How Can You Return A Rental Car Early and Avoid Penalty for Refund With Hertz and Avis?

Author: Rohan Paulos
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Can you return a rental car early or not? Unexpected events sometimes cause a plan to change, and you might need to return a rental car before the scheduled drop off time, but need to ensure there is no penalty while also desire a refund.

This is why you should put a lot of things into consideration while renting a car to prepare for possibilities like return rental car early. 

This guide will help you in understanding the intricacies of returning your rental car early to ensure you get the best out of your deal in such a situation, especially when dealing with top renters policies such as Hertz early return, Avis, Alamo and Enterprise return policies.

Can You Return a Rental Car Early?

Can I return a rental car early and what to do if I must cut short return time? Early car rental returns can happen for many reasons.

And, how to return a rental car earlier then legally agreed? If you must cut your rental short, here are a few things you want to keep in mind before returning rental car early then originally scheduled:

  • Notify the rental company: Some rental companies do not charge for early returns as long as you notify them prior to returning the rental. In such cases, make sure to call ahead to avoid extra charges.
  • Return to the same rental location: To avoid extra charges that may or may not exist (depending on the  rental company), endeavor to return your rental to the same location you picked it up.
  • Read your rental agreement: This is probably the most important thing to do. Your rental agreement contains rental rates and return policies. So make sure to go through your rental agreement to know about the rental company’s dos and don’ts when it comes to early car returns.
Can you return a rental car early or not?
Can you return rental car early and have refund?

Are There Hertz Early Return Fee?

Are there Hertz return car early fees and charges? Hertz charges an early return fee of $11 to compensate them for not being able to rent the car out while it was reserved for your use.

The Hertz early return fee means you will not be refunded for unused days. Instead, the initial rental cost will be re-calculated using standard rates, especially if you return before weekly or weekend agreements.

Do I Get A Refund If I Return My Rental Car Early?

Do I get a refund if I return my rental car early? How does return car early refund works? Because every rental company has a different policy regarding refunds, early refund policies are entirely dependent on the company.

Therefore, whether you will be charged less or more for an early return is often up to them. But the majority of businesses don’t give back money for unused days. This is why it is important to understand the early refund policy of the rental car company before signing an agreement.

Teenage girls playing race game

Do Avis Early Return Policy Favor the Renter?

No, Avis does not favor the renter with its early return policy. The general terms and conditions of their rental agreement specify that early returns will attract a higher or different charge. You should reach out to the specific location to find out about their early return policy.

How Enterprise Return Car Early Works?

How does Enterprise early return works and can you return a rental car early Enterprise? Yes, Enterprise allows you to return a rented car early.

Customers are not charged extra, and will only be charged for the days the car was in their possession (except prepaid reservations). However, there is no refund policy for unused days at Enterprise.

How Does Sixt Return Car Early Policy Work?

The way Sixt early return policy works is pretty simple. First of all, you can return your SIXT car at any time as long as it doesn’t exceed the agreed-upon return date.

That is to say, you can return a vehicle to Sixt station at the time or before the time stated on your applicable rental agreement. There is no such thing as a Sixt early return fee. 

The Sixt car rental early return policy stipulates that the return of the vehicle means the termination of the existing rental contract.

Say you rent the car for 7 days but you drop it off on the fourth day, the rental contract ends forthwith. This also means that you can’t come back at any time to ask for the remaining 3 days.

car park direction signage

  • Does an Early Return Remove From the Rental Cost?

No, it doesn’t. An early return does not lead to a reduction in rental fees. In fact, the contractually agreed monthly rate is always calculated for the full 30-day period in advance, irrespective of the time you choose to return it. There is no refund.  

  • Where Should I Return my Sixt Car? 

If you are returning a Sixt rental car early, take it straight to the Sixt station where you picked it up in the first place. The same applies if you are returning on the due date. 

  • What Happens When I Return My Sixt Car?

At the return of your rental car to a Sixt station, they will commence a full inspection to ensure the car is in good working condition. 

What Is Alamo Early Return Policy?

Can you return a rental car early Alamo?Yes, you can return a rental car to Alamo early, and get charged for the period you had the rental. If you return a rental more than a day early, you will be charged an additional $15 and the initial  rental cost will be re-calculated.

Young male driver stretched out a car key

What Is the Cost To Return Rental Car To Different Airport?

Questions like “can you return a rental car at a different airport?” shows that a lot of people still don’t know they can rent cars from car rentals at one airport and drop it off at another. Well, you can.

This then begs the question, how much does this service cost? Usually, car rentals charge what is called a drop charge, which is the fee for picking up a rental car from one location and dropping it off at another location. The drop charge or fee mostly depends on the company.

Other factors that might determine the drop charge are location and time of year and location. In any case, if you are to pay a drop charge, the rental company will disclose it at the time you are making your reservation.

Penalty for Returning Rental Car Early with Rental Companies

Is there a penalty for returning a rental car early? There are penalties and extra charges, but in some cases, some rental companies may not impose a penalty at all. 

Rental companies have various policies regarding early car returns and the possibility of getting a refund for unused days. The unique requirements and policies for top rental companies in the US are as follows:

Hertz: They accept returning car early, but offer no refund policy for unused days. Hertz early return policy demand $11 for early returns, and you will be charged at standard rates if you return before the end of a weekly or weekend agreement. 

Alamo: Alamo accepts early car returns and only charges clients for the period they had the rental. If clients return rentals a day early, they are charged an additional $15 and the initial  rental cost will be adjusted.

Hertz early return policy

Sixt: Sixt doesn’t charge an extra fee for early car returns as long as clients notify them prior to returning rentals early.

Otherwise, clients will be charged $10 and another $20 if the car was returned to a location different from the one in the rental agreement.

Thrifty: They charge an extra fee if the client did not prepay rental costs and returned the rental over 24 hours earlier than the time stipulated in the rental contract. Clients will be charged for the days used with an extra $25 compensation fee. 

Enterprise: Enterprise doesn’t penalize customers for early car returns and only charge clients for the days they had the rental, except for prepaid reservations.

Rental Companies Accept early Returns? Extra charge Refund policy for unused days
Hertz Yes $11 No 
Alamo Yes $15  Yes
Sixt Yes $10  No
Thrifty Yes $25  Yes
Enterprise Yes No charges No

FAQ about returning a rental car early

Is there a penalty for returning a rental car early Hertz?

There is no penalty for returning a rental car earlier than stated in the rental contract at Hertz. Contact them and it should be an easy process from there. Note, however, that Hertz will not give you a refund for the number of unused days.  

Is drop off rental car early different or same?

Across all rental car companies, dropping off your car early follows the same process as dropping off at the stated time on the contract. But note that no company will give you a refund for the unused days. 

Any there refund with National return car early terms?

Would I enjoy refund with National car rental early return? You won’t receive a refund if you return a rental car to National early. The vehicle must be in your possession for the duration specified in the rental agreement. However, they do not charge for early returns.

What happens if you return a rental car early? 

What happens if you return your rental car early? The policies of a one-day early car return varies depending on the company. For instance, a one-day early car return with Alamo will result in the adjustment of the initial rental rate to reflect the early return, and with a $15 penalty for returning outside the agreed time. 

Summary of return rental car early

Whether you walked up to a car rental counter or are a member of their loyalty club, the moment you drove away in their rental vehicle, you entered into a contract with the rental company.

As a result, rental companies aim to hold you to the terms of the agreement. So, again, can you return a rental car early? The answer is both and no – it depends. Before renting a car, you should always note the company’s policies on early returns to avoid getting charged extra.

Side view of a female driver


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