National - Returning car late
Jul 10, 12, 1:58 pm
I ended up changing my return flight on an upcoming trip and am now looking at my rental car reservation. Originally, I was picking up the car around 2pm on arrival day and returning it around 11am. Now I will be picking it up at 2pm and returning it around 3:30pm on our departure day. When I change the reservation it charges me a whole extra day for that time beyond 2pm.
I was looking through the National FAQ's and it stated that if you are 2 hours late, you will be charged for 2 hours. If you are more than 2.5 hours late, you are charged for an additional day.
So.... I am wondering if I should book the ressie with a 2pm return time and just return it late at 3:30. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Jul 10, 12, 2:17 pm
The time of your actual return overrides anything on your booking. If you give a return time of 2:00pm, but you don't actually return it until 3:30pm, you're still going to be charged for another day.
Jul 10, 12, 6:12 pm
If that is the case, then I am wondering why this is on the National website:
Will there be an additional charge if I am late returning the rental vehicle?
The Grace Period for National is as follows:
You will not be charged for the first 29 minutes that you are late.
You will be charged for one hour if you are 30-89 minutes late.
You will be charged for two hours if you are 90-149 minutes late.
An additional day is charged if you are 2 1/2 hours or more late.
Additional fees are based on the daily rental rate.
Jul 10, 12, 7:19 pm
While those terms are technically correct, generally your "hourly" rate is actually about half your daily rate.
For example, a rate I have right now shows:
41.87 * 2 = 83.74 :)
So if you're 30 mins late, you'll get charged 41.87. If you're 90 minutes late, you'll already be charged your "daily" rate even though its just 2 "hours"
Jul 11, 12, 6:31 am
Makes sense. Thanks!!
Jul 12, 12, 12:18 pm
Take caution when dealing with rates that have a 96 hour maximum (many weekend rates, for example). If you run into 96 hours and 30 minutes, you might end up paying rack rate for 5 days or a weekly rate. This can be the difference between a $55 rental after taxes, fees, discounts, and coupons, and a $200 rental.