Last Updated on April 20, 2021 by Elizabeth
Do you need a rental car for July 4th weekend? As the peak weekend of summer, the holiday is traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In any normal year, that would mean that you should reserve a rental car several weeks ahead, as some locations might run out of vehicles.
But this is not a normal year. The U.S. is now experiencing a major rental car shortage, so booking two or three weeks in advance is not going to be good enough. Waiting too long to lock down a vehicle will mean (a) paying through the nose; (b) being priced out of the market; or (c) not even having the option to overpay because every car will be sold out. All of those scenarios will be very likely for July 4th, when demand is sky-high.
How to Get a Cheap Rental Car for July Fourth Weekend
Let us do the legwork.
Shopping around for the lowest rate on a rental car takes time. When you ask AutoSlash for a quote, we scour the internet for the lowest rates and best publicly available coupons available. We also apply any discounts to which you might be entitled through memberships in organizations like AAA or AARP, or through shopping clubs like Costco or BJ’s. We’ll shoot you an email with some options and you can rest easy that no savings have been left on the table.
Book four to six weeks ahead.
Given the current rental car shortage, we recommend booking a rental car for the holiday weekend four to six weeks ahead. We are seeing situations around the country where customers find a cheap airfare for $50 or $60 only to end up paying 10 times that for a rental car. The earlier you lock in your rental vehicle, the less likely you will pay nosebleed rates.
If you aren’t sure you need a rental car for Memorial Day weekend, consider booking one anyway on spec. Unlike airline tickets, rental car reservations can be canceled without a penalty if you reserve the “Pay Later” rate. A smart strategy is to ask AutoSlash for a quote at least four weeks beforehand, and then watch to see if prices dip.
Track your reservation.
It’s an epic chore to constantly check for lower rates but, AutoSlash will do this for you at no extra cost. After you book your car, ask AutoSlash to track your reservation. We’ll let you know if there’s a price drop so you can rebook at the lower rate.
Make the most of a weekend rate.
Car rental companies can offer very attractive weekend promo rates—but there are often some strings attached. Knowing a little about rental car logic will help you get the most bang for your buck out of a weekend rental.
Check both on and off airport.
Flying into an airport rental might be convenient, but it might also be pricey. A short Uber or Lyft ride to a nearby neighborhood rental location could cut your rate in half. But off-airport rates aren’t always cheaper, so it always pays to check both.