Car Rentals - 10 min read

Budget Car Rental Cancellation Policy (4 Different Options!)

Alexis Musgrave

Alexis Musgrave, Updated October 30, 2022

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Budget Car Rental is an affordable and convenient service for short-term car rentals for travelers! They offer a variety of car models at different price points, allowing you more freedom in your travels. Unfortunately, sometimes plans do not work out and you need to cancel your car rental reservation. With all the hassle of canceling a trip, it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out eh cancellation policy of every reservation you made. 

Budget Car Rental bases its cancellation policy on the way the reservation was made. If you prepaid the rental, you will face a $50 fee before the 24-hour deadline. If you did not give any credit card information you will not be charged for any type of cancellation. And if you booked the rental through a third party, the cancellation and refund rules go through that company.

Cancellation policies can often feel complicated and confusing. This article will break down the major aspects of Budget Car Rental’s cancellation and refund policies. To get a sense of what fees you could face or the limitations on cancelations, you are in the right place! Continue on to find the highlights you need to prepare (or recuperate) for your upcoming trip.

What is Budget Car Rental Cancellation Policy?

To quickly generalize, there are four ways to make a reservation with Budget Car Rental. You can prepay for the reservation, give your credit card information to hold the car, reserve without credit card info, and have a reservation through a third party. Depending on which way your reservation was made determines the cancellation policy you will be held to.

Most rentals must be prepaid for, so that is the policy you are likely to encounter! If you cancel prior to the 24-hour deadline, you will get a refund minus a $50 cancellation fee. Additionally, if you cancel after the 24-hour deadline, then you will be given a refund minus $150. You will receive no refund if you are a no show and do not pick up the car without calling ahead.

There are a few other cancellation options with Budget Car Rental, but this is the main one. The policy is pretty straightforward and simple, with the ability to make your cancellation and refund requests through their website. Yet, if you made the reservation a different way, you should continue on to learn a bit more about the other policies!

What are the Budget Car Rental Cancellation Options?

Budget Car Rental has a cancellation policy based on the way you made the reservation. Prepaying for your reservation, offering your card information to keep the rental on hold, or using a travel agency each result in different refund policies. Here is a more in-depth breakdown of what to expect when you cancel depending on your initial booking.

Credit Card Charged For Reservation

Many reservations with Budget Car Rental allow you to prepay for your car using a credit card. If you chose this option when making your booking, or it was the only option available, then your cancellation policy is pretty straightforward.

Through this version of booking, you will be charged $50 for the cancellation fee for canceling the reservation. So long as you cancel 24 hours before the set pick-up time. The remaining charge for the refund will be automatically returned to you after a few days.

However, if you cancel after the 24-hour deadline you will be charged a $150 processing fee. Additionally, if you do not pick up the rental car at the designated time then you will not receive a refund. No-shows are deeply incipient for the company as they are not very flexible on this part of the policy. So it is best to cancel sooner rather than later as you can lose more money for waiting.

Credit Card Required But Not Charged

Many Budget Car Rental cars do not require you to pay in advance for your reservation, but simply put your card on hold. This usually happens with high-demand cars, more expensive models, or specific company locations. They will not charge the card, but simply have it on file to hold the reservation for you.

It is a pretty common practice among many booking companies. This type of reservation does not require charging your card unless you decide you no longer need the car rental. Or if fail to cancel in advance of your designated pick-up time. Otherwise, it will not be charged till you arrive to pick up the car.

With this reservation type, you can cancel up to 48 hours in advance of your designated pick-up time without any fees. However, if you cancel less than 48 hours before your pick-up time you will have to pay a $75 fee.

Reservation Made Without Credit Card

You may be able to make a reservation with Budget Car Rental without paying in advance or giving your credit card information. For these specific bookings, you will not find any cancellation fees since your information is not within their system. This is not a very common scenario since it puts the company at risk, but is great for unsure travelers!

This selection will allow you to put a car on hold for yourself if you need it during your travels. But if your plans fall through or get canceled, you will not have to worry about another set of cancellation fees. Sometimes this option can be chosen through a Pay Later selection when making your booking. So keep an eye out for this option if your travel plans are not set in stone!

