Zach Dischner / Flickr

The Full List of Prepaid Car Rental Cancellation Policies

If you don’t need the car, you can just cancel, right? While that’s true most of the time, it’s not always the case.

While that still is the case most of the time, exceptions do apply. If you never put down your credit card information, you’re game. But if for some reason, you’ve decided to prepay for a reservation or decided to go with an agency that has decided it’s sick of dealing with non-showing customers, it pays to be aware of each company’s cancellation policy.

We’ve collated a list of some of the major car rental agencies out there, trying to figure out what their exact fees were for bailing on a reservation. It should be especially useful for people who aren’t exactly sure of their plans or plan to rebook their car rentals if they end up finding a better rate. Though the general rule of thumb is pretty lenient, I’m still a bit too anal to leave this all the chance. (I guess I’ve been dealing with airlines for way too long.)

The two fees most commonly assessed are the cancellation fee and the no-show fee. Though they sound similar, they’re both slightly different. The cancellation fee is often determined by how late the reservation was canceled. No-show fees are often tacked on if the renter fails to cancel and pick up the car within a specified amount of time; in some instances, the late cancellation fee will act as the no-show fee.

The fees are divided into one of two categories, if you’ve prepaid online or you’ve made a normal reservation. Prepaid reservations across the board tend to incur more penalties but give better rates. We verified these fees with customer representatives; where the information differed from the official website, we went with the website.

Cancellation Fees

Car Agency Prepaid Reservation Non-Prepaid Reservation
Alamo n/a $0
Avis $10 if more than 24 hrs notice; $50 if less than 24 hrs $0
Budget $10 $0
Dollar n/a $0
Enterprise n/a $0
Fox $25 $0
Hertz $0 if within 7 days of booking; $60 after 7 days of booking $0
National n/a $0
Payless $50 if more than 48 hrs notice; entire amounted forfeited after that $0
Thrifty $0 if more than 48 hrs notice; if less than 48 hrs notice fee equal to 1st day rental $0

No-Show Fees

Car Agency Prepaid Reservation Non-Prepaid Reservation
Alamo $50 $0
Avis $50 $0
Budget $50 $75 (not assessed if credit card is not on file)
Dollar n/a $0
Enterprise n/a $0
Fox n/a $0
Hertz $130 $0
National n/a $0
Payless Entire amount is forfeited $0
Thrifty Cost of 1st day rental $0

Keep in mind: The actual fees may differ if you’re renting in another country. These are only based on rentals made in the U.S.

The Full List of Prepaid Car Rental Cancellation Policies via @maphappy
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