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mikebryan21

Hotwire or Priceline Early Return Car Rental Fees?

3 posts in this topic

I am trying to find a money saving deal on a rental car from MCO Orlando from 2/27 to 3/3. For some reason I get better pricing if I chose to book the car, 1, 2, or even 3 days longer than needed. Allot of car rental companies are charging fee's for early returns. If I were to book the car via hotwire or priceline and return it early could these fees be avoided? Does anybody have experience with this matter? Please advise.

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Current at time of this post...

From PRICELINE:

Can I return my car early?

You can always return your car earlier than your scheduled drop-off time but priceline cannot issue any refunds for unused time. Our rental car partners choose whether to accept your offer based on the exact combination of pick-up date, drop-off date, car type and location you select while on our website. As a result, your accepted price reflects savings that may not have been offered to you with any other combination. We know our no refunds policy is strict, but it's the agreement that keeps this great service available and the reason the major car rental companies allow you to save so much money with priceline.

From HOTWIRE:

Will I be able to extend my car rental or return it early?

Discuss extensions directly with the rental agency. We only guarantee the quoted rate for the prearranged length of your reservation. The agency rate for additional days may be significantly higher than our rate. And if you return your car early, you will not receive any refund for unused portions of your reservation. Hotwire hot Rate rentals are final and cannot be cancelled, refunded, changed, exchanged or transferred.

I know others have used successfully used this strategy, but do know of one instance where the car rental company tried to bill for an early return. I direct to the PRICELINE or HOTWIRE terms above (i forget which service it was booked thru) and the user was able to get it straightened out.

If you decide to move forward with PRICELINE or HOTWIRE please post in the appropriate Car Rental Forum (and even if you don't need additional help please post your win there :) )

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

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As an ex-employee of Hotwire I can inform you on this.

Hotwire gaurentees you the car for the dates provided. If you need it longer, Hotwire is no longer involved unless you book for the additional dates ( and it would be a different booking, thus meaning you may have to return the previous car and pick up another depending the agencys cooperation ). However if you choose to return it early, generally there is no fee.

I would however advise looking in the rental agreement the agency will provide for more specific information.

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Most agencies are also introducing early return fees as penalties for not using reservations as booked. After all, the way the low rates offered are secured is by guaranteeing vendors reservations will be used as booked. Any time you return a rental late(or even early) it's technically a violation of the booking agreement and you may be penalized by the agency.

Another thing to bear in mind is, that if you return a car early, you're not going to get a credit or refund for any unused portions of a reservation. Your rate is valid from the scheduled pickup date/time to dropoff, whether or not you use it as booked. Hopefully this helps someone.

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In general, what constitutes an early return? hours or days?

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Typically an early return is if you return the vehicle on a different calendar day... but asfaik this shouldn't apply to PRICELINE and HOTWIRE rentals as per the quotes in my post above (although i haven't checked recently to see if the terms have changed at all).

If you need help with an upcoming rental please start a NEW TOPIC in the Car Rental section of the board.

THANKS!

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