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Advice for dealing with after-hours car rental return in Bayeux?

We are driving from Cancale in Brittany to Bayeux on July 1st to take a private tour of the Normandy beaches. That night, we have reservations to stay in Paris. We are supposed to return our car in Bayeux by 4:30, but our tour doesn't end until 5:30 and we need to hold onto the car for the duration of the day because our group and all of our luggage doesn't fit into the car of the person conducting the private tour. Since we're not staying in Bayeux either night, there's no local place to stash our luggage so the rental car is really the only option to leave the luggage for the day.

Does anyone know what happens if you just show up to the car rental return in Bayeux after hours? Is there a drop box to leave the key? I know that the car rental place is just a small gas station/convenience store and a very small operation. We don't mind being charged extra if necessary - we would just prefer not to cut the tour short if we don't have to.

Other suggestions?

Posted by
10323 posts

Often hotels will keep luggage with a bellman or front desk even if you are not staying there. For a fee, of course. Check Hotel Lion d'Or and others in Bayeux.

Posted by
9855 posts

Sounds like a lot of schlepping and complications.. Why don't you return the car in or near Paris and take a taxi to your accommodations.

Posted by
2466 posts

I'm not certain that hotels would be willing to store your luggage, if you are not renting rooms there, even if a fee were involved.
There are insurance and security questions which might not allow the hotel to keep your stuff.
I would not recommend storing any visible luggage in a rental car, because it's a good possibility that things will be stolen.
Is there any way to book a hotel somewhere else, if you aren't staying in Bayeux?

You could return the car in Paris, but would pay more than you should.

Otherwise, I would call or email the rental company to see what the after-hours procedure is.

Posted by
1026 posts

You don't mention from whom you are renting a car.. But when I have returned a Hertz rental to Bayeux, their "office" is actually a gas-station/mini-market on the periphery road. Their hours may be longer than usual. ymmv, but I would think it would be worth a call to them.

Posted by
782 posts

You can contact Hertz in the US and they should be able to give you the info.I did it with a after hours return in St Malo,they had a drop box and it worked out fine.

Posted by
10504 posts

On the off chance you do not have the Hertz info for Bayeaux, it is below
Suggest you contact them regarding what, if any, after hours drop off provision they have

Pickup and Return Location
Bayeux, Vaucelles - Total Petrol Station
Route de Cherbourg

Departementale 613
Bayeux (Vaucelles), FR 14400
Hours of Operation
Mo-Fr 0800-1900, Sa-Su 0800-1200 1400-1700
Location Type
Phone Number
+33 (0) 2 31 92 03 26

Posted by
25529 posts

I would try very hard to avoid an after-hours car drop-off. Any car-rental agreement worth its salt will make you responsible for damage to the car up until it is checked in by an employee. I've always felt that after-hours drop-off is a bit like handing someone a blank check.

Posted by
7716 posts

Agree that not getting a receipt that the car is gassed and undamaged is like handing a blank check to the agency. I would not do that. I'd store the luggage in Paris before I'd leave it in a rental car for the day.

Posted by
5684 posts

I've dropped off a rental car several times after hours in Europe, when no one was there - left the key in a drop box or at a nearby hotel front desk or something. Somehow, I've yet to be charged extra fees or gouged for fake damage. I did this in Caen many years ago and would surely do the same again in Bayeux without worrying about it.

I would take pictures of the car in drop-off spot as well as the car's dashboard showing a full fuel tank along with the odometer reading.

And of course, I would simply ask the rental car office ahead of time if this is possible. Try emailing them before arriving to find out. Most likely it is possible and routine for them.

Posted by
7209 posts

The Hertz Car Rental in Bayeux (Gas Station) was super difficult to navigate even DURING opening hours. The employees spoke zero English and were way more interested in dealing with customers buying petrol and snacks rather then renting me my reserved and paid car. Luckily my B&B host went with me to translate and even he said they were not nice. Good luck in your dealings with them. It would be nice if Bayeux had a few more car rental facilities.

Posted by
1075 posts

Our experience was not as negative as Tim's, but it's true the guy spoke zero English and worked us in around other customers. If that's where you want to return the car, I wouldn't discourage it. Just do as the previous poster said and take pictures. There was plenty of space to park our returned car.
Do you happen to be a member of Hertz's loyalty program? If not, you might join. And did you rent directly from Hertz or through a reseller? Our only issue with out last rental through AutoEurope was we couldn't make any changes to our reservation unless we cancelled and rebooked, which was not possible at the 11th hour. If I had rented directly from Hertz, I could have modified the reservation easily. Live and learn.

Posted by
12154 posts

Dropping after hours is normally not that hard. You may want to ask them, directly or by phone, where to put the car and keys. I suggest taking a series of pictures of the car from various angles, when you drop it off, in case they later try to bill you for damage that you didn't cause. That's never happened to me but I take pics anyway and hold onto them for about a year. I'd also take extra care checking out the car when you pick it up to be sure all damage is documented (some "before" pictures don't hurt either).