Want to rent a car and don’t know when? Check out our tips for the best time to rent a car to get the best deal possible!
If you’re reading this, chances are you are planning to rent a car for a business trip or weekend getaway, right? Unless this is a last-minute booking, we’ve got some new for you.
When is the best time to rent a car?
The best time to rent a car is as soon as possible. Generally speaking, if you’re looking to save some money, the earlier you book, the better. This is true because car rental rates are dynamic, which means they change according to demand (just like airplane tickets). You can read more about how that works on our explanation about car rental dynamic pricing. Even if you have months to go, we still encourage you to book online and as early as you can!
Here are some things you have to consider to find the perfect balance between how long you have before your rental and finding the best price possible.
If you’re renting a car for a holiday trip, during summer or any other high seasonality period, you have to run even faster. Because of the dynamic pricing we’ve mentioned above, prices are adjusted according to demand — and high season means high demand, which leads to higher prices.
If you can, booking many months in advance will not only be the best in terms of how much it will cost, but also will guarantee that the car category that you want will still be available at a reasonable price.
Off-peak season, despite giving you some extra room to breathe, should work the same way. The demand isn’t as high, but prices will be adjusted as time goes by and may get more expensive.
Size of the pick-up city or airport
Yes, the size of the city or airport you’re choosing to pick-up your rental car may affect the rates as well! Just like with seasonality, small cities and airports may have a reduced number of cars available that may “sold out” even faster during high season.
On the other hand, bigger cities also have a higher demand. If you can, check small and big cities that make sense for your itinerary.
The car category you’re looking for
Want to rent a standard car? You’ll probably have no problem with availability in most cases. Want an exotic car? Well… If you’re looking for luxury, premium and other categories that are already more limited and expensive, renting many weeks and months in advance is even more critical.
5 Tips to save money on your next car rental
1. Book as early as you can
The best thing you can do to save money on your car rental is to book as early as possible. When you do that, you don’t only guarantee the category and rental company of your choice, but also a cheaper price.
2. If you can, avoid renting a car during high season
If your holiday or business trip is still being planned and/or the dates are more flexible, we advise that you avoid booking during high season. Summer time and Spring Break are just some examples of dates you should avoid if possible.
3. Rent a car at a city location, not at the airport
Did you know that airport location rates are more expensive? Renting at the airport counter is easier, yes, but booking online to pick-up at the city might save you a lot of money. If you want to compare prices, you can use Rentcars.com’s search engine to check the availability at the airport and the city to make the best decision.
4. Weekly and weekend rates may be cheaper!
The best way to know if the weekend or weekly car rental rates are cheaper — and most of the time they are — is to compare the dates where you’ll be picking up your car rental and adding a dar or two. If it fits your plans, you might have a car for an extra day or more (which is great!) and get a cheaper daily rate.
5. If you can, check the availability on the surrounding areas
Fixed on the idea of picking up your rental car at this one place? Think again. This is particularly true if you want to rent at a small city. Using the same logic we have discussed earlier, bigger cities may have more more cars available and, therefore, cheaper rates.
Still looking for ways to save some money on your car rental? Check out our best car rental deals from rental companies all around the world!