Car Rental Cancellation Policy by Company (Explained in Plain Language)

Short Answer: Car rental cancellation policies and fees vary by rental car company. And, if you select a “pay later” option when making your reservation, you likely won’t be charged for canceling at any time.

Most companies also have a cancellation period during which you can cancel a prepaid reservation without being charged a fee. But, you’ll usually incur a cancellation fee if you cancel this reservation close to your scheduled pickup time. Cancellation fees typically range from $50 to $150.

During our research, we found that Fox Rent A Car is the only major car rental company with no restrictions or fees for canceling a prepaid reservation. To find out about the car rental cancellation policy for your favorite rental car company and its competitors, see below.

Car Rental Cancellation Policy by Company

Car rental cancellation policies and fees vary by company. In general, most car rental companies have a cancellation period during which you can cancel your prepaid reservation without penalty. After the cancellation period, you may be charged a fee to cancel. Cancellation fees can range from around $50 to $150.

An exception is if you make a reservation with a car rental company that offers the option to “pay later.” This option allows you to complete a reservation online without entering any credit card or billing information. Often, if you opt for pay later, you can avoid paying any cancellation fees. However, “pay later” reservations tend to be more expensive than prepaid reservations — by anywhere from $20 to $200.

Below, we’ve compiled the list of cancellation policies for the major car rental companies in the U.S. after contacting each of their corporate customer service departments for details. We’ve also noted which car rental companies offer the option to pay later.

Note: If you made a car rental reservation through a travel agent or a third-party travel website, you must cancel through the agent or website. For instance, see our article on Costco Travel’s car rental cancellation policy.

ACE Rent a Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your ACE reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call the ACE reservation center at (877) 822-3872.
  • Required notice: Depending on your location, you’ll need to cancel at least 24 or 48 hours before your scheduled pickup for a full refund. ACE is a franchise; requirements may vary by location.
  • Option to pay later? No
  • Fees: If you cancel after the cancellation period, you will be charged one day’s rental plus taxes and fees.

Advantage Rent a Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Advantage reservation online using your confirmation number, your last name, and your email address. You can also cancel by phone; call Advantage car rental reservations at (800) 777-5500.
  • Required notice: You’ll need to cancel at least 24 hours in advance to avoid fees.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; most “Pay Now” reservations are $15 to $25 cheaper than “Pay Later” reservations
  • Fees: One day’s rental plus taxes and fees will be charged if you cancel after the 24-hour window. If you cancel a prepaid reservation less than 24 hours before pickup, you will be refunded your total minus $50 for a cancellation fee.

Alamo Rent A Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Alamo reservation online using your confirmation number. You can also cancel by phone; call Alamo reservations customer service at (844) 354-6962.
  • Required notice: You’ll need to cancel at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a fee.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; prepaid reservations will save you about 5%
  • Fees: If you cancel a prepaid reservation less than one day in advance or you do not use your reservation, you will be charged a $50 cancellation fee.

Avis

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Avis reservation online by entering your last name and confirmation number. You can also cancel by phone; call Avis customer service at (800) 352-7900.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type
  • Option to pay later? Yes; depending on the location and time of year, some prepaid reservations can be as much as $200 cheaper than “pay later” reservations
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. To cancel a prepaid reservation, you will be refunded the total amount minus $50 if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Within 24 hours of your scheduled pickup, the cancellation fee is $150. If you fail to cancel your prepaid reservation, you will not receive a refund for any of the amount paid.

Budget Car Rental

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Budget reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call the Budget reservations line at (800) 218-7992.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type
  • Option to pay later? Yes; depending on the location and time of year, prepaid reservations can be $60 to $100 cheaper than “pay at the counter” reservations. A reservation for a 12-person passenger van can be as much as $300 cheaper when prepaid.
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. For prepaid reservations, you’ll be refunded the total minus $50 if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Within 24 hours of your scheduled pickup, the cancellation fee is $150. If you do not cancel your prepaid reservation, you will not be refunded any of the amount paid. A reservation for a  high-demand car must be canceled at least 48 hours in advance to avoid fees; within 48 hours of your scheduled pickup time, the cancellation fee is $75.

Dollar Rent a Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Dollar reservation online by entering your last name and confirmation number. You can also cancel by phone; call Dollar customer service at (800) 800-4000.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type; Dollar is a franchise; requirements may vary by location.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; prepaid reservations can you about 20%
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. If you cancel a prepaid reservation more than 24 hours in advance, you’ll be refunded the amount paid minus $50 for a cancellation fee. Within 24 hours of your scheduled pickup time, the cancellation fee is  $100. If you do not cancel your prepaid reservation, you will not be refunded any of the amount paid.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Enterprise reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call Enterprise at (855) 266-9565.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type
  • Option to pay later? Yes; prepaid reservations can save you about 10%
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. To cancel a prepaid reservation, you will be refunded the total amount minus $50 if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Within 24 hours of your scheduled pickup, the cancellation fee is $100. If you fail to cancel your prepaid reservation, you will receive a refund for the total minus $100 for a no-show fee.

EZ Rent-A-Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your EZ reservation online with your last name and confirmation number. You can also cancel by phone; call EZ Rent-A-Car at (800) 277-5171.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; “pay later” reservations are about $10 to $20 more expensive
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. If you cancel a prepaid reservation any time before your scheduled pickup, you’ll be refunded the total amount minus $50 for a cancellation fee — unless you replace it with a new prepaid reservation.

Fox Rent A Car

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Fox reservation online with your reservation number and last name. You can also cancel by phone; call Fox customer service at (323) 593-7486.
  • Required notice: Fox does not have a set cancellation period; Fox requests customers cancel as soon as possible.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; “pay later” reservations are $25 to $65 more expensive
  • Fees: None; we confirmed this information with Fox locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Maui, New York City, and Phoenix.

