How Late Can You Pick up a Rental Car at the Airport?

Author: Joy Aliyu
Last update:

Policies guide most of the activities of car rental companies.

And discovering the policies and guidelines for picking up a rental car at the airport is crucial for a seamless travel experience.

You need to understand the rules set by rental companies and plan your trip effectively to avoid inconveniences.

Let’s explore the various policies and practical advice to make your car rental process as smooth as possible.

Advertising links are marked with *. We receive a small commission on sales, nothing changes for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Rental companies have varying policies regarding late pickups, including grace periods ranging from 29 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Reservations are typically valid 24 hours from the scheduled pickup time, allowing delayed flights without incurring charges.
  • After-hours pickup may be possible if arranged with the rental company, with extended closing hours for up to 2 hours.
  • Specific rental companies like Hertz and NU Car Rentals have their policies on reservation hold duration and after-hours pickup/drop-off availability.
  • It is essential to check with the rental company for their specific policies to avoid any inconvenience and ensure a smooth rental car pickup experience.

Rental Company Policies on Late Pickups

There are different policies on late pickups by rental companies.

These include:

1. Grace Periods

 A grace period is a designated timeframe provided by rental companies that allow customers some leeway in arriving late for their scheduled pickup.

MUST READ:  Do Car Rentals Check Your License? We Checked it!

It is intended to accommodate unforeseen delays and ensure a smooth rental experience.

Rental companies typically offer grace periods ranging from 29 minutes to 2 hours. This gives customers a reasonable window of time before they are considered a ‘no show.’

Customers who fail to arrive within the grace period may be marked as a ‘no show.’

This means the rental company can release the reserved vehicle to someone else, potentially causing inconvenience for the late customer.

2. 24-Hour Reservation Policy

Reservations are typically valid for 24 hours from the scheduled pickup time.

This means that if your flight is delayed, the charges for the rental will begin once you pick up the car.

Additional charges may apply if your flight is delayed and you exceed the 24-hour reservation period.

Communication with the rental company and informing them of any delays is essential to avoid unnecessary fees.

3. After-Hours Pickup

After-hours pickup may be required when flights are delayed or you arrive outside their regular operating hours at the rental location.

It is crucial to contact the rental company in advance to inform them of your late arrival and make necessary arrangements for after-hours pickup.

Some rental companies may extend their closing hours by up to 2 hours to accommodate customers with prior arrangements for after-hours pickup.

It is advisable to inquire about any additional fees or specific procedures associated with after-hours pickup to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Two Specific Rental Companies’ Policies

1. Hertz

Hertz holds reservations for two (2) hours past the reserved pickup time. If your scheduled pickup time is noon, Hertz will hold your reservation until 2:00 PM.

MUST READ:  How Much Do Exotic Car Rentals Make? This is Impressive!

It is essential to arrive within this window to ensure your rental car is still available.

For specific instructions or any changes to your reservation, it is recommended to contact the Hertz Reservation department.

They can assist you with any inquiries or adjustments you may need to make regarding your pickup time or location.

2. NU Car Rentals

NU Car Rentals allows after-hours pickup and drop-off, providing convenience for customers with delayed flights or late-night arrivals.

However, contacting the rental supplier in advance is advisable to arrange the procedure for after-hours pickups and drop-offs. They will provide the necessary information and instructions to ensure a smooth process.

When contacting the rental supplier, inquire about any additional after-hours pickup or drop-off fees. Awareness of these fees is essential to avoid surprises or unexpected charges.

The rental supplier will guide you through the procedures and requirements for after-hours services, ensuring a hassle-free rental experience.

Rental CompanyHertzNU Car Rentals
Reservation Hold Duration2 hours past the reserved pickup timeAfter-hours pickup and drop-off are available
Contacting ReservationContact Hertz ReservationContact rental supplier
Procedures and associated feesNot statedProcedures and fees

Importance of Specific Pickup Period

Planning your rental car pickup time ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience.

By understanding the importance of the assigned pickup period, you can avoid inconveniences and ensure the availability of the rental car you’ve reserved.

The benefits include:

1. Guaranteeing Availability: The specific pickup period provided by the rental company ensures that your chosen vehicle is reserved exclusively for you. It allows the company to manage its inventory effectively, ensuring the car you’ve selected is ready and waiting for you upon arrival.

MUST READ:  Why Do Car Rental Prices Vary So Much?

2. Minimizing Delays: Adhering to the assigned pickup time helps minimize delays for you and the rental company. By arriving within the designated period, you can swiftly complete the necessary paperwork, vehicle inspection, and any additional requirements, allowing you to hit the road promptly.

3. Avoiding Overbooking: Rental companies often have multiple customers with overlapping reservation times. By respecting the assigned pickup time, you contribute to a fair and efficient system that minimizes the risk of overbooking and ensures a seamless experience for all customers.

4. Managing Resources: Rental companies allocate staff and resources based on the scheduled pickup times. By arriving within your assigned period, you enable the company to give the resources needed effectively, maintaining a streamlined process and excellent customer service.


In conclusion, checking with rental companies for their specific late pick-up policies is crucial.

Remember to take note of the grace periods, the 24-hour reservation validity, and after-hours pickup arrangements.

By understanding these policies, you can ensure a smoother rental car experience.

Remember reservations typically remain valid for 24 hours, providing flexibility for unexpected delays.

Take charge of your travel plans and enjoy a stress-free journey with your rental car.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the grace period for rental car pickups?

A grace period is the duration rental companies wait before marking a driver as a ‘no show,’ usually ranging from 29 minutes to 2 hours.

How long are reservations valid for delayed flights?

Reservations are typically valid 24 hours from the scheduled pickup time, ensuring charges will begin at the actual pickup.

Can I pick up a rental car after regular closing hours?

Some rental companies allow for after-hours pickup if arranged in advance, with extended closing hours for up to 2 hours.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Advertising links are marked with *. We receive a small commission on sales, nothing changes for you.

Leave a Comment