Good news on invoices and refunds
Reduced waiting time for invoicing, processing of refunds and authorisation releases
Due to e-toll processing, invoices were previously generated 72 hours after rental termination, and credit card refunds and authorisation releases were processed 7 working days after rental termination.
Starting from October 2015, First Car Rental will be issuing rental invoices immediately after the rental termination, provided there are no possible e-toll transactions awaiting processing from SANRAL.
Also from October 2015, credit card refunds and authorisation releases will be processed 48 hours after the rental termination, provided there is no damage to the vehicle or e-toll transactions awaiting processing from SANRAL (due to proximity of the drop-off branch to that of a gantry).
If contracts have accrued e-toll fees during their rental, they will be issued with an invoice 3 days after the rental termination. In this instance, processing of credit card refunds will be reduced to 5 working days after rental termination, purely because SANRAL often delay electronic file sending.
First Car Rental's Payment Policy
First Car Rental operates a payment and authorisation system. This means that instead of one full amount being taken off the customer's credit card at the start of a rental, the amount is split into Payment & Authorisation amounts:
Payment Amount: This is the amount that is physically taken from the customer's credit card.
The Payment Amount is calculated as follows: Fuel Deposit plus Full Rental (if not pre-paid) plus additional items, if applicable (e.g. Baby seats, one way fees, cross border fees, etc.).
Once the vehicle is returned, the difference between the balance owing (fuel and rental costs) and the payment amount taken will be refunded to the customer within 48 hours after the termination date, provided there is no damage to the vehicle or e-toll fees. Should the contract have attracted e-toll fees from SANRAL, then the payment amount will be refunded within 5 working days of the contract termination date.
Authorisation Amount: This amount is "held" by the credit card issuer, not physically taken off the credit card.
The Authorisation Amount is the equivalent of the Renter's Responsibility amount (the maximum the customer is liable for in the event of damage to, or theft of, the rental vehicle).
The Authorisation Amount is "held" by the card-issuing bank as an Authorisation on the Credit Card upon vehicle collection. This means that the Authorisation Amount is not removed from the credit card, it is just blocked. This Authorisation Amount is then automatically cancelled by First Car Rental when the rental is terminated, provided there is no damage to the vehicle.
Please note that even though the instruction to release the credit card block is sent automatically and immediately, South African credit card issuing banks release the Authorisation Amount block, and this can take from 24 hours up to 7 working days, subject to the banking institution. International credit card issuers can take up to 21 working days to release the Authorisation Amount block.
If you have hired a car from First Car Rental and want to view your invoice or E-Toll transactions online, please click here.