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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:

AgencyGrace PeriodPenalties
Alamo29 minutesHourly charge for every full and partial hour late
Avis29 minutes30+ minutes: ¾ day’s charge
  90+ minutes: full day’s charge
Budget29 minutes30+ minutes: hourly rate
  90+ minutes: full day’s charge
  7+ hours: additional $10/day fee on top of everything else
DollarNONE$15.99 charge per day late on top of daily rate
Enterprise29 minutes30+ minutes: ¼ daily rate per hour
  2+ hours: full day’s charge
Fox59 minutes60+ minutes: hourly charge
  3+ hours: full day’s charge
Hertz29 minutes30+ minutes: hourly rate
  2+ hours: full day’s charge
National29 minutes30+ minutes: hourly rate
  2+ hours: full day’s charge
Payless29 minutes30+ minutes: hourly rate that starts from minute one
ThriftyNONEImmediately charged hourly rate
  24+ hours: charged daily rate
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