How Does Hertz Early Return Works? And Can You Return A Rental Car Early with Hertz, Enterprise, Budget and Avis Car Rental?

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Do you ever feel like life is a never-ending rollercoaster of unexpected events? One minute, you’re cruising along, enjoying the ride, and the next, you’re hit with a curveball that changes everything.

Well, imagine you’ve rented a car for a road trip and suddenly need to return it early. What do you do? How do you avoid penalties and get a refund? Don’t panic!

We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll take you on a wild ride through the intricacies of returning your rental car early.

Buckle up and get ready to learn about the policies of top renters like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Enterprise. It’s time to take control of your car rental experience and get the best deal possible, no matter what unexpected events come your way.

Can a Customer Return a Car Rental Early?

Can you return a rental car early or not?
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Can I return a rental car earlier than scheduled, and what to do if I must cut short time? Untimely car rental returns can happen for many reasons. 

And how to give back a rental car earlier than legally agreed? If you must cut your rental short, here are a few things you want to keep in mind before returning it untimely:

  • Notify the company: Some car rental companies only charge on their vehicle if the customer notifies them before returning the rental. In such cases, make sure to call ahead to avoid extra charges on your credit cards.
  • Drive back to the exact location: To avoid extra charges that may or may not exist (depending on the rental company), endeavor to drive back your autos to the same place you picked them up.
  • Read your rental agreement: This is a crucial thing to do. Your agreement contains rates and policies. So go through your rental agreement to know the rental service dos and don’ts.

Is there a Hertz Car Rental Early Return Fee?

Are there Hertz early charges? There is a minimal early return fee of $11 on the vehicle you rent to compensate them for being unable to rent the car out while it was reserved for your use. 

The 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 give back before weekly or weekend agreements.

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

Do I get a refund if I return my rental car on time? Because every provider has a different refund policy, refund policies depend entirely on the company.

 Therefore, whether you will be charged less or more is often up to them. But the majority of businesses need to give back money for unused days. 

Understanding the rental car company’s policy is important before signing an agreement.

Does Avis’ Early Return Policy Favor the Renter?

No, Avis does not favour the renter with its early return policy. Their rental agreement’s general terms and conditions specify that it’ll attract a higher or different charge. 

You should contact the specific location to find out about their policies.

How Enterprise Return Car Early Works?

How does Enterprise early return work? Yes, Enterprise allows you to return a rented car untimely and the same for other smaller vehicle types.

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

How Does Sixt Return Car Early Policy Work?

Sixt return policy works pretty simple. First, you can return your SIXT car at any time if it doesn’t exceed the agreed-upon date. 

You can drive back a vehicle to Sixt station at the time or before the time stated on your applicable agreement. There is no such thing as a Sixt fee. 

The Sixt car rental policy stipulates that getting back the vehicle sooner than agreed means terminating the existing rental contract. 

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

Does Arriving Early Remove From the Rental Cost?

car park direction signage
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

No, it doesn’t. It does not lead to a reduction in rental fees. The contractually agreed monthly rate is calculated 30 days in advance, irrespective of your chosen time. There is no refund.  

Where Should I Return My Sixty Car? 

If you are giving back a Sixt rental earlier than scheduled, take it straight to the Sixt station where you picked it up in the first place. The same applies if you drive back the auto on the due date. 

What Happens When I Return My Sixty Car?

Upon returning 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’s Early Return Policy on Their Vehicle?

Can you return a rental auto early to Alamo? Yes, you can with Alamo and get charged for the period you had the rental. 

If you return a rental more than a day before the agreed time, you will be charged an additional $15, and the initial rental cost will be re-calculated. 

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

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

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

Other factors determining the drop charge are place, time of year, and location. If you are to pay a drop charge, the company will disclose it when you make your reservation. 

Penalty for Returning Rental Car Early with Rental Companies

Is there a penalty for giving back a rental car earlier than scheduled? There are penalties and extra charges, but some companies may not impose a penalty in some cases. 

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

Hertz-Rental: They accept that a customer brings in a car earlier but offer no refund policy for unused days. 

Their policy demands $11, and you will be charged at the standard rate if you drive it back before a weekly or weekend agreement ends. 

However, they allow early returns for rentals that are not prepaid! There is also Hertz-Rental Instant Return, which allows you to drop off your car and get on your way to other things you desire.

Alamo: Alamo accepts you come back earlier and only charges clients for the period they had the rental. Clients who return rentals a day earlier 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 as long as clients notify them before giving back before scheduled.

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

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

Enterprise: Enterprise doesn’t penalize customers and only charge clients for the days they had the rental, except for prepaid reservation. They expressly stated, thus: “We do not charge customers more for returning a car early”.

Companies Accept Extra charge Refund policy for unused days
Hertz-company 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 when you return a rental car early, Hertz?

There is no penalty for returning earlier than stated in the rental contract. Contact the office, and it should be a straightforward process from there. Note, however, that the company will not refund the number of unused days.  

Is the drop-off rental car early different or the 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. 

Is there a refund with National Return car early terms?

Would I enjoy a refund with the National car rental early return? You won’t receive a refund if you return a rental car to National before schedule. 

The vehicle must be in your possession for the duration specified in the agreement. However, National does not charge extra.

What happens if you return a rental car early? 

What happens if you return your rental early? The policies of a one-day vary depending on the company. For instance, a one-day car return with Alamo will adjust the initial rental rate to reflect the earlier return, with a $15 penalty. 

Summary of Hertz return reservation

Side view of a female driver
©Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

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

As a result, rental providers aim to hold you to the terms of the agreement, like return policies and fees. 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.


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