Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Elizabeth
Wondering what is the best time to book a rental car? Don’t procrastinate. To get the best price, it’s best to book as early as possible and then track your reservation for price drops.
When it comes to snagging the best price on a car rental, there is no advantage to waiting until the last minute. In fact, the more lead time, the better.
The Early Bird Catches the Best Car Rental Rate
Rental car companies use dynamic pricing based on supply and demand to determine their rates. To snag the lowest possible price, it’s smart to reserve your rental car as far in advance as possible and then watch for price drops.
As AutoSlash founder Jonathan Weinberg recently told the financial advice blog Grow, “Rental rates can change several times a day depending on the company and location, so reserving early gives you the best chance of being in the market when rates drop to a low point,.”
Snagging the best car rental price through AutoSlash is a two-step process. First, ask AutoSlash for a quote. Within 15 minutes, AutoSlash will scour over a thousand publicly available discount codes and coupons and factor in any memberships (AARP, AAA, Costco, etc.) that may bring further discounts. You’ll receive an email with the best offers and can make your reservation. Next, be sure to use AutoSlash’s free tracking service , which will keep an eye on your reservation and let you know if there is a price drop so that you can get the lower rate.
“Most booking sites don’t require payment upfront, and there’s no penalty to cancel your existing reservation and rebook when opportunity knocks,” said Weinberg.
This strategy is even more important during peak periods, when prices tend to be higher and companies sometimes run out of vehicles. During the holidays, for example, try to reserve your vehicle two months out to be sure you’re not boxed out of the available inventory.
More Early Booking Tips for Car Rentals
Book even earlier if you need a large car. Rental agencies may sell out earlier on larger vehicles such as minivans and full-size SUVs. Book a minimum of two weeks out and preferably even further in advance.
Look at prepaid rates. During high-demand times, our prepaid Slash Deals often yield better results compared to pay-later rates, which will be higher than usual. Just don’t forget to cancel if you find a better deal or decide not to rent a car after all.
Don’t expect many last-minute deals. As the holiday approaches, many rental agencies will sell out. Those with a few vehicles left will charge a king’s ransom.