Watch Out When Renting Vehicles One Way Across Time Zones

Customers usually return the vehicles they rent to the same facility at which they picked them up — and if a vehicle is returned to a different rental car facility than where it was picked up, that is considered a one-way rental and usually prompts an extra fee…

Watch Out When Renting Vehicles One Way Across Time Zones

SIXT rental car Citroën

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but what happens if you rent a car in one time zone and return it to a facility in a different time zone?

Consider the experience of FlyerTalk member simairlinenet, whose rental agreement has the vehicle leaving the originating facility at 12:00 noon Pacific Daylight Time and being dropped off at a different facility at 1:00 in the afternoon Mountain Daylight Time during the next day — which is the same time as 12:00 noon Pacific Daylight Time and therefore 24 hours — but the rental car company initially was going to charge simairlinenet for two days instead of one day.


Most rental car companies typically give a grace period of 30 minutes after a period of 24 hours, which means that a rental vehicle can be returned up to 24 hours and 30 minutes after it has been picked up at no extra charge to the customer…

…but if the vehicle is returned at least 24 hours and 31 minutes after it has been picked up, the customer can be charged anywhere from an extra hour to an extra full day in addition to the total upon which was originally agreed in the contract.

The technology which was used in the creation of the contract apparently miscalculated the period of time which simairlinenet rents the vehicle as 25 hours instead of 24 hours — regardless of the different time zones — due to the different time zones because billing times are usually based on the local time of each facility.


Hertz rental car

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

You should not have a problem renting a vehicle one way from one time zone to another — especially as customers who rent a vehicle for one day usually do not keep it for a full 24 hours — as you should be billed correctly by the rental car company…

…but check your contract and receipt from the rental car company anyway, just to be sure that you are not being overcharged for the length of time you rent a vehicle — as well as not being overcharged for anything else.

If you do find that you are being charged an hour longer than the actual period of time, discuss this with an employee or manager of the rental car facility, as he or she should be able to quickly resolve the issue in your favor.

On a similar note, ensure that you do not return the vehicle which you have rented to a facility when it is closed — such as over a weekend as one example — for you may incur extra unwanted charges…

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

2 thoughts on “Watch Out When Renting Vehicles One Way Across Time Zones”

  1. Mary Dignetti says:

    Nice information

  2. Rich says:

    The same thing can happen even with a local rental on the weekend when daylight savings time starts in the spring.

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