Late Charges

Old Nov 29, 09, 11:59 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Late Charges

Hi All,

I travel some for work and a buddy of mine told me about these forums but I haven't gotten around to checking them out until now.

I just rented a car from Dollar at DFW for 24 hrs and I ended up returning it over an hour late. The original rental, including taxes and fees was supposed to be $51. I was supposed to return at 9:41 PM. I returned at 11:10, didn't get to the counter until 11:30 due to a line. Total rental ended up being $95 due to a full day of upgrade, $12, a full day of tolltag ($9) and the rest in taxes in fees. I attempted to reason with the manager, telling him that I'd be more than willing to pay an extra $10 but I felt like paying almost the entire rental fee for returning 1 or even 2 hours late was just unconscionable. He refused to budge.

Is this a standard practice? Do all Companies do that? Was I unreasonable in feeling like this is just plain excessive? It's not like I could re-rent the car tonight either way. I am definitely done with Dollar for good. Weigh in and let me know if this is industry standard. Thanks much.

Bizzy_Geek is offline  
Old Dec 18, 09, 4:05 pm
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Welcome to FT!

To give the short answer to your question, yes, Dollar was following the industry standard.

To give you the long answer, the industry standard is typically a 30-minute grace period beyond the 24-hour mark of each rental period (ie. if you pick up a car at 11am, you have until 11:29:59am the next day to return it without incurring extra hour/day charges). After the grace period you will be charged for each extra hour until the extra hours exceed the price of an extra day (and since extra hours are typically priced at 50%-75% of the daily rate, it only takes ~1.5-2 hours to reach that point).

Assuming you rented your car at 9:41pm the previous day you were almost 2 hours late per the 24-hour rental clock when you got to the counter at 11:30pm so it makes sense that an entire additional day of all services was charged.

Hope this helps!
Elola is offline  
Old Dec 22, 09, 10:53 am
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Different agencies calculate their overtime periods differently, but all end up fairly close to each other.

I know some agencies that have a 0-minute grace period and others with a 59-minute grace period. With some, as soon as you pass the grace period, the grace period is ignored (i.e. 30 minutes is free, but 31-59 minutes rounds up to a one-hour charge, and 60-119 minutes is a two-hour charge), whereas with others, the grace period is factored in (i.e. on a one-hour grace period, minutes 60-119 are charged as one hour and 120-179 are counted as two hours).

Regardless, they all come out relatively close (an hour off, at most), and yes, they all do charge for a full day of optional products as soon as you're charged an hourly fee.

And hourly fees are usually one-third of the daily rate, so once you hit hour number three, you're basically fully into your next day's rental.

Most managers I've talked with will consider rounding down if you're close to the cutoff (especially if you passed the cutoff while waiting in line), but being well into your second hour by the time you pulled up into the lot means that you really have no right to expect any further grace beyond the grace you already got, and it's certainly not something to boycott a company over (especially given they all do the same thing). If they do, it's icing on the cake. (It always helps to be very polite and pleasant when asking for extra grace like this.)
jackal is online now  
Old Jan 16, 10, 9:44 am
Join Date: Oct 2007
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i usually cut people slack when returning late, be nice and polite
Hertz4me is offline  

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