Have you just rented a car and need to return it before the due date? It is totally normal to return the vehicle to a different location because of sudden changes in travel plans or schedules.
Now you may be wondering: can you return your rental car to a different location? It is easier to do so if you are in a different state and have different plans than you intended.
So, naturally, returning it to a location near you would seem a convenient option. However, people are often unsure whether this is possible or not.
In this post, we’ll explain in detail how to return a rental car to another location.
Reasons for Returning a Rental Car to a Different Location
There are primarily two reasons for returning a rental vehicle to a location from where you didn’t pick it. These are the following:
1. One-way rentals that have no surprise fees
This is the situation when you pick up a vehicle in one place and return it in another area. It is called a one-way rental. These may incur an additional fee. However, that’s not always the case.
This fee, known as a drop charge, is added to the final payment when you reserve online. In one-way rentals, you may pay more for a trip that begins and finishes in the same area.
But you will not incur any surprise fees with them.
2. A sudden change of plans
This scenario arises due to an abrupt change of normal plans. You may have no option other than to drop a car in another place because of things like a family member’s illness or flight changes.
There might also be other unexpected situations apart from these. The penalty for such sudden vehicle drop-offs can differ from one rental company to another.
In some instances, the company can adjust your reservation fees to account for what is primarily a one-way rental. But some other companies can charge you extra fees.
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Is It Possible to Return a Rental Vehicle to a Different Location?
After reading the reasons above, you have an answer to if you can return your rental car to a different location. Yes, it is indeed possible to return a rental vehicle to a different location.
The one-way rental allows you to do it. The only point to keep in mind is that you’ll need to pay an extra fee for reserving the vehicle. At participating enterprise rental locations, you can rent a vehicle in one place and return it to another.
The drop charge fee differs by the rental and return location and the time of the year. This process is a very flexible one, so you don’t need to worry about dropping the car off at its initial location.
What Is the One-Way Car Rental Policy?
One-way rentals follow a specific policy. Therefore, you must be aware of the main policy points before you use a one-way rental. These include the following.
- Specific one-way rentals are assessed at a one-time drop or mileage charge. It is in addition to your rental price.
- If there’s a drop charge rate applicable, the officials will convey it to you while you book on their website.
- The drop charge fee is payable at the time of pickup.
- Note that the rate to go one way may be greater than if you are returning to the same place.
- If you return the rental at a different place within the same city, it can be subject to a higher rate, drop, or mileage charge.
- This is also called an ‘inter-city’ fee.
- It is also advised that you review the rules for authorized driving areas before using a one-way rental car. This is because some one-way rentals are not allowed to be taken to another place.
- Reserve a rental in advance to determine if it will fulfill your needs.
- You will also be able to figure out if any additional charges are linked to the type of rental you will use. For instance, to travel in some locations, you will need to buy additional insurance to cover your vehicle.
- Many vehicles that you rent in the U.S. can be driven throughout the nation. However, some categories like Large Passenger and Exotics aren’t permitted to go outside of the U.S.
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Can You Return a Car to a Different Country?
Yes. You can return a car to another country in most cases. This thing is common in European countries where people can easily cross borders. You can cross the border with your rented car.
However, be prepared to give a cross-border fee. This will be on top of your one-way rental fee. Remember that to know the exact amount of the fee; you will need to check the particular policies of every company, country, and city.
Here are some budget rules for one-way rentals occurring from the U.S. to another country.
- You cannot drive one-way rentals into Mexico. But you can certainly drive a U.S.A. rental into Mexico. This is possible if you are returning to the U.S. from Mexico.
- There are some budget locations that permit one-way rentals into Canada. However, it is best to examine the terms and conditions for your specific rental place.
- One-way rentals to Canada rely on availability. So, if you need one, request it in advance.
Can Another Person Return Your Rental Car?
This is possible only in the case when you preauthorize another driver while reserving your car. This person can now give your rental car back. Some policies require the additional driver to be a domestic partner, an employer, an employee, or a companion driver.
Hopefully, you are now much more familiar with returning a rental car to another location. If there is any doubt about it, return the car to the same area you picked it from. The overall rental rate takes care of the charge for returning the vehicle to another location.