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I used a car hire company in New Zealand recently, which had a safe with a code where you could pick up your car key when you arrive after hours. I live in the UK, and don't have much experience hiring cars.

Does such a thing exist in the USA? Particularly, is there one in Pittsburgh? Will be making a one-way trip to Columbus Ohio... getting the Greyhound if not!

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    These things do exist in the US, but I can't speak about Pittsburgh. Generally it'll be the bigger national chains that have this option, and it might be restricted to their membership "clubs". (Eg I know I once traveled with someone who accessed an after hours drop box at a National car rental in California.) – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Feb 24 at 1:06
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    It's very unlikely you could pick up a car after hours in the US. They would just have you rent it earlier in the day or the previous day. Dropping off a car after hours is usually fine; there will be a drop box or a slot in the office door. – mkennedy Feb 24 at 1:18
  • There's usually a 24/7 car rental office at the nearest airport which you can use instead. – JonathanReez Feb 24 at 1:55
  • Unfortunately the nearest airport is 20 miles away, but I may end up having to do that! – Ne Mo Feb 24 at 19:38
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After hours pickup is incredibly rare in the US - the point that I'd almost say it's non-existent. As a part of the pick-up process the rental company will need to see your Drivers License to confirm you ID, and this is something they can't do with a drop box.

I have heard of some rental locations that are located within hotels allowing you to pickup the keys from the hotel front desk after the rental cars office is closed, but even this is rare.

However rental companies are most major airports are open 24/7 or at a minimum very extended hours (based on the airport hours), so as long as you have a way to get to the nearest major airport you should have no issues. For Pittsburgh specifically it appears that the majority of the rental companies are open from around 6am to 1am.

After-hours drop-off is more common, and whilst not all locations allow it many do - although in many cases the rental will only be considered completed once the office opens (which means you can still end up being charged even after you've returned the car).

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