Short Answer: You must return your own rental car unless your rental contract includes another driver. At most rental companies, the primary and additional drivers listed on the rental agreement can return rental cars. For more information on who can return a rental car, see below.
Can Someone Else Return My Rental Car?
If you are the only driver listed on your rental car agreement, only you can return your rental car. However, if your rental agreement includes an additional driver, most rental companies also allow that person to return the rental car.
We contacted the major U.S. rental car companies to confirm that they allow additional drivers to return rental cars in place of the primary driver. All of the companies we spoke with verify that additional drivers can return rental vehicles.
The following companies allow both the primary and additional drivers on a rental contract to return the car:
- ACE Rent a Car
- Alamo Rent A Car
- Avis Rent a Car
- Budget Car Rental
- Dollar Rent A Car
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
- Fox Rent a Car
- National Car Rental
- Payless Car Rental
- Silvercar by Audi
- Thrifty Car Rental
- U-Save Car & Truck Rental
Our previous research has the details on how and when you can add an additional driver, and the associated fees. Some companies automatically include a spouse or partner as an additional driver; if you are unsure of the terms of your rental agreement, it is best to contact your rental company before returning the vehicle.
Note that allowing anyone who is not in the rental agreement to drive the rental car is a breach of contract and will invalidate your rental insurance.
Rental Car Return Process
Typically, you return a rental car by parking in the return lot and turning in the keys at a designated location. You usually will not need to show an ID or sign any additional paperwork.
Before you or an additional driver returns the car, read through the contract to confirm where and when to drop off the car. If returning the car with a full gas tank is part of your rental agreement, you should also make sure to fill it before returning the car. Inspect the car inside and out for personal belongings and any damage; take pictures to record any issues.
Rental Companies That Do Not Allow Additional Drivers
Of the companies we contacted, only Getaround does not allow additional drivers. Getaround authorizes only the individual driver who reserved the rental to pick up, drive, and return the car.