Charleston representative investigating car rental companies

Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 7:29 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 7:53 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A local state lawmaker says he is investigating the rental car industry after he received a bill for more than $20,000 from the Budget-Avis rental car company.

When Charleston County State Representative Wendell Gilliard rented a car for a few days in January he never thought that he would get a bill for more than $20,000 in damages, especially since he returned the car without a scratch.

Getting nowhere with Budget-Avis officials, Gilliard reached out to contacts at the Charleston International Airport to investigate. Airport police checked the security cameras and conducted an investigation.

According to the police report, they suspected an employee had taken the car without logging it back in. Police found a number of rental cars had been reported stolen. Last month two men were arrested on 18 counts of grand larceny in connection to the crime.

Gilliard says he wants to know how many more people have been caught in this situation.

“Is this a scam going on,” Gilliard said. “These are the things I am looking into now. I’m even trying to think of a way to create a law that makes these car rentals more accountable and more responsible and take it off of the back of the customer.”

He says even if someone was arrested for the theft, the company needs to be held accountable for threatening letters sent by collection agencies.

“If anybody anywhere had insurance pay for something that they thought they had done then they better take a second look into it, is the warning that I am putting out there,” Gilliard said.

Airport police say this case is still under investigation. Budget Avis has not returned a request for comment.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.