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Car rental companies with flexible cancellation policies due to coronavirus

Get a refund or change your booking at no extra charge — young drivers can rent without a fee.

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Government-imposed travel restrictions across the country stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have many people hitting the brakes on their travel plans. Most major hotels, airlines and third-party booking sites have updated their cancellation policies.

Car rental companies are offering additional leeway for existing reservations — and some are waiving young-driver fees so college students can get home amid school closures. Many are also offering contactless pickup and drop-off options, and may require masks at the counter when picking up or dropping off your vehicle.

Here are the major car rental companies that will let you change or cancel for free. Most note you should contact the third-party site you booked with to check their policies.

Car rental company Update More info
Alamo Free cancellation on prepaid bookings made directly with Enterprise. Some branches have closed. More info
Avis No change or cancellation fee on existing reservations. Choose the Pay Later option when booking a new reservation to make changes or cancel without incurring additional fees. Contact Avis at 800-706-2847 to change or cancel your booking. More info
Budget No change or cancellation fee on existing reservations. Choose the Pay Later option when booking a new reservation to make changes or cancel without incurring additional fees. Contact Budget at 866-729-0770 to change or cancel your booking. More info
Dollar Customers with prepaid bookings made directly with Dollar before March 13 can cancel and receive a credit to use within 24 months. Pay at time of pickup on new reservations to cancel without incurring a fee. More info
Enterprise Free cancellation on prepaid bookings made directly with Enterprise. Some branch locations have closed or consolidated. More info
Hertz Cancellation and change fees waived for travel-restricted areas. Customers with prepaid bookings made directly with Hertz before March 13 can cancel and receive a credit to use within 24 months. Outright cancellations will incur a fee. Enter your booking details online or call 800-654-3131 to modify a reservation. More info
National No change or cancellation fee on prepaid reservations made directly with National. Enter your booking details online to modify a reservation. More info
Thrifty Customers with prepaid bookings made directly with Thrifty before March 13 can cancel and receive a credit to use within 24 months.Pay at time of pickup on new reservations to cancel without incurring a fee. More info

Car rental companies waiving young-renter fees

These agencies are making it cheaper for college students to make emergency travel arrangements if needed. Drivers under 25 are usually subject to an extra fee — usually around $25 to $50 per day, depending on your state.

Keep in mind you may need to show a valid student ID. Young drivers who belong to membership programs like AAA can always rent without a fee at some companies.

Car rental company Updated policy More info
Avis Fee waived for drivers ages 21 to 24 through 8/31/2020. Excludes drivers in New York, Michigan and Maryland. More info
Budget Fee waived for drivers ages 21 to 24 through 8/31/2020. Excludes drivers in New York, Michigan and Maryland. More info
Enterprise Fee waived for college students ages 18 to 24 through 9/30/2020. Enter your booking details online to modify a reservation. Must show official student ID at the time of rental. More info
Hertz Fee waived for drivers ages 18 to 24 at airport and neighborhood locations through August 31, 2020. Age minimum to rent a car dropped from 20 to 18. Applies to reservations made on or after March 17. More info

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Instead of traveling, consider ordering essentials online.

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