When it comes to private rentals like this, there’s no industry standard. We’re neither a hotel or a rental car company. We get it! Aligning on times that work for both the renter and owner takes flexibility and understanding.
Luckily, Outdoorsy owners have stepped up with a number of helpful suggestions based on their experiences. If you have more recommendations, please leave a comment below.
“I’m very specific to let renters know I work an 8-5, so weekday meet-up times are at 7:30am or after 5pm. That really helps set the expectation and most are willing to work with that since they usually have a job as well. I’ve had the same problem with people trying to drop off as late as possible. In some cases, I’ve just asked people to return it the next morning since they wait until 10pm at night. I’m thinking about initiating a half day fee if returned after 2pm unless otherwise discussed.”
“I try to just stay flexible and let customers know that if their pickup occurs on a day when the previous rental is returning, then they will have to be flexible as to their actual pickup time. BUT, I am very adamant with the customers about nailing down their return time when I send them out. Leaving it open is just asking for trouble.”
“I typically do my best to remain flexible. Sometimes, I don’t tolerate those who demand it though. One way to curb this is to put a clause in your agreement that states they acknowledge if they drop it off at any point beyond ______ time, they will be required to pay for an additional half-day rental. Emphasizing this up front saves hassle in the end because no one believes they’ll run late at the start of their vacation.”
“I work full-time and tell renters 7am or 7pm for pickup and drop off unless it’s a weekend, then they can decide, within reason. Everything depends on the next rental and the previous rental. I do have a late fee, but have never had to charge it.”