Do You Have To Clean A Rental Car?

No! It is not mandatory to clean your rental car before returning it to the company. Also, when renting a car, cleanliness matters based on your agreement and the car’s condition. Some companies specify cleanliness requirements, and returning a dirty car may lead to costly cleaning fees. Before returning the rental, you must take care of some tasks, including refueling, removing personal items, and trash disposal.

Understanding the rental company’s cleaning policies is crucial to avoid extra charges. Ideally, it is good to return the car as clean as or cleaner than you received it.

Do You Have To Vacuum A Rental Car?

No! Generally, car rental companies do not ask to vacuum your rental car. You do not always have to vacuum your rental car, but if there is a big mess, like crumbs under kids’ seats or sand from the beach, it is a good idea to vacuum before you return your car to the company.

In these cases, spending a little money on a quick vacuum before returning the car is worth it. This helps keep the car clean for the next renter and avoids extra cleaning fees.

Do You Have To Wash A Rental Car?

Again the answer is “No.” You do not usually need to wash your rental or hire a car before returning it unless it is very dirty. The rental company cleans it before you get it, so it is okay if it is not spotless when you return it.

Just make sure to bring it back in a reasonable condition based on how long you had it and the weather. Remember, extremely dirty cars might lead to paying extra charges as cleanliness fees. 

Do You Have To Clean A Rental Car Before Returning?

No, washing a rental car before returning is not necessary. People rent cars for their convenience and enjoy their journey with a clean vehicle.

You do not need to clean or wash the rental car before returning it. You can simply return it in the same condition you received it.

What If You Return A Rental Car Dirty?

Many companies do not charge a fee for dirty cars, but some companies follow some rules and ask you to pay a certain amount if you return a dirty rental car to them.

When renting a car, cleanliness is important, following the rental agreement and considering the car’s initial condition. There are a few tasks that you can do before returning the rental car, like refueling and tidying up.

Understanding the rental company’s cleaning policies is crucial to avoid extra charges. Ideally, return the car in a clean or even better condition, but be cautious of things like pet hair.

Also, you can take before-and-after photos for reference and dispute purposes, especially for any damage claims.

Valeting/ Cleaning Fee

Car rental companies charge a cleaning fee to cover the time it takes to clean your rental car, which can’t be rented out during this time. Just like restaurants clean tables for customers, rental companies uphold cleanliness standards for cars.

The cleaning process usually involves a quick vacuum, wipe down, and exterior rinse, but extra cleaning may be needed for things like pet hair and odors. Each company explains its cleaning policies, ensuring cars are ready for the next customer.

Normally, car rental cleaning fees range from $30 to over $500, with pet hair often incurring the highest charges.

Also, many car rental companies offer an alternative with customizable car choices and a monthly subscription covering maintenance and insurance. You can ask for these things while booking a rental car for you.

Advance Valeting Fees

Some rental companies ask if you want to pay extra to clean the car early. It is smart to say no to this unless you know the car will be very dirty.

You can clean it yourself or talk about any fees later if needed. So, if the car is not too dirty, you can save money by saying no to the early cleaning fee.

How to Avoid Cleaning Fees?

Empty the Car the Day Before Returning: Take out all your stuff from the car the day before you return it. This makes it easier to clean any marks, soil, or sand inside.

Sweep Out Sand and Vacuum: If there is sand in the footwells or trunk, try to sweep it out. If you have a vacuum, use it to clean up the sand.

Wipe Dirt and Bird Poo Marks: Clean any obvious dirt or bird poo marks on the car’s body and windows.

Avoid Parking Under Trees: Try not to park the car under trees to avoid bird poo getting on it.

Remove Sand Before Getting In: Before getting into the car from the beach, shake off as much sand as you can.

Be Careful with Food and Drinks: Take care when eating or drinking in the car to avoid spills and mess.

Consider Hand Car Wash Before Returning: Think about getting the car hand-washed before returning it. You can also use a roadside car wash if available.

What to Not Clean In A Rental Car?

When renting a car, deciding what to clean or what to not can be like choosing how to pay. Usually, you don’t need to clean the car’s exterior unless it’s very dirty, especially in winter.

But for the inside, think about the next person who will rent it. Would they find it clean enough if they took it right after you? This helps decide what parts to clean before giving the car back.

So, focus on making the inside tidy for the next renter, and you will be good to go!


Well! As per the general rules, customers do not have to wash or vacuum their rental cars before returning them to rental companies.

Although it is not mandatory to clean a rental car when you give it back, you must not leave it very dirty as it can make you pay cleanliness fees.

Also, as a good human being you must return the car in good condition so that the next renter can also enjoy their journey comfortably.

Leave a Reply