Reservation Made With Travel or Online Booking Agent

Many people do not book their rental cars directly through Budget Car Rental and do so through a travel agent or third-party booking service. In this case, the cancellation policy switches to that of the third-party company and not Budget Car Rental.

The travel agency or online booking agent “owns” any reservation that is made with them, so their reservation cancellation processes and policies apply to these bookings. If this is the case for you, it is best to review the company or agent you booked with to understand what applies to you.

You may be able to expect similar cancellation policies since Budget Car Rental has a very standard protocol. However, since the company owns your booking they can easily make more restrictive guidelines. So ask your agent or consult the other booking company to see what fees you may face for canceling!

Does Budget Car Rental Have an Extenuating Circumstances Policy?

Budget Car Rental does not have an extenuating circumstance policy. However, they do have a flexible reservation option for travelers who are unsure about their plans. This function allows you to make adjustments to your reservation if events cancel your plans, making it perfect for securing your ideal trip without consequences. 

In order to use this function, you must choose the “Pay Later” selection when making a reservation on the company’s website. By choosing this, you are able to cancel and modify your reservation without any fees! This is similar to the policy described earlier for reservations made without a credit card.

Although this policy is not necessarily separate from the standard outline we listed above, it is a great hack for travelers! By granting a legit reservation without the stress of possible fees it allows budget travelers to keep costs low while also having some security. It allows you to have a reservation in place for when plans go smoothly. Yet you will not have to face $50 to $150 fees for canceling if the plans are not so smooth.

How Long Does It Take For A Budget Car Rental Refund?

Luckily, Budget Car Rental has a pretty fast refund system. Refunds are only necessary if you prepaid for your reservation. Therefore, if you cancel before the deadline you will then see the money returned to the card used within approximately seven business days. This is an approximation, so your refund may come in 3 days or 8 days after requesting it. If this process takes a lot longer, then you may want to contact a Budget Car Rental representative to see if something went wrong. But this company tends to be quick and reliable!

You should note that you must cancel and request your refund on the Budget Car Rental website. This is the only way to ensure your refund is returned to you. It is a simple and easy process that you can find more information about on their website. After the cancellation, you will be able to see the refund confirmation and message a representative if you have more questions!

As mentioned earlier, if you booked through a third party the refund rules are different. You must cancel through them and the time it takes for the money to be refunded may take longer. So if you booked through Booking.com or a travel agent, these guidelines do not apply.

Does Budget Car Rental Charge a Fee For Early Returns?

Budget Car Rental does not charge extra for early returns, but it may affect the overall price of your reservation. It is a bit tricky, but daily prices are usually cheaper the longer the reservation is. These rates also vary by location and timeline, so turning in your car early could result in your daily charge being more expensive. 

Since longer rental periods tend to have lower daily rates, your daily rate could increase if you return your rental car early. It is also rare to see refunds on your reservation for the days you did not use the car. So it is best not to expect to be refunded for any portion of the payment if you turn the car in early. This keeps the company from losing money, so they rarely give refunds in this situation.

Essentially there is no specific extra charge for early returns with Budget Car Rentals. However, it may alter your daily rate and could make the reservation more expensive than before. But you will not face extra fees if your trip is cut short!

Conclusion

Overall, Budget Car Rental has a standard and reasonable cancellation policy. Their fees are largely based on how close to the reservation you cancel if you prepay. With additional booking options, you have a lot of choices and flexibility with your reservation.

One of the most important things to note is that the cancellation policy is based on how your reservation was made. If you prepaid with a credit card, then a cancellation fee will be deducted from your refund. But if you select the Pay Later option, then you will get a lot more flexibility with your rental.

The second thing to note is that you should cancel your reservation as soon as you know you need to. The longer you wait the higher the fees may go. So make it easy on yourself and cancel the booking early to save some cash!

Finally, Budget Car Rental does not charge early return fees. However, depending on a few factors it could increase your daily rental costs and increase the overall price. You will also not receive a refund for the days not used on a daily return.

Hopefully, this article answers your questions about Budget Car Rental cancellations! If you have a specific situation or more unanswered questions, it is best to start a chat with a representative of the company.

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