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The Full Lowdown on Car Rental Grace Periods

So you rented a car and everything went without a hitch. You got a great deal, used the checklist before leaving the lot, fueled up and saved the receipts. All that accomplished only to run in to traffic on the way back. Bummer.

But there’s still hope! Many places have a grace period on returns where no additional charges or fees will be applied to the final bill. Most agencies give renters an additional 29 minutes on their return times to account for unforeseen circumstances, with the exception of Thrifty, Dollar and Fox.

In any instance, it pays to be punctual. Here’s the rundown on what different agencies have in place:

Agency Grace Period Penalties
Alamo 29 minutes Hourly charge for every full and partial hour late
Avis 29 minutes 30+ minutes: ¾ day’s charge
    90+ minutes: full day’s charge
Budget 29 minutes 30+ minutes: hourly rate
    90+ minutes: full day’s charge
    7+ hours: additional $10/day fee on top of everything else
Dollar NONE $15.99 charge per day late on top of daily rate
Enterprise 29 minutes 30+ minutes: ¼ daily rate per hour
    2+ hours: full day’s charge
Fox 59 minutes 60+ minutes: hourly charge
    3+ hours: full day’s charge
Hertz 29 minutes 30+ minutes: hourly rate
    2+ hours: full day’s charge
National 29 minutes 30+ minutes: hourly rate
    2+ hours: full day’s charge
Payless 29 minutes 30+ minutes: hourly rate that starts from minute one
Thrifty NONE Immediately charged hourly rate
    24+ hours: charged daily rate





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