Important Facts About Late Picking Up Rental Car Late?

Can You Pick Up Rental Car Late?

Picking up a rental car late can result in losing your reservation, settling for any available car, or paying extra for late pickup, depending on the rental company and pickup location.

This article will explain what you need to know about picking up your rental car late and various rental companies policies about it.

Toy truck filled coins beside a calculator

What Happens If You Are Run Late To Pick Up Your Rental Car?

In general, car rental companies will have specified in your reservation voucher when they consider the contract terminated due to non-arrival.

But it is important to know that there are varying policies for picking up a rental car late, depending on whether you prepaid or requested one with a valid credit card.

Below are top rental companies in the US with their policies and charges on late pickup.

Side view of a female driver

  • Enterprise 

Enterprise honors reservations up to two hours after the scheduled pickup time at no additional cost.

Reservations for delayed flights are valid for up to two hours after the actual landing time, and charges will not begin until the pickup time.

Typically, Enterprise will prevent the car from being re-rented and will try to contact you before re-assigning the car. If no one shows up after this, a fee of $100 is charged.

Company signage placed on a roof

  • Budget

Reservations are honored up to one hour after the scheduled pickup time. And delayed flight reservations are honored up to a reasonable time after landing for baggage clearance and arrival at the Budget counter.

After this time, late pickup for guaranteed reservations is charged $75, and prepaid reservations are charged $150.

  • Avis

Avis honors reservations until the end of the business day, so your rental will not begin until you pick up the vehicle.

If renting at an airport, you must include your flight number in your reservation voucher. You can also call the rental location if you know you will be delayed for longer than an hour.

Hertz automobile center

  • Hertz

In Hertz, guaranteed reservations will be honored for one hour after the pickup time for non-airport and non-railway locations and two hours at railway and airport locations.

Prepaid bookings will be honored at non-airport and non-railway locations until the end of the working day and at railway and airport locations for two hours.

  • Alamo

Alamo will honor reservations until the end of the business day or 12 hours after the collection time, whichever comes first.

Companies 

Grace periods

Extra fees

Enterprise Two hours grace for normal reservation and two hours after landing time for flight reservation

$100

Budget One hour grace for normal reservation and ‘reasonable time’ for flight reservation $75 for guaranteed reservation

$150 for prepaid reservation

Avis Honors reservation till the end of the business day Varies from $10
Hertz One hour for guaranteed reservation and till the end of the business day for prepaid reservation $69 
Alamo Honors reservation till the end of the business day or 12 hours from pick up time. $50 for guaranteed reservation

$100 for prepaid reservation

What Must Happen To Avoid Paying Fees Or Penalties?

You should do the following to avoid incurring a late pickup fee or being penalized by the rental company:

  • Contact the rental company

If your flight is delayed or you are otherwise unable to meet your scheduled pickup time, notifying the rental company is one of the safest ways to avoid paying a fee.

They would either backdate the rental to the right time or change it so that your drop-off time is moved back.

Also, suppose you enter your flight details in your reservation voucher when making a reservation, they can track your flight and be notified of delays ahead of time, ensuring that your reservation is not affected and you can avoid incurring additional expenses.

How does Hertz after hours pickup works?

  • Grace period

Different rental companies offer different grace periods for which your reservation will be held if you arrive late.

Late pickup is permitted till the end of the business day by companies such as Herts, Alamo, and Avis.

These extra hours are free as long as they are available. So you might want to consider meeting them if you will be late for a pickup.

Can I Pick Up A Rental Car After Hours With Any Company?

You certainly can. After-hours or out-of-hours is when rental companies are not open for business such as at midnight or very early in the morning.

There may be times when you cannot pick up your vehicle early; it is best to call your rental company to learn about the procedure for after-hour pickups and the additional fees that may apply.

Almost every car rental company allows after-hours pickup; however, the policy governing it varies by company.

Hertz provides after-hours pickups for a price of $57, while Ace Rental provides after-hours for a fee of $57. Enterprise only allows after-hour pickups for flight reservations, whereas Alamo does not allow after-hour pickups.

Male driver holding a key

How Late Can You Pick Up Rental Car At Airport Vs Office?

Various rental car companies have different policies regarding the extent to which you can pick up your rental car late.

Companies like Herts, Alamo, and Avis allow late pickup at their offices until the end of the business day without a charge.  

Budget allows a reasonable time for flight reservations and a maximum of one hour for non-flight reservations.

At the same time, Enterprise allows two hours grace period for non-flight reservations and two hours following the time of landing for flight reservations.

FAQ About Late Return Your Rented Car!

How does Hertz after hours pickup work?

Hertz may offer an after-hour pickup, depending on the vehicle group and location. Note that after-hour pickup needs to be done with a minimum of 72 hours’ notice and costs $69 (tax included) if the pickup is at a Hertz location and $35 if it’s not.

Can I enjoy grace for late to pick up rental car Enterprise?

Hand holds a small car

Does Thrifty car rental late pick up attract fees?

No, it doesn’t. Thrifty will allow you a two-hour grace period before canceling your reservation at the location if you don’t show up.

If you let them know in advance that you could be late, they’ll hold your reservation and charge you when you finally arrive.

Can I enjoy grace for late to pick up rental car Enterprise?

Yes, you can. If you will be late for your pickup, Enterprise provides a two-hour grace period without any fees.

Flight reservations have a two-hour grace period after landing. Enterprise also offers calls to customers to confirm their reservations, holding your reservation until you pick it up. 

What is best time to pick up rental car?

Weekends are generally the best times to pick up. Many rental companies charge daily during the week, whereas weekend specials attract discounts.

As a result, picking up your rental car on weekends, when you can enjoy possession of the car for the week at a reduced rate, would benefit you.

To avoid losing your reservation, always be on time whenever you pick up or notify the rental business of any delays in pickup time ahead of time.

Conclusion

Rental companies rely on constant flow of cars to maximize profits and avoid congestion in the pickup station. But customers often get delayed through no fault of their own.

To avoid losing your car paid for reservation, it is safe to constantly communicate with the rental companies in such cases, even if you believe you may meet the grace period.

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