Hertz

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Hertz reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call Hertz at (800) 654-3131.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type
  • Option to pay later? Yes; “pay later” reservations are $25 to $65 more expensive
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. If you cancel a prepaid reservation at least 24 hours in advance, you’ll receive a refund for the total amount minus $50 for a cancellation fee. Within 24 hours, the cancellation fee is $100. If you do not cancel a prepaid reservation, you will not be refunded any of the amount paid.

National Car Rental

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your National reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call National customer service at (844) 382-6875.
  • Required notice: You can cancel up to 24 hours before your reservation free of charge.
  • Option to pay later? Yes
  • Fees: National charges $50 if you cancel your guaranteed reservation less than 24 hours before your scheduled pickup time.

NextCar

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your NextCar reservation online with your last name and reservation number. You can also cancel by phone; call NextCar customer service at (877) 877-1800.
  • Required notice: You can change or cancel your reservation up to 48 hours in advance free of charge.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; prepaid reservations can save you about 10%
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. If you cancel your prepaid reservation less than 48 hours in advance or are a no-show, you will be charged the full rental fee.

Payless Car Rental

  • How to cancel: You may cancel your Payless reservation online with your confirmation number and last name. You can also cancel by phone; call Payless at (800) 729-5377.
  • Required notice: You can cancel your reservation up to one hour before your scheduled pickup time free of charge (unless otherwise specified in your reservation confirmation).
  • Option to pay later? Yes; “pay later” reservations are $25 to $50 more expensive
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time. If you cancel your prepaid reservation less than one hour before your scheduled pickup, you’ll be charged a $50 cancellation fee. No-show fees vary.

Rent-A-Wreck

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Rent-A-Wreck reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call Rent-A-Wreck customer service at (877) 877-0700.
  • Required notice: To avoid a fee, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Rent-A-Wreck is a franchise; requirements may vary by location.
  • Option to pay later? Yes; “pay later” reservations can be $10 to $50 more expensive
  • Fees: If you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled pickup time, you will be charged a $50 fee.

Silvercar by Audi

  • How to cancel: If you create an account, you can cancel your Silvercar reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call Silvercar customer service at (855) 359-2227.
  • Required notice: You can cancel your reservation any time before your reservation starts free of charge.
  • Option to pay later? No
  • Fees: If you do not cancel your reservation or pick up the car, Silvercar will charge you for the full rental amount.

SIXT

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your SIXT reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call the SIXT reservation team at (888) 749-8227.
  • Required notice: There is no charge to cancel or make changes to your reservation at any time prior to your scheduled pickup time.
  • Option to pay later? Yes
  • Fees: If you do not cancel your prepaid reservation or pick up the car, SIXT will charge you for the full rental amount.

Thrifty Car Rental

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your Thrifty reservation online with your last name and confirmation number. You can also cancel by phone; call Thrifty at (800) 847-4389.
  • Required notice: Varies by reservation type
  • Option to pay later? Yes; “pay later” reservations are about $30 more expensive
  • Fees: If you did not prepay your reservation, you can cancel at any time before your scheduled pickup time.  If you cancel your prepaid reservation at least 24 hours in advance, you’ll receive a refund minus $50 for a cancellation fee. Within 24 hours of your scheduled pickup, the cancellation fee is $100.

U-Save Car & Truck Rental

  • How to cancel: You can cancel your U-Save reservation online. You can also cancel by phone; call U-Save at (800) 272-8728.
  • Required notice: You can cancel most reservations up to 24 hours in advance free of charge.
  • Option to pay later? No
  • Fees: If you cancel within 24 hours of the scheduled pickup time, you will be charged a $50 cancellation fee. Vans, SUVs, and premium cars, such as convertibles, require a 48-hour cancellation notice; the cancellation fee is $100. Passenger vans require a 48-hour cancellation notice; the cancellation fee is $150.

Car-Sharing Cancellation Policies

Getaround

  • How to cancel: When you view the trip you booked on the mobile app, you will see an option to “cancel.”
  • Required notice: If you cancel more than 24 hours before your trip starts, there is no fee.
  • Fees: Getaround charges $25 if you cancel less than 24 hours before your trip. If you cancel less than one hour before your trip starts, the fee is $50. If you don’t show up, Getaround will charge a $100 no-show fee.

Maven

  • How to cancel: You can cancel through the mobile app or by calling Maven customer service at (800) 446-2836.
  • Required notice: You can cancel your reservation free of charge up to 24 hours before your reservation starts.
  • Fees: Within 24 hours of your reservation, Maven will charge you the full amount of the reservation.

Turo

  • How to cancel: Log in to your Turo account to cancel your trip.
  • Required notice: You can cancel at no charge up to 24 hours before your trip starts.
  • Fees: If you book within 24 hours of your trip, you have one hour after booking to cancel for free. Outside of the free cancellation period, Turo will charge one day’s trip cost for trips longer than two days and 50% of one day’s trip cost for trips two days or shorter.

Zipcar

  • How to cancel: You can cancel through the mobile app or on Zipcar’s website.
  • Required notice: You can cancel your reservation up to 30 minutes after booking free of charge. For reservations less than eight hours long you have up to three hours before the start time to avoid a fee. For reservations that are eight hours or longer, you need to cancel at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Fees: If you don’t cancel within the listed time, you will be responsible for the full trip cost.

More Information

Interested in other rental car policies? Our previous research details the fees for picking up a rental car late at major car rental companies. We also cover the additional driver policies at popular car rental companies.