When renting a vehicle in Ontario, it's a good idea to know what the late fees will be. Every car rental service will differ in price, so it's always a good idea to get the details from them before you even leave the lot. However, there are some reasonable similarities that will give you the gist of late fees in Ontario.
What to Expect for Late Fees
There are generally two main types of late fees. The first begins from the time you were supposed to return the car and continues until you actually return it. Lately, these prices have gone up quite a bit, meaning that if you are more than a couple of hours late, it's actually cheaper to take the day rate instead. The usual late fee is around 2/3 of the daily rate, but is charged per hour. For example, a car that costs $55 per day will cost you $30 or so per hour that you keep it past the return time.
The second type of late fee is far more onerous. Rather than just charge you for the hours you are late, these fees are retroactive. So you will end up paying $30 per hour for the ENTIRE time you had the vehicle, from the first pickup. It's very important to check with the company on their late returns policy before signing anything, as this will all be in the contract.
Why Charge Late Fees?
Despite the fact that it seems quite unfair to the consumer to charge late fees, rental companies have a reason for doing this. Often, only a few select vehicles are rented from any given location. That means that the car you`ve rented is probably rented out to someone else shortly after you return it. The company will need time to clean the vehicle and inspect it for damage before it can be handed over to the new driver and they allow for this time.
However, imagine that you return the car three hours late. The anxious customer has been waiting for half an hour for his car and now it's just arrived. The employees must rush to inspect and clean the vehicle before they can give it to the now irate client.
It's very possible that they will lose business this way, hence the higher rates.
Car rental services in Ontario are no different from those elsewhere. They need to be earning money and late returns cost them. However, many rental companies still have a grace period that extends anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour past the necessary return time.
Avoiding Late Fees
There are a few ways to avoid late fees when renting a vehicle in Ontario.
- Plan for an extra half hour in case of traffic.
- Don't forget to plan for filling up the gas tank.
- Call ahead if you're going to be late and let them know . . . sometimes you can waive the late fee.
- Forget the grace period. Even if there is one, plan to return on time.
- Have the clerk update your pickup time if you arrive late, otherwise you`ll return the vehicle at the same time and still be considered late.
Car rentals can be tricky if you don't pay attention. There is no need to pay late fees if you stay on top of things and plan accordingly.
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Article Added on Friday, November 28, 2008
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