16

Our travel plans are very flexible, so we'd like to rent a car in Geneva, then return it to an unspecified location at an unspecified date.

That is, we won't know the return city or end date at the time we take out the rental.

Are there any companies which will allow this? All of the car rental search engines I've seen require the Pick Up and Return addresses and dates up-front.

  • 1
    You may try to contact a car rental in France (e.g. at the French exit of Geneva Airport). Because of abuse on car insurances, one car (with foreign plates) cannot be rented on an other country, but EU has some less restriction (inside EU). – Giacomo Catenazzi Dec 7 '17 at 14:22
18

Large car hire companies offer this… but do not describe it exactly in the way you do. Specifically, you can always call them to extend the contract, add new options, etc. In effect, the return date and address are mostly used to calculate the price.

I am regularly using Avis and their FAQ explicitly mentions all this. If you exceed some maximum rental period or the car reaches its “end of life” limit, they will point you to the nearest branch (not necessarily the starting point or planned return address) to exchange it.

What they cannot do however is tell you beforehand exactly how much it will cost you (my guess is that it won't be cheap). Which makes sense.

  • 1
    @Relaxed You are correct for all practical purposes. The downvote is unwarranted (not my Answer so I can say that without violating parole ;). Upvoted. – Johns-305 Dec 6 '17 at 14:36
  • 3
    @dan1111 Relaxed is correct. I've changed the contract a number of times and the only notable consequence is the (sometimes) addition of a One Way Charge. There is no practical way they can force you to return the car to a specific location, they'll just charge you more for doing so. – Johns-305 Dec 6 '17 at 14:39
  • 1
    @dan1111 Is changing drop-off location forbidden somewhere in FAQ or rental terms? I don't think so. And non-existence of explicit allowance doesn't mean it's forbidden. I changed once my drop-off location just calling Avis (it was in Portugal though) and asking how much would it cast. – Neusser Dec 6 '17 at 14:40
  • 1
    @Johns-305 Yes, that's what I was trying to explain in the second paragraph, I will try to clarify that. – Relaxed Dec 6 '17 at 15:56
  • 2
    My experience in the US, and I would assume US companies operating in Europe will operate the same way, has been that you can just call and extend the term and the extension is charged at the same per-day rate. Returning at a different location than where you pick the car up usually costs extra. – ventsyv Dec 6 '17 at 17:33
5

@relaxed's answer proved to be correct, and I was able to phone up and change the drop-off location easily. The cost was calculated at the time of drop-off based on the miles driven, duration of the hire, etc.

But since I mentioned Geneva in the question it's worth pointing out that while I was free to drive the car into other countries, I had to drop the car off within Switzerland.

(I believe this is because of country-specific requirements like the Swiss toll sticker, and the fact that snow-rated tyres are required within Switzerland over winter, so the car company doesn't allow you to drop the vehicle off in another country.)

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.