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November 29, 2023

Rental Station Closed: Pick-Up and Drop-Off Outside Opening Hours

Dealing with a rental station that is closed when you need to pick up or drop off a car can be a bit tricky, but it's manageable with some advance planning and understanding of the rental company's policies. When booking, select the desired pick-up and drop-off time - you will be shown only offers from open rental companies or those that offer a service outside the opening hours. Be aware that some rental companies may charge an additional fee for any service outside opening hours.

Rental Station Closed: Pick-Up and Drop-Off Outside Opening Hours

Make Sure You Know the Pick-Up Instructions in Advance!

Below you will find a list of possibilities:

Key Lockbox: 
Some rental companies offer key lockboxes where they leave the keys to your rental car in a secure location. You'll typically receive a code to access the keys. Ensure you understand the location of the lockbox and how to use it.

Airport Shuttles: 
At airports, some rental companies operate shuttles that can take you to an off-site location where your rental car is waiting. Confirm if this service is available outside opening hours and how to use it.

Prior Arrangement/ Meet&Greet: 
In some cases, you might be able to make prior arrangements with the rental company for a staff member to meet you outside of regular hours. However, this service may come with an additional fee.

Inspect The Car for Damages 

When you pick up the car outside of normal hours, carefully inspect it for any existing damage and make sure to document it with photos. This helps protect you from potential disputes about damage when you return the vehicle.

Clarify The Return Conditions!

Some companies have designated drop-off areas or lockboxes for key returns. In case of questions, call the car rental company. You will find the telephone number on your car rental voucher.

Keep to The Exact Time of Return! 

When returning the car, without a service employee, you usually throw the key into a drop-off box. More and more car rental companies are using drop-off boxes with sensors that record the exact time of key insertion.

Fuel Level

Ensure you return the car with the agreed-upon fuel level to avoid refueling charges.

Take Photos for Security

For your safety, we recommend that you take photos of the fuel gauge and mileage of the rental car when returning it outside of office hours. Since you will not receive a handover certificate when returning the vehicle without a service employee, it may also be useful to take photos to prove that the vehicle is in perfect condition at the time of return. Do keep in mind that as the renter, you remain responsible for the car until it is inspected by the rental company.

By being well-prepared and communicating with the rental company in advance, you can navigate after-hours pick-up and drop-off situations more smoothly and enjoy your rental car without unnecessary stress. For more tips, information, and hassle-free car rental options, visit our website HAPPYCAR. We are committed to providing you with the best car rental experience, from booking to drop-off, so you can enjoy your journey with peace of mind. Travel smart with HAPPYCAR!

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