Important facts described briefly below:
Many car rental companies offer the possibility to pick up or return a rental car outside of regular office hours. Returning a rental car outside of office hours is much easier, and usually cheaper, than picking it up.
Please note that the fees for pickup or return outside of regular office hours are not included in the displayed rental price. These are additional fees charged by the local rental company. If you have any questions about the amount of these fees, or if a fee is charged at all, please contact our service team.
How can I pick up a rental car outside of opening hours?
At most destinations, you can pick up your rental car outside of regular business hours. Please note, however, that you must request the date and time of the pickup of a rental car on an individual desired date at the time of booking. If you need assistance with this, please contact our customer service.
In principle, clearly defined procedures apply to the collection or return of your rental car outside of business hours. To avoid problems, we recommend that you inform yourself about the local conditions in advance.
If you pick up your rental car outside of the opening hours, the service personnel will prepare a handover protocol with you. This document is obligatory and for your protection. Since outside office hours, an extra employee must be available for you at the station, an additional service fee will be charged. Usually, you pay this directly on-site. How much it costs varies from supplier to supplier.
Tip: Usually, the car pickup has specific conditions. In most cases, providers require you to give them your telephone number, and at many travel destinations, it is also common to provide your flight number. So please find out in advance what information your car rental company needs to ensure a smooth pickup of your rental car outside of opening hours.
How do I return a rental car outside of opening hours?
Returning a rental car outside of business hours is generally easier than picking one up. If no car rental agent needs to be present, or you do not need a shuttle service, the service should be free of charge. However, there are a few things to consider.
Keep to the exact time of return! When returning the car, without a service employee, you usually throw the key into a drop-off box installed especially for this purpose. Older safes for key return cannot record exactly when you returned the key. If you throw the key in after the evening closing time, the landlord cannot determine the exact time of return. Under certain circumstances, the supplier may include the following day in the period of use for the rental car.
More and more car rental companies are using drop-off boxes with sensors that record the exact time of key insertion. If you return the car in time, you are protected from additional costs. Exceeding the contractually agreed rental period can be expensive.
In the case of a slightly late return, most landlords grant a grace period. However, a delay of 60 minutes or more may result in an additional day being charged. It is, therefore, advisable to keep to the contractually agreed upon time of return even if you return the car outside of the opening hours.
Take photos for security: For your safety, we recommend that you take photos of the fuel gauge and mileage of the rental car when returning it outside of office hours. Since you will not receive a handover certificate when returning the vehicle without a service employee, it may also be useful to take photos to prove that the vehicle is in perfect condition at the time of return.
How much does it cost to pick up and return the car outside of business hours?
The cost of picking up and dropping off rental cars outside of business hours varies from supplier to supplier. In principle, if a provider charges additional fees, these should be justified by additional services.
If an employee is present, just for you, additional costs are reasonable. This is usually the case when you pick up your car outside of business hours. If you want a car rental service that is as uncomplicated and as inexpensive as possible, you should only use this option if you need it.
The situation is different when returning the rental car during lunch break or after closing time. If the supplier has a drop-off box with automatic time recording, an additional fee is hardly justifiable. Most suppliers, therefore, offer this service free of charge.
If your destination does not allow online booking for pickup or drop-off of the rental car outside of office hours, please contact our customer service department. Our staff will be happy to help you!