When you have come to the end of your holiday and are about to return your hire car, you will need to make a few final checks.
Here are some pointers about things to remember when you're returning your hire car:
- Always return your hire car with plenty of time to spare before you need to check in for your flight. There may be people returning their cars ahead of you, and you will also have to wait while it is checked. Remember to allow enough time for the journey from the hire car drop off location to your departure terminal.
- Check the car hire company's opening hours, and if you have a night flight ensure that you can return your car at this hour.
- Remember that if you are late returning the hire car and it takes you into another 24-hour rental period, you will have to pay for the extra day. You may get a grace period, but it is unlikely to be longer than half an hour.
- If your rental agreement states that the hire car must be returned with a full tank or a certain amount of petrol in it, make sure you refuel it before you take it back to the car hire company. Some car hire firms allow you to pay for this instead of having to actually refuel the car yourself, which can be very handy if you are running late. Some company's will do this either through a service charge or by charging a premium on the amount charged per litre of fuel. For more advice on filling up your hire car, check out our fuel page.
- Check the condition of your hire car before returning it. You'll need to tell the car hire company if anything is wrong with the vehicle, or if it has been damaged in any way.
- Always check that you have collected all your personal belongings from your hire car, including anything you may have put in the door pockets or the glove compartment. Take care not to leave any of your tickets or personal documents, such as your driving licence, behind.
- Be careful about who you are handing the keys back to if you are not at a returns counter. Make sure that the person is from the car hire firm and wait whilst the hire car is checked over so that you can agree that everything is ok. If you are in any doubt, don't give up the keys and contact the company by phone.
- If you would like to return your hire car quickly and easily, you can arrange a self-service return. Alternatively, you can choose to use a instant return service where one of the car hire company's employees will process your return by your car.
- Some company's, like Hertz, offer an online statement of charges retrieval facility on their website so you can check your charges when you get home.