Getting a rental car is meant to make traveling easier. Therefore, returning a rental car should be similarly hassle-free. Chances are that you’ll be unable to return your rental car to the place you picked it up from, especially if you’re driving cross country, but that doesn’t mean that returning a rental car should be difficult. Most rental companies will let you return your rental car to a location other than where you picked it up. While specific companies’ policies may differ, the following steps will probably be universal no matter what company you rent from.
Step 1: Communicate with the Car Rental Agent
Let the agent of the rental company know where you’re heading and ask them where you can return the car with respect to that destination. If your final destination with the car is a major city, and if you’re renting from one of the larger rental companies like Hertz, you probably won’t have any trouble returning the car. Just be sure you know and understand all of the company’s requirements and policies regarding dropping off a car at a different location.
Step 2: Know Where Your Drop-off Point is and How to Get There
Know where you need to return your rental car well beforehand, as well as how to get there. A map or GPS will be invaluable in helping you find your drop-off point in an unfamiliar city. Most rental companies will have you drop the car off at an airport or a train or bus station, or they might have you leave the car at their local office in your destination city. The company might also have a number of drop-off points at your destination city, and you can choose whichever one might be more convenient for you regarding the remainder of your trip.
Step 3: Arrive at the Drop-off Location on Time
Part of the agreement you make when you rent a car is you’ll return it within a specified period of time, which will depend on how much you pay the rental company. If this period passes before you arrive at the predetermined drop-off point, you will be charged extra. The best way to ensure that you return the rental car on time is to plan your schedule with the car’s return date in mind. It’s also a good idea to take delays into account, like the delay caused by getting lost in an unfamiliar city.
Step 4: Take Care of Your Rental Car
While driving a rental car, you should always keep in mind that it is a rental, and the company will hold you responsible for any damage to the car that may be incurred while it’s with you. If it gets a bit dirty while you’ve been driving it, it would be a good idea to run it through a car wash just before dropping it off, as the company might charge you extra for returning a dirty car. Keep in mind an agent from the company will likely inspect the car for damage when you return it.
If you’ve never rented a car before, you might be a bit confused as to how you’re supposed to return it if driving cross country. However, most companies will have procedures in place for returning rental cars to locations other than where they were picked up. All that’s needed from you is to communicate clearly with the company and plan your trip ahead of time.