Hertz is extending rentals for customers with disrupted departures and honouring reservations for people with delayed arrivals following the closure of air space due to the volcanic ash situation. 

And customers who have prepaid direct will be offered a full refund if they make a cancellation online or by telephone at any point up to the pick-up date if their travel has been affected by the volcanic ash disruption. 

Prepaid direct customers who do not show up to collect their car without prior cancellation will receive a slightly reduced refund upon application.

Hertz president Michel Taride said: “Our primary aim is to keep people moving while air travel remains largely paralysed.

“We’re doing everything in our power to help customers get back home and helping our airline partners repatriate their crews so that flight services can resume as soon as European airspace is given the all-clear.

“We have waived our international one-way drop-off surcharges for customers who are repatriating cars to their country of origin, which will help ensure effective redistribution of fleet – essential should the crisis continue.

“We are also adding to the fleet, along with extra staffing, to cope with this extraordinary situation and a 300% increase in enquiries.”

The Hertz website provides real-time availability of foreign cars by country to help people identify rental vehicles in the right locations to get them home, along with a customer services contact number.

The company is also updating its customers via Twitter and Facebook.