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What should you do if you get a traffic ticket in a rental car?

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Rather than live in New York, you may instead visit and rent a car to get around. In your excitement to see as much as possible during your trip, you could break traffic laws and attract a police officer’s attention.

Your Mileage May Vary explains what to do if you receive a ticket while behind the wheel of a rental vehicle. Understand your rights and options in this situation and how to make a well-educated decision about your next steps.

Pay the ticket

Depending on the violation, the price of the ticket and whether you admit fault, you could feel it makes the most sense to pay the ticket and get on with your life. If so, look over the ticket to see where and how to take care of it.

See if the rental car company sends you the ticket

If a red-light camera registers your traffic violation, you may never know you received a ticket. After all, the city or town does not know your identity or contact information, so it cannot give you the ticket. Instead, law enforcement could send the ticket to the rental car company, which may pass it on to you. If so, expect to see an administrative fee from the company for passing on the message. The local authorities where you live may also learn about the citation.

Risk the ticket going to collections

Say you know you got a ticket in another state and refuse to pay it. The unpaid violation could go to a collections agency, you could find yourself on a “Do Not Rent” list or your license could become suspended.

When you know what to do after getting a traffic violation in a rental car, you arm yourself with knowledge and peace of mind.

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