We’ve had a few comments on the blog about what our policy is for dropping off a car “out of hours”. As customers look increasingly more for convenience, this is the sort of question we are seeing more and more.

Some of our busiest airport locations are open 24 hours a day where there is complete flexibility about when you pick up and return a car. These locations include London Heathrow, London Gatwick South Terminal, London Stansted, Birmingham Airport, Manchester Airport and Glasgow Airport.

Most of our other locations are open from 8am to 6pm although you can check opening times when you book. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a service that allows you to pick up a car out of hours. Our website will advise you if you try to make a booking where this is the case.

However, for many of our locations we do allow our customers to return the car when the rental office is closed. Some of our locations have a secure Avis key drop-off box on site. Again you can check for this by clicking to view a rental station’s details on our website. If this facility is available it will be listed as “Out of hours return” under the “Services” list. I would also advise letting a member of our staff know in advance that you plan to leave the car out of hours so they know to look for it in the morning.

One thing that is important to make you aware of is that, if you bring the car back outside of opening hours, you will remain responsible for the condition of the vehicle until a member of staff inspects it. This means that the cost of any damage caused to the vehicle while it remains unattended is the responsibility of the customer and the customer will be liable up to the applicable excess.

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8 Responses to “The Avis policy on returning a car “out of hours””

  1. A Dale Says:

    I have 2 comments to make on the above subject plus another completely aside. Ref the blog above, you say that the London Gatwick office (amongst many other major airports) is open 24 hrs. Not strictly true, as having flown into Gatwick North terminal recently, with an Avis car reserved at that location, i was faced with an unquestionably closed Avis office at 22:03 hrs. After wasting an hour to get to the Avis office South terminal (due works on the mono rail link and a lack of serviceable buses) i posed the question why the other office had closed. Apparently it always does close at 22:00, even in the knowledge that a flight due to arrive before then and carrying several passengers aboard with similar Avis reservations for the North terminal, had been delayed a little. Of note, the courtessy phone is surplus to requirement as no-one answers it.
    As for dropping cars off outside of normal hours, your argument is not valid. I say that because i have only once had my car inspected during normal working hours. Often there is insufficient staff to inspect the car there and then, and so the situation for the individual remains the same.
    Finally and on a separate note, i have raised several issues concerning recent rental agreemenrs with Avis (emails sent 2 Dec 07) to which i still await a response. I know your policy is to respond ‘normally with 3 days’ however it has now been nearly a week without so much as an acknowledgement.

  2. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Thank you for all the feedback A Dale. You are correct the North Terminal is open from 6am, closing at 10pm. I’ll amend the blog post above to specific that it is Gatwick South Terminal that is 24 hours.

    I’ll pass your feedback on to the Gatwick team about the late flight, the courtesy phone and having someone to inspect your car when you return it. You should be greeted by an Rapid Return agent whenever you return your car to Gatwick.

    With regards to the issues you sent to our Customer Support team, if you could send me your Rental Agreement number to comments@avis.co.uk, I’ll send this to the team to chase up for you.

    Rob

  3. mmo Says:

    That policy makes sense..if you bring it to off hours and something happens to it you can’t expect them to take a loss on it.

  4. M Robson-Scott Says:

    I am returning a car to 88 Eversholt Street today (Boxing Day 2008). I telephoned a week and was told this was OK. No extra fee was mentioned. Today I phoned again to check and was told there would be a fee (£46). I was not told this in my earlier call. On the contract it says ‘additional charges MAY apply if returned…not to the agreed location.’ I rent very frequently from Avis, often for long periods such as 6 weeks or more. I request that this fee be dropped. Many thanks. Also – I was not very impressed at the representative I spoke to at Heathrow. He did not know that there was such a location as Avis at 88 Eversholt Street. When I asked him to confirm that it was still there, he hung up the phone.

  5. Stephen Spiers - Avis UK Customer Services Says:

    Hi M Robson-Scott,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. As available cars are very limited over the Christmas period, charges are usually applied when changes are made to the rental period and return locations. This is because we have to move the fleet back to the correct locations for the next hires. However, I appreciate that you may have been informed differently.

    Please can you send the details of your rental (including rental agreement number) to comments@avis co.uk and I will investigate for you.

    Stephen

  6. Caroline Robertson Says:

    Not quite the same issue, but related to above…as I currently have the opposite problem. Your website offers ” Select Cars”. However, no Audi A4 Estate is available at GLA Airport from late May until early July. Secondly, no alternative is proposed and apparently as I’m trying to rent for 40 days I receive a message saying that I must contact either the UK or Ireland nos given, neither of which are applicable to me as I live in SE Asia!
    Have tried another route via your link to KLM as I am flying with them and am a gold card member. The pop-up proposes a car for 40 day hire and gives the option to view others. I follow this , select my vehicle group, but then all prices disappear and it would seem that they will only reappear once I have given all my details including credit card info. Would appreciate some clarity on the situation, otherwise I’ll have to try elsewhere.

  7. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Caroline, I’m not sure why the A4 Estate was not appearing (it should’ve been!) but I’ve spoken to our Pricing team to ensure we advertise availability. I just got a quote for June on avis.co.uk and the A4 Avant is now being advertised at GLA.

    On to the issue about 40 days… the website only allows to bookings for up to the 30 days. I’ve listed a few SE Asia reservation numbers below to help you make this booking as it will need to be booked through our reservation centre. Let me know if you need to make the call from a different country listed below and I’ll look up the number for you:

    Thailand – 662 251 1131 / 662 255 5300
    Malaysia – 1800 881054
    Singapore – 1800 737 1668

    Let me know if you need anything else!

    Rob

  8. Mark Says:

    great article !

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