Cancellation policy and 'cancelled time' or 'unused time' charges

Short answer:

If you cancel or change your trip, you may see a ‘cancelled time’ or ‘unused time’ charge on your bill. Whether this applies, and the amount charged, depends on how far in advance you made the cancellation or change. Changes include returning a car early, or changing the start or end times of your trip.

Cancellation policy

You can cancel or edit your trip for free within 1 hour of making the booking. After this, you can cancel or edit your trip for free up to 48 hours before the time of the change. If you make a change within 48 hours of the booked time, the fees outlined below will apply.

Time of cancellation or change Fee
Within 1 hour of making the booking No cancellation fee
Over 48 hours in advance* No cancellation fee
24 to 48 hours in advance* 50% of time booked, up to 4 hours
Less than 24 hours in advance* 100% of time booked, up to 12 hours

*of the trip start time, or the earliest part of the trip affected by the change

You will not be charged a fee for any time that is rebooked by another member – so it's better to cancel and try to recoup some of the cost than to simply not show up for your trip.

Why do I need to pay for time I didn't use the car?
These charges are in place to compensate the car's owner for the fact that your trip may have prevented others from booking the car at that time. If someone else books the time that you cancelled or didn’t use, you won’t pay for that time.

Example scenarios

Cancelling a trip

Michelle books a trip in a car that costs $8/hr, and $40/day. The booking starts at 9am Friday, and ends at 9am Saturday, so the upfront time cost is $40.

She later decides she doesn’t need a car after all, and cancels the trip.

  • If she cancels before 9am on Wednesday, there are no cancellation fees because it is more than 48 hours in advance.
  • If she cancels on Wednesday afternoon, it is less than 48 hours, but more than 24 hours in advance. She will pay 50% of up to 4 hours, which in this case is $16.
  • If she cancels after 9am on Thursday, she will pay 100% of up to 12 hours, because it is less than 24 hours before the start time. The cost of 12 hours in this car would be the daily rate, or $40.
Changing the start time of a trip

Lloyd books a trip for Monday, 9am to 5pm. The car he books is $7/hr and $45/day, so the upfront time cost he pays is $45. Then he decides to postpone the whole booking to Tuesday,

  • If he makes the change within 1 hour of making the booking, or before 9am Saturday, no unused time fees will apply. The total time cost will be $45, for Tuesday only.
  • If he makes the change between 9am Saturday and 9am Sunday, the unused time fee is 50% of time reserved, up to 4 hours. This would be a $14 charge for the unused time on Monday, in addition to the $45 for Tuesday.
  • If he makes the change after 9am on Sunday, the unused time fee is 100% of time reserved, up to 12 hours. This would be the maximum amount of $45, in addition to the $45 for Tuesday.

Monica books a trip for Saturday, 9am to 11am, but wakes up late that morning and postpones the trip to 10:30am. The time from 9am to 10:30am is now considered ‘unused time’, and because the change was made with less than 24 hours notice, she will pay 100% of the unused time, in addition to the 2 hours she uses the car for.

Returning a car and ending the trip early

When returning a car early, you will never be charged more than the full time cost of the booking.

Kieran books a car from 1pm to 4pm at $8/hr, and pays the $24 time cost upfront. He gets his errands done quicker than expected and returns the car at 3pm. His trip cost breakdown will show that he paid $16 for 2 hours, and $8 for unused time.

Rebecca does the same as Kieran, but after she returns the car, another borrower books it for 3:30pm. This means she only has to pay for 30 mins (or $4) of unused time

Darren books a car from 9am to 9pm, but gets home early and returns the car just before 7:30pm. The time he used (9am to 7:30pm) is already charged at the car’s daily rate, so there is no unused time fee listed on his trip cost breakdown.

Changing the end time of a trip

Annike books a trip for tomorrow, from 2pm to 7pm. The car she books is $10/hr or $49/day, so the upfront time cost she paid was $49. She later changes the end time to 6pm.

