car rental counter closed

How to Drop Off Your Rental Car If the Counter Is Closed

Is It Possible to Drop Off a Rental Car When the Rental Office Is Already Closed?

After hours rental car drop off is very challenging and often stressful, especially if the rental spot is already closed. Of course, most of the rental spots in the airport zone work for 24 hours a day. The situation differs at the smaller airports or rental offices somewhere in the city. The counters are closed at night. You should leave your car in the parking lot and drop the keys in a special key box. The car will be checked the next morning without your presence. So, our Rental24H is able to provide you with all the information concerning after-hours car rental drop off.

What Should I Do to Return My Rental Car After Hours?

It is a usual practice to drop keys into the special box. In general, these drop boxes are situated near the car return area both in the airport and city locations. The rental offices in small towns or suburban areas are also equipped with a drop box. The high-crime areas do not accept after-hours drops.

return rental car after hours

What Are The Risks When You Return Your Car After Hours?

Every time you place your transport in the parking lot after hours, you should be aware of some possible additional charges. So there are some aspects you should consider when dropping off your car after working hours of car rental company.

  • Unexpected Damages: It is assigned in the car hire documents that the renter takes responsibilities of the vehicle. it means that if the car is damaged by storm, fire, or even stolen from the parking where you left it, you will face a damage charge or an insurance claim from the company.
  • Additional Charges: The risk to get an additional charge is always around, especially when you drop off the car after hours. Your transport is checked without your presence so that you can be charged heavily, and it will be very difficult to prove your innocence.
  • Late Fees: You are required to pay a late fee when you return the rented vehicle later than it is written in the contract. If you want to waive extra charges, you should contact the rental office and make changes in your rental contract for some extra money. Moreover, it will be cheaper than paying for a late return.

return rental car after hours, car rental after hours return

Effective Recommendations About How to Drop Off a Rental Vehicle After Hours

It happens that you got stuck in a traffic jam and could not drop off the car in due time. The rental spot is closed and you almost miss your flight. Keep on reading to find out what to do to return your car after hours.

  1. Check the contract. Make sure your rental contract allows after-hours returns at the airport or non-airport drop off spots.
  2. Leave the car in the parking territory. Leave your car at the parking zone in view of cameras, if it is possible. This protects your car from robbery and damages. At least you can see what has happened to the car when you left it.
  3. Take pictures. It is important to take pictures of your car real condition or make a video just in the parking lot. As it is assigned in the rental agreement, you take responsibility for your vehicle during the drop off period. Take photos – you are collecting facts. Don’t forget to lock the car.
  4. Put keys in the box. You can find a special key box on location. This is the way to pass the keys to the car vendor.
  5. Contact the company afterward. You should wait for an email from the rental company that they have checked your car. If the company did not contact you anyhow, you should call the car rental company directly. Look through the papers and find out their emergency number.

car rental after hours return, money saving tips

How to Waive Extra Fee When You Are Late in Returning?

The one and sure way to waive extra fees is returning a hired car during the grace period. In general, the free period lasts about 30 minutes to 2 hours. It starts exactly when your contract time is expired. Find detail information about it in the rental papers. When the limit ends, you will pay a late fee for EVERY day of expiration. This is the situation when you are recommended to give a call to your car rental agency to change the time of return. The company charges a single fee to make changes in the rental papers.

Suppliers Extra Fee to Extend Your Contract
Avis, Alamo, Budget up to $10 per day to change the return date
Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty up to $12 per day to change the return date
Enterprise It requires contacting the original rental location to modify the conditions.
National You can modify your contract ONLY if you are a member of the Emerald Club loyalty program.

Car Rental Companies’ Special Conditions on Returning a Vehicle After Hours in the USA

How much will you pay a fee when the time is up? As a rule, the fee is equal to the additional day of rental. A late fee usually goes up to $10-$40, depending on the car hire agency rules and location. You can take more information from the company’s policy. Try to read your rental papers carefully to know everything about the grace time and extra time.

Suppliers Policy Conditions
Alamo Alamo after hours return allows:

Safe period – up to 30 min;

2 hours late – extra hourly charges will be taken;

2 hours or more late – full-day extra lateness charge will be taken.

Avis Avis after hours allows:

Safe period – up to 30 min;

30 minutes late – extra hourly charges will be taken;

90 minutes late – full-day extra charges will be taken;

7 hours late – $10 per day will be taken.

Hertz Hertz return after hours allows:

Safe period – up to 30 min;

12 hours late – $12 per day late fee will be taken.

Budget Budget car return after hours allows:

Safe period – up to 30 min;

30 minutes late – extra hourly charges will be taken;

90 minutes late – full-day lateness charges will be taken;

7 hours late – $10 per day will be taken.

Dollar Dollar after hours allows:

Safe period – up to 30 minutes;

12 hours late – $12 per day extra fee will be taken.

Thrifty Thrifty return after hours allows:

Safe period – up to 30 minutes;

12 hours late – $12 per day late fee will apply.

Enterprise Enterprise return conditions are:

Safe period – up to 30 minutes;

30 minutes late – full-day extra charges will be taken.

National National car return conditions are:

Safe period – up to 30 minutes;

2 hours late – full-day late charges will apply.

If possible, try to make efforts and park your vehicle when the rental office still works. If you are going to leave the vehicle late, read the car rental company’s policies first to plan your budget.

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