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No after-hour return of rental cars?

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Hong Kong, China
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No after-hour return of rental cars?

Hi all - I am looking to rent a car in Melbourne for a drive through the GOR to Port Campbell. I have been searching car rental websites and been calling them, and all those I have called so far require the car to be returned only during office hours. Is this right? Am I missing something? This is very unlike the US, where most rental companies allow after-hour returns.

Considering that most Melbourne car rental company's close at 1PM or 4PM on weekends (when I plan to return), this obviously makes the situation less ideal if I am driving back from Port Campbell that same morning.

Does anyone know of a car rental company (and location) which permits after hour returns?

Thanks!

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

>>>Does anyone know of a car rental company (and location) which permits after hour returns?<<<

I'm just wondering if your actual question is whether there is a 'manned' office for after hours returns.

As I know it, there are a few car rental companies in Melbourne (I know Avis do), who do have suburban locations with key drop boxes for after hours returns. Also it is a long way, but the airport office is open till later on the weekends.

Just be sure to read all the conditions carefully, as I believe you are responsible for the vehicle until the office opens the following day.

Sydney/Melbourne
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2. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

KVE is correct - all of the major car companies have after hours drop off boxes where you can leave the car and drop off the keys.

However, if you read their T&Cs you will find that you are still responsible for the car until the next day.

This is from the Hertz website (the others are similar):

>> If You return the Vehicle or Accessories outside Business Hours, You remain responsible for the Vehicle and Accessories until Hertz has inspected and accepted their return the next Business Day.<<

So if you choose to do this make sure you take photos of every panel on the car both before you collect it and after you drop it off. You still take a small risk that it will be damaged overnight after you have dropped it off.

To totally avoid any risk, you can drop it off at the airport. All airport offices are open as long as there are flights departing or arriving. Drop the family off at your hotel, drive out to the airport (20 minutes) to drop off the car then take the bus back to the city. The Skybus back to the city operates 24/7.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

i sympathise with you regarding this situation.

this fact was one of the reasons that my husband and i opted to take a day trip with a tour company to see the GOR.

we are glad we did the tour. it was a long day - from 7 am until 9 pm. we were in a small group, had lots of time to take photos and did not have to worry about driving and car hiring (for 2 days).

hope you find a solution.

the GOR is fantastic!

Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

Thanks, all. I wasn't even sure that the car rental companies had after hours key drop off. Their website doesn't say anything. When I called Avis, they flatly told me "No after hours car returns. Must return before 1 PM on Saturday!". I'll check with them again about the after hours key drop off option.

I like Eva's suggestion of returning the car at the airport branch of the rental company. Sorry, for this very basic question, but how long will it take me from the airport to CBD by public transport and how much will transportation cost me? I ask to evaluate whether I'm better off keeping the car overnight and returning it the next morning at the airport when I have my flight.

Thanks again!

Sydney/Melbourne
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5. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

Good idea to drive the car out the next morning but first check to see how much your hotel will charge for overnight parking. Don't count getting free parking on the street if you are staying in the city.

Skybus will be $28 for a return ticket to the city and back put to the airport the next day. It's about 20 minutes on the bus.

Edited: 10:52 pm, April 26, 2013
Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

<< This is very unlike the US, where most rental companies allow after-hour returns. >>

I'm not so sure that returning a car is so different in the states... we had trouble returning a car late on a Saturday in San Francisco, had to be back before 5:30 or use the airport. There was certainly no option to drop off keys either.

Edited: 12:02 am, April 27, 2013
7. Re: No after-hour return of rental cars?

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