Do I need to wash my rental car

Do I need to wash my rental car

We’re often asked if you need to wash your rental car before returning it. Whilst there is no set rule here, it’s reasonable to say that under normal use you wont be expected to wash your rental car (or have it washed) before you return it. Whilst the car will be valeted before you take delivery, you needn’t return it as clean as it was at pick up. That said, you are expected to return the car in a reasonable condition considering the duration / location / weather at time of rental. The car will be valeted in preparation of the next customer, however if the rental agent deem the car to be excessively dirty / soiled you are likely to be charged.

wash rental car

For example, if renting a car in Spain near the coast, it’s likely that you’ll get some sand in the car, a little won’t harm, but bring half the beach back with you and you’ll likely get charged. Equally, rent a car in Geneva and head for the slopes, dirty / salted roads will leave the bodywork in quite a mess, but it’s expected and unavoidable so you’re unlikely to get charged here. If you do incur a car hire valeting fee you should expect to pay the following;
 
Country / Agent
Avis / Budget
UK
£14 - £75
France
€120
Spain
€80
Italy
€61 - €194.63
Ireland
see terms
USA
Up to $250
Australia
$28.50 administrative fee plus the cost of professional cleaning arranged by Avis
South Africa
R150 to R300
Switzerland
CHF 75.60 - 260.00 + admin fee of CHF 60.00
Portugal
€102.40
Canada
Up to $250
Greece
see terms
UAE
AED 250 for interior AED 50 for exterior
 
Country / Agent
Europcar
UK
up to £85
France
€ 135
Spain
Fee billed by the service provider
Italy
Pricing varies depending on the car
Ireland
see terms
USA
up to $250
Australia
see terms
South Africa
R299 half valet R599 full valet
Switzerland
see terms
Portugal
see terms
Canada
see terms
Greece
€ 121
UAE
AED300
 
Country / Agent
Sixt
UK
£60
France
see terms
Spain
This charge is to be billed based on the price billed to the owner by the vehicle cleaning company selected.
Italy
Calculated on the basis of time and material required, with at least a minimum fixed amount for this service.
Ireland
€100
USA
up to $350
Australia
see terms
South Africa
see terms
Switzerland
see terms
Portugal
see terms
Canada
N/A
Greece
€100
UAE
see terms
 
Country / Agent
Thrifty
UK
see terms
France
see terms
Spain
up to €242
Italy
€50
Ireland
see terms
USA
up to $250
Australia
cleaning fee assigned at the discretion of the lending Thrifty location
South Africa
see terms
Switzerland
see terms
Portugal
see terms
Canada
up to $250
Greece
see terms
UAE
see terms

Tips to Avoid Car Hire Valeting Fee

  • Empty the car the day before returning so you can clean any obvious marks / soil / sand etc
  • Sweep out any sand from footwells / boot where possible – vacuum if possible
  • Wipe any obvious dirt / bird poo marks from bodywork / windows
  • Don’t park under trees if possible (bird poo)
  • Remove as much sand from beach as possible before getting in car
  • Take care with food / drinks in the car
  • Have the car hand car washed before returning / roadside car wash


Can I put a rental car through a car wash?

Yes you can, however any damage caused would be your responsibility. If you do need to get the car washed before you return it, we’d recommend a road side hand car wash, a quick shampoo and vacuum should be more than enough, no need for a full car detail here! This will likely cost less than £10 (10EUR/$10) and be significantly cheaper than the rental agent valeting fee.

What If I Return my rental car dirty?

If the car is considered excessively dirty, either inside or out you’ll likely find yourself on the receiving end of a car rental cleaning / valeting fee. Whilst this is often subjective, we recommend you take photos of the car inside and out for future reference if you are charged a valeting fee and wish to dispute it. It’s also useful should you cause any damage to a rental car as a record of what was damaged.

How much is the car rental valeting / cleaning fee?

It varies from rental agent to agent and indeed location, a typical fee would be around 50 EUR, however it depends on the severity of the clean required and how long it takes. 100 EUR isn't unheard of for some of the worst cases and we've even heard of a case where 350 EUR was charged, however this would certainly be an extreme case and likely include damage as well as cleaning.

Car rental advanced valeting fee

Some rental agents will offer an ‘advanced’ valeting fee, usually significantly cheaper than the same service if you pay at the end of the rental. We were recently offered this advance service from Firefly when hiring a car at Bordeaux Airport for 8 EUR when collecting the car and advised that a valeting fee of 21EUR would be charged if the car was returned early. We rejected the 8 EUR fee and returned the car in reasonable condition and no further charge was made. Unless you think you’re likely to return the car excessively dirty, we’d recommend rejecting the offer, you can always have it cleaned yourself if you do get it excessively dirty, or challenge any subsequent fee.

 
Posted: September 07, 2018 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments
Global Administrator
About the Author

This article is written by: Global Administrator - Founder, ideas guy, IT specialist. Scott founded Rhinocarhire.com way back in 2007 and has steered the ship to where it is today, an award-winning car rental broker that has stood the test of time.

Chloe Demaret
Posted: September 07, 2018 by Chloe Demaret | with 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, social media guru, Chloe keeps our readers and customers up to speed with all the car rental and travel trends on our blog. Favourite destination: Dubai.

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