A guide to car hire fees

The ultimate guide to post-rental fees

Post rental fees can come as a costly surprise at the end of a car hire. Yet it's easy to protect yourself against these possible charges, so long as you're aware of them and understand the company's T&C's before setting off. Here are a few penalty fees you may find yourself stuck with at the end of your rental and some tips on how to avoid them.

List of most commonly seen charges

Post rental fees Average cost
Damage charges Depends on the extent of damage
Toll charges Toll + surcharge
Admin fees £10 – £100
Cleaning £15 – £200
Petrol and refuelling Current pump rate + an additional surcharge
Extra mileage £0.15 – £1.00 per extra mile/km
Late fees £10 – £40

Car hire charges to watch out for

Other additional charges

Cleaning fees

Average cost: £15 – £200

What is it? If you return your vehicle to the rental company in an “excessively dirty” state, you'll be charged for valeting and admin fees. The price is based on the extent of cleaning needed.

How to avoid: Give your rental a quick clean before handing it back to the supplier. It doesn't need to be spotless, but the cleaner the better.

Petrol and refuelling fees

Average cost: Current pump rate + an additional surcharge

What is it? If you opt for a fuel to fuel or same to same fuel policy and return the vehicle without the same amount of fuel you received it with, you will be charged for refuelling at an inflated rate.

How to avoid: Always find out where the nearest petrol station is to your drop off location and fill up the tank before handing back your rental.

Extra mileage

Average cost: £0.15 – £0.65 per extra mile/km

What is it? If your rental policy comes with limited mileage and you exceed the mileage quota, you will be charged at the end of the rental for the extra miles/kilometres driven.

How to avoid: When booking, opt for a supplier with unlimited mileage, especially if you'll be driving long distances. Alternatively, keep an eye on how many miles you've driven each day and adjust your journey accordingly.

Late fees

Average cost: £10 – £40

What is it? A late fee is charged if you return your vehicle back to the rental office after the time it was due. Most car hire companies have a grace period but if you miss that too, the penalty can be steep.

How to avoid: Plan to arrive prior to the grace period, that way, you have a little extra time in case you get lost or stuck in traffic. Determine your route beforehand and take into account any possible traffic. If you do end up running late, call the supplier and let them know – the courtesy may work in your favour.

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