Can A Car Rental Company Cancel Your Reservation

When you make a car rental reservation, it is assumed that you will be able to pick up your car at the agreed upon time and location. However, there are situations where car rental companies can legally cancel your reservation due to changes in their availability or policies.

Car rental companies must provide the customer with reasonable notice and explanation if they choose to cancel a reservation. Customers should receive information about any cancellation of their reservation before their pick-up date so that they have time to make alternative arrangements. If a reservation is cancelled without proper notification and explanation, the customer is entitled to seek a refund for prepaid rental fees and may seek damages for other costs that arise due to the cancellation.

Generally, a car rental company may cancel a reservation if:

  • The customer fails to meet the company’s requirements including age and driver’s license requirements.
  • The company has an insufficient number of vehicles to meet customer needs.
  • The customer fails to provide the security deposit or other necessary payment.
  • The rental is booked beyond the rental company’s maximum rental period.
  • The company has reasonable suspicion that the customer may be engaging in fraudulent or illegal activity.

Car rental companies also have the right to change their rates and charges for their rentals. In these cases, the customer is typically given the option to accept the change or cancel their booking for a full refund.

When selecting a car rental company, it is important to research the company’s policies and cancellation conditions. Consumer reviews can be a great source of information about the company’s reputation and whether or not they have any history of needlessly canceling reservations.

Changing Reservations

In some cases, a customer may need to modify their car rental reservation due to a change in their plans. Generally, rental companies will allow customers to change their reservation with a reasonable fee if they give proper notice before their pick-up date. However, this fee may be waived in special circumstances including medical emergencies or natural disasters.

When changing your reservation, it is important to keep in mind that rental companies must provide customers at least 24 hours to confirm changes their reservation. Furthermore, the rental company may reserve the right to cancel a reservation if changes in a reservation cannot be confirmed within 24 hours.

In addition, customers should be aware that rental companies may only be able to confirm changes to a certain extent. Changes such as vehicle type or pick-up location may not be possible due to a lack of availability.

Making a Complaint

If a customer feels that they have been unfairly treated by a car rental company, they should first attempt to contact the company directly and explain their circumstances. Most companies will make an effort to resolve any issues directly with the customer before any further action is taken. If the customer feels that their complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved, they may wish to pursue legal remedies such as filing a complaint with the local Better Business Bureau or even bringing a lawsuit against the car rental company.

In addition to filing a formal complaint, customers should attempt to report their experience to other potential customers. Reviews and ratings on third-party travel sites can be helpful in warning other customers about the service (or lack thereof) that they may encounter when dealing with the car rental company in question.

Additional Fees

When renting a car, customers may be subject to additional charges and fees. These fees can include taxes, insurance, fuel, mileage, and other additional services such as vehicle upgrades or special equipment. Customers should ask their car rental company for detailed information about any additional fees that may apply to their reservation.

In some cases, customers may be subject to additional fees if they make changes or cancellations to their reservation. Customers should be aware of any fees that may apply and confirm these fees before making any changes or cancellations to their reservation.


It is important to ask the car rental company if they provide insurance coverage or if the customer will need to purchase separate insurance for their rental. Additionally, customers should make sure that the insurance coverage limits of their personal auto insurance is sufficient to cover any damages that occur during their rental.

When obtaining insurance for their rental, customers should be aware that there are several different types of coverage available. These types of coverage include liability, collision and comprehensive, medical coverage, and loss of use. Customers should familiarize themselves with these types of coverage prior to signing a rental agreement.


When returning a rental vehicle, customers should drop off their vehicle at the agreed upon time and location. Failure to return the vehicle at the agreed upon time may result in additional charges and fees. Customers should also ensure that the vehicle is returned in the same condition it was originally rented in order to avoid any additional fees.

In some cases, customers may need to extend the length of their rental. It is typically best to contact the car rental company to make sure that they can accommodate the request before any changes are made to the rental agreement.


When renting a car, customers should always make sure that their vehicle is safe to drive. This includes ensuring that all safety features of the car are in working order and that the vehicle has adequate fuel for the duration of the rental. Additionally, customers should always make sure to follow all applicable road safety regulations to ensure a safe journey.

Finally, customers should always check with their car rental company prior to driving their car off the lot to make sure that they understand all the applicable laws and regulations in the area. This will help to ensure that the rental experience itself is a safe and pleasant one.

Marjorie Turcios is a seasoned leader and management expert with over 25 years of experience. She has held various leadership positions in private industry, government, and education. She is an advocate for creating win-win solutions and has worked to create successful, lasting change in corporations and organizations. Marjorie is an award-winning author of several books on leadership, mentoring and coaching, and effective communication skills. Her passion is to help others discover their potential and reach new heights in their professional life through her writings. Marjorie resides in Dallas, Texas where she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to different places around the world, and speaking at conferences about her areas of expertise.

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