How Strict Are Car Rental Companies About Pick Up Times


Letís say youíre scheduled to fly into your destination airport at 3:00, so youíve made arrangements to pick up your rental car around 3:15 or 3:30. However, your flight time has been delayed or has been rescheduled. Now youíre worried that youíre not going to be able to pick up your rental car because youíre going to be late. What does this mean for you? How strict are car rental companies about their pick up times?

Fortunately, the above scenario is quite common. Actually, that is not a very fortunate situation, but the car rental companies are certainly not strangers to rescheduled flights or delayed flights. This is something that they contend with all of the time. As a matter of fact, they probably contend with this every single day. Think about how often your own flights have been delayed or youíve heard of flight delays. We all have experienced or heard about them at some point.

The facts

The fact is that your reservation is not even a guarantee that youíre going to get the car in a first place. Your reservation is just way to tell the car rental company that you would like to rent a car that day. The only way to guarantee that a car will be held for you is if you are part of a frequent renterís club. However, you donít have to worry about being late if you provide the rental car company with your flight details. If you provide them with those details, then they are going to know that your flight has been delayed. Most car rental companies that are housed within airports will be notified of any delays so that they donít hand your rental off to someone else.

As for there being any penalty for your late arrival, you donít have to worry. You canít be billed for a car that you havenít even picked up. However, you can still make a phone call if that makes you more comfortable. Although the car rental companies are attached to airport scheduling systems electronically, many individuals need that peace of mind that their rental is going to be ready for them. As a result, the car rental company may make provisions to hold the rental for you for 6 to 12 hours.


Again, remember that your reservation is not a guarantee for a car. That is why they donít bill you in advance. They simply put your name on the rental and expect you to arrive around the pick up time to get it. Now there is that issue in which you may be dealing with a car rental company that is not associated with any of the airports. Thatís when you may want to make your phone call. Perhaps your departure time has been delayed and you canít pick up the car when you said you would. They usually donít have a problem as long as they know you are definitely coming.

Car rental companies do all that they can to make things comfortable for their customers. You definitely donít want to arrive at the car rental companyís location and find that they have nothing for you. This has happened to people before, but it is very rare. If youíre in an airport, youíre in luck because there are other car rental companies housed within the airport. If youíre not dealing with an airport, then you may have to find out where else you can go, but know that you do have options and youíre not going to be stuck. Youíll be able to get yourself a car no matter what.

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