If you realise that you need extending car rental period, once you have made the pick-up; the first thing to do is to know the rules of the game so that you can act quickly and avoid the consequences.
When we talk about a trip, especially a road trip, we are often subject to events that could change our plans. If we are making that journey in a rental car and we know the rules of the game, we can react quickly and act accordingly.
The rental is already in progress and I know I won’t manage to return the car on the scheduled date, what should I do?
Before answering this question, it is important to know that, if you have already collected the car from the rental agency (almost certainly), you would not be able to make changes to the contracted coverages, unless, the car is inspected at a branch of the rental agency.
I have contracted from a ‘cover with an excess amount‘ and now want it to a ‘zero excess cover’; or vice versa.
In view of this, let’s look at the two possible scenarios:
When the rental agency DOES allow you to extend the car rental.
- Contact the rental agency and inform them that you are returning the car at a later date than planned.
- You would have to pay the amount of the extended rental (usually with the same credit or debit card).
- You should ask them to send you the contract for the extension of the car rental (as proof in case of traffic incidents).
When the rental agency does NOT allow you to extending car rental period.
Read the terms and conditions regarding the car rental extension. There are usually penalties for late return of the car and suspension of special coverage: waiver of excess, roadside assistance, etc.
If you are willing to accept the penalty, you must contact the rental agency to inform them of the late return of the car and follow their particular procedure.
Whether or not the agency allows the extension of the car rental, it is best to avoid complaints, and always, always contact the rental agency. After several hours without receiving the car, they may report the car missing to the authorities.
There is a lot of truth in the saying: people can understand each other by talking.