  • If she makes the change within 1 hour of making the booking, there are no unused time fees. The total time cost is $40.
  • If she makes the change more than an hour later, but before 2pm today, the unused time fee is 50% of up to 4 hours. The unused time was only 1 hour, and 50% of this car’s hourly fee is $5. The total unused time cost is $45.
  • If she makes the change after 2pm today, the unused time fee is 100% of time reserved, up to 12 hours. In this case it would be 1 hour at 100%, or $10. The total time cost is $49, because the car’s daily rate is the maximum she can be charged.

Adam books a week-long trip, from Wednesday morning to the following Tuesday evening. On the second day, he finds out he’ll have to cut his trip short, and changes the end time to Sunday evening instead. 

As all of the unused time (Sunday evening to Tuesday evening) was more than 48 hours away at the time the change was made, no unused time fees apply.

Was this article helpful?
369 out of 494 found this helpful


  • Please let me know what if I block the car for the unused time, whether it's early return or trip cancellation (within 24 hours or 24-48 hours). Thanks

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Giri, if you block out the unused time then it's considered a 'new' booking so you won't get paid for the original time booked by the borrower. Hope that makes sense.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • I think you should allow users a refund within the first five minutes if they extend trip time. I accidentally extended my trip another day and immediately wanted to cancel but apparently there is not much point

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Example: I rent a car for a week while mine is being repaired, and my own car is returned after only 3 days, so I want to return the CND early.

    Does that mean I pay for the 3 days used, and then a 12hr fee for the early return? (The trip has already started, and it's a maximum 12hr fee for the extra?).

    Also - if a car is $15 an hour or $50 a day, what does "12 hr fee" mean? Does it mean:
    $15*12hrs = $160, or does it mean
    $50*less than one day = $50 ?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi, I would like to return the car I borrowed one day earlier (24h). If the car cost $4/h and 20$/day, how much will be the cancellation fee applied to me? Thank you. Regards, Daniel

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Daniele,
    If you return the car early, any unused time will be charged - up to a maximum of 12 hours. This is to compensate the car's owner for the fact that your booking may have prevented others from booking the car. If another member books the car during the unused time, then the owner has not lost any income and you will not be charged for that time. Cheers.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi guys, you didn't actually say *how* to cancel a trip, just what the penalties are. Do we do it by sending an email? Calling?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Kylin, you can do it through the app or the website. Just go to the Trips page and select the trip you want to cancel, and there will be a Cancel button.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Cancelling a trip due to COVID travel restrictions is different to a normal cancellation. I will lodge a formal complaint with the Fair Trading if i dont get a full refund.

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi
    I had a booking for 25 of December but I canceled my trip on 20 of December.

    I didn’t receive my refund yet .
    Can you please help me to sort out the issue

    Comment actions Permalink
  • What happens if a booking is made for a few days, the trip is cancelled by the borrower less than 24hrs before it was due to begin, but someone else later makes a booking that starts 20hrs after the original booking was due to start. Is there a charge for the borrower due to the fact that the lender lost income, or no charge since another booking was made for within that initial booking period?

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Andrew, the borrower who cancels is charged for any part of their original booking that goes unused. In your example, the unused time is the first 20 hours of the booking. As they cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, they'd pay 100% of 12 hours (in most cases this would be the car's daily rate).

    Comment actions Permalink
  • I was charged more than $70 dollars for a cancellation fee. For a trip that I have all reason not to commit at all because the description of the van that I was trying to rent di not explicitly specify that it's a delivery van and could not accommodate 7 people.
    Plus i was forced to download the apps even if I would just like to confirm and find the details of the vehicle and the pick up point of the vehicle. At that time I was having a hard time downloading the apps in my device, took me hours to finally learn the details of the van I actually booked in enough for me to be liable for cancellation charge which is too much in the first place

    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hi Ariel, the van's description states that it has 2 seats. When searching for a car you can use the search filters to select how many seats you need to make sure the car you book meets your requirements. We need to charge the cancellation fee to compensate the Owner for the fact that someone else may have booked the van for the time you had booked it. I'm sorry you had trouble downloading the app. We try to make it clear in all our confirmation emails and during the booking process that you need the app to take a trip. If there is anywhere we could make this clearer please let us know.

    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.