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Everything You Need to Know About Returning a Rental Car

Returning your rental car

Returning your rental car is generally quite easy. So long as you adhere to the drop-off time and other conditions specified in your rental agreement, you can usually just leave the car in one of the depot’s allocated parking spaces, return the keys, and go on your way.

That said, there are a few things to consider when returning your vehicle. Make sure you read your rental agreement and understand what’s required of you when dropping off the car.

Fuel Policy

The majority of rental providers in New Zealand require the rental car to have a full tank of fuel upon its return. On your way to drop off the car, consider refuelling at a petrol station that’s close to the depot. If the car is returned without a full tank of fuel the rental provider will likely charge you refuelling fees at an inflated price per litre. You may also have the option to prepay your fuel upon collection of the vehicle, meaning you won’t need to refill the tank before returning the car.

After Hours Returns

If you have opted to return your rental car outside the depot’s opening hours—and this is specified on your rental agreement—the rental providerwill give you instructions for dropping off the vehicle. Usually, this involves returning the car as normal and depositing the keys in a designated returns box, though some providers may have different processes.

Read more about out of hours returns.

Late Returns

Returning your rental car late will incur additional charges. You need to let the car supplier know if you will be returning late. Depending on the car supplier, there may be a grace period; this is a short time allowance offered by the rental provider for late returns. The grace period varies between suppliers, and if the car is returned after this period of time, you will be charged extra.

Early Returns

Vehicles can be returned early, however, whether you’ll get a refund or be charged for the unused days will depend on the terms and conditions of your rental agreement. Returning the vehicle before the scheduled time does not automatically reduce the price as any modifications to your booking will cause the rates to be recalculated. This means your rates could be less expensive than what you initially booked, but the price could also be higher.

Security Bond Return

After you return your rental car, the car's condition will be assessed by the rental provider. If all is well with the car, your security bond will be returned to you within five to ten business days. However, if the car is found to be damaged or excessively dirty, some or all of your bond may be withheld to cover costs.

Read more about security bond returns.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and our customer care team will be happy to assist you.


When Returning Your Rental Car in New Zealand

Make sure you adhere to the drop-off time specified in your rental agreement to avoid extra fees. If you’re going to be late, make sure you let your rental provider know.