During our recent trip to South Korea we spent a few days on beautiful Jeju Island.
Rather than waste a lot of extra money to have someone drive us around I decided to rent a car to maximize our time on the island.
I found a good deal with Sixt Rent A Car. The rental came to $145.52 including the rental of a navigation system. Tip: If you rent a car in South Korea, an International Driving Permit is required.
Since we had an early flight from Jeju back to Seoul at the end of our visit, I made sure that the car rental place was located at the airport. However, when we arrived, it turned out that we needed to catch a short shuttle bus to pick up our car. I didn’t think much of this when we picked up our car. We had an early start and I was definitely tired.
Returning a rental has never been a problem for us in the past. These agencies usually have some procedure like dropping the car keys in a mailbox or drop box etc. I just never thought to ask the day I picked it up.
Our flight back to Seoul was at 8:15 AM but Sixt didn’t open until 8:00 AM. This would be a problem considering we needed to check in an hour before the office opened.
The worst part was that I didn’t realize until I woke up early in the morning on the day of the flight. We had our hotel try to call Sixt to figure out a plan, but there was no answer! We also noticed that it said there was 24/7 customer service on their website but we couldn’t figure out how to contact someone!
I decided that I’d drive over to Sixt and hope that I could leave the car on the lot if the entrance wasn’t blocked. I had noticed a 7/11 a few blocks away. I then figured we could walk over and catch a taxi for the short ride to the airport.
When we arrived we saw that Sixt had blocked the entrance to their parking lot with a couple of shuttle buses. However, I did notice a spot next to another shuttle bus just outside their lot.
I drove over to the 7/11 and a cab was waiting outside. It turned out that the driver spoke no English! We gestured and were also able to communicate due to a translation app on his phone.
His car was already hired but he helped me get a taxi to the airport. This took some time and him asking 4-5 different drivers!
Once a taxi agreed to drive us to the airport, I loaded our things in the taxi. Kim and the boys got in while I went to park our rental car by Sixt.
I decided to take a chance. I parked the car next to the shuttle bus, left the keys in the car and hoped for the best.
When I got to the airport, I sent an e-mail with some images to Sixt customer service. (I never received a response.)
Once we got to our hotel, the Intercontinental Seoul COEX, I had the concierge call Sixt Rent A Car Jeju to confirm that they saw my rental car and did the return.
The concierge confirmed that Sixt did check our car back in and it was returned without issue.
In the end, things worked out fine but this was my mistake. Had I read the booking confirmation a bit more closely, I would’ve seen that Sixt was located off- airport.
What would you have done in this kind of situation? Leave the car? Try to change the time of your flight? Any other ideas?