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Can I return a rental car early?

We’re often asked if it’s possible to return a rental car early, the simple answer is yes, of course it is possible, however there are some things you need to know before making your decision. Plans change and sometimes the unexpected happens so whilst it’s rarely planned to return your rental car early, sometimes it just can’t be helped.

return car rental early

Whilst it’s very rare that you wouldn’t be able to return your rental car early, in fact, the only reason we can think of that the rental agent may not be open when you want to return the car, for instance on a Sunday in smaller / town centre location, or late at night. Most rental agents that operate from the airport (which incidentally account for approximately 90% of all rentals) are either open 24 hours, or have a key drop facility meaning you can return the car early if you wish.

Will I get a refund if I return my rental car early?

Once you’ve established that you can return your rental car early, the next question is regarding a refund for the unused rental days. The answer here is most often no. When booking car hire with Rhino, our rates are often significantly cheaper than the rental agent direct prices. We are able to achieve such low prices as we base our rentals on fixed terms. Whereas the rental agent may charge say £20 per day for your rental car, you could pay at little as £10 per day by fixing the period upfront with Rhino. A similar situation to when customers ask if they can extend their car rental.

Our advice if returning your rental car early is to notify your travel insurance to see if your policy covers for holiday cancellation / early termination as loss of rental car should be considered as an expense under your overall claim which might also include flight change costs and accommodation.

Why do people return their rental cars early?

Over the years we’ve heard some popular reasons and some not so popular reasons why customers want to return their rental car early, the fact that you are reading this suggests that one of these might apply to you. The most common reason is that a holiday has been cut short, often due to ill health, however some other popular reasons why people need to return a rental car early include;
  • Flight changes
  • Family reasons
  • Business trip cut short
  • Car no longer suitable
Whatever your reason to need to return a rental car early, we recommend you contact us or the rental agent direct to confirm your plans.
Phil Partridge
Posted: February 05, 2024 by Phil Partridge
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Monday, February 5, 2024
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