the responsibility lies with the driver, but the rental service provider must also contribute.

"Estonia is an e-state and each entrepreneur has an opportunity to check with the Transport Administration if a person has the right to drive or not. And certainly, if a client has lost that right, the rental company should automatically stop the account and stop the person from getting behind a wheel," Jesse said.

Tallinn deputy mayor Andrei Novikov said rental cars are equal to public transportation and companies are not expected to impose stricter conditions.

"Our experience shows that there are times the vehicles are parked incorrectly, there are times when speeding takes place. But I would say the rental company is not guilty, the person driving the specific vehicle is," Novikov said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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