If you are on a vacation, in a new country. Or, want to explore new things in your city, you can rent a car. However, people considering renting a car always wonder when is the best time they can do so. And by best time, we mean when is the cheapest time they can rent a car.
If it is the case with you, you have come to the right place. Today, we will discuss when you can book a rental car.
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When is the best time to rent a car?
Booking a car 6 to 12 months in advance is the best time to rent a car. The best prices for renting cars are usually in the Winter (January to March), as prices go up towards Memorial Day and into Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Rental car companies work on the principle of demand. The higher it is, the more you will pay for a rental car. There are other various factors due to which rental car companies increase their prices.
Some of those include seasonality, market trend, currency conversion rates, festivals, holidays, and the car category. In addition, the size of the pick-up city or airport also drastically affects the rental cars’ prices.
Now, you may be wondering how these categories can affect rental cars’ cost, right? So, let us explain to you a bit about it.
How do different seasons affect rental cars’ prices?
As specified earlier, rental cars’ prices are affected by different seasons. During the high season, when there are too many tourists or locals to enjoy their holidays, the demand for cars in that country increases. Hence, if you will rent a car during that season, you will pay more.
For example, several people plan their holidays in summer instead of winter. The reason is the sun is shining bright, and beaches are open. Moreover, there are several activities you can do without any inconvenience.
Now, car rental companies understand this and take advantage of this opportunity to make a hefty revenue. Therefore, if you want to avoid paying more when renting a car, make sure to rent it in advance. Try to rent it during the off-peak season. For example, in winters.
Moreover, renting a car during peak seasons involves a risk of all cars being booked. So, make sure to book a rental car in advance.
How do market trends affect rental cars’ prices?
As specified earlier, rental cars’ prices are directly proportional to the market trend. So, let us see how.
There are times and events when a particular country receives too many flights. For example, Australia and China are famous for their fireworks during New Year’s Eve.
Therefore, tourists from all over the world come to these countries and enjoy the festival. Now, if you were to travel to Australia or China, you wouldn’t arrive there on exactly New Year’s Eve, right?
On contrary, you would arrive days before or even weeks. And explore the rest of the country, do fun activities, and enjoy your holidays. But for that, you might want to rent a car to travel to numerous places in Australia.
Therefore, when a city gets too much traffic, car rental companies increase the prices of their cars. Hence, if this is the case with you. If you want to avoid all this, make sure to book weeks or even months before.
How does the car category affect the prices of rental cars?
If a specific rental car is in more demand, it would be hard for you to rent it. Moreover, you would also pay more for that car, if it is available. As specified earlier, rental car companies work on the principle of demand. Hence, to avoid this, make sure to book a rental car in advance. For example, weeks and months.
Moreover, if you want to rent a luxurious car, such as a limousine, it would be pricier. In addition, it would be pricier in holiday and festival seasons as specified above. Therefore, if you want to rent an exotic car, make sure to book in advance, such as two weeks out.
How does the size of the pickup city or airport affect the prices of a rental car?
Rental car prices also depend on the size of an airport or a pickup city. There are two methods where you can rent a car. Those include renting a car from an airport and renting a car in-town. Conventionally small cities and airports have fewer cars, which causes availability issues.
On the other hand, big cities and airports have more cars. However, they are in more demand.
How does currency conversion affect the prices of a rental car?
Yes, currency conversion rates also affect the prices of a rental car. Some currencies have more value and are accepted worldwide. For example, US Dollar. So, if you were to rent a car in the US, you would pay more. But that is if your country’s currency is less than the US dollar.
Numerous events can also cause highs and lows in currency conversion rates. As a result, the prices of the rental car seem to be more expensive. Hence, to avoid all this, the best way is to book a rental car in advance.
Is booking a rental car six months before your travel an ideal option?
Yes, you can book your rental car six months before you travel. It is a good option to do so. However, this is not an ideal way or time. It is because not many rental car companies reveal all their car prices before six months. Plus, not many rental car suppliers offer rental services six months in advance.
Hence, to avoid this, make sure to book a car within the 4–6-month time frame, and not more than that. The reason is there are pretty good deals on the rental cars, during a 4-6-month time frame. The reason for that is there are not many people looking to rent a car for 4-6 months before traveling.
Moreover, lots of cars are available within 4-6 months’ time frame. So, if you are looking for a specific car, make sure to book between 4-6 months before you travel.
Can I book a rental car at the last minute?
Yes, you can book a rental car at the last minute. However, this is not recommended and applicable to all. But if you think the country that you are traveling to, does not get many tourists, you can choose this option.
Moreover, if you are traveling alone, or with a partner. And do not want any exotic cars, this option can prove to be ideal for you. However, make sure to book at least 2 days before you travel. It is because most rental car agencies raise the price during the last 48 hours.
Furthermore, this option can be good for you, if you are traveling in off-peak season. As off-peak season means less demand, and less demand means less money.
What are the tips you can follow to book a rental car at the best time?
There are numerous tips you can follow to book a rental at the best time. Some of the most popular ones are specified below.
· Do not give up on your search
Booking a rental car in advance does not mean that you cannot cancel it. It simply means that you acquired a token for it. With that said, if you have already booked a rental car. But want a good deal, make sure to check prices regularly on the platform you have booked it.
Rental car agencies tend to increase or decrease the prices of their rental cars. So, based on this, you can cancel or rebook your rental. You can also look at other rental car agencies and at what prices they are providing rentals by going online.
If you tend to find the exact car at a much lower rental price. Then you can always cancel your booking, and book with that company.
However, before booking with a car rental company, make sure that it does not involve any cancellation fees. Or, if it does, it is low. Otherwise, canceling your booked rental. And booking with a company offering the same car at a discounted price would cost you more.
· Book early
To book a rental at the most reasonable rates, always try to book as early as possible. However, make sure to book within 6 months before you travel as specified earlier. Moreover, booking earlier would help you get the rental car you desire. The best time to book a rental car is between 4-6 months. So, keep this in mind.
· Try to rent a car on weekends
Weekend car rental rates are inexpensive, as compared to weekday rental rates. As a result, the demand for rental cars increases. Moreover, in numerous cases, people that book a rental car for weekends do not claim it. Therefore, this allows you to land a better car rental deal.
Hence, to avoid paying too much when booking a rental car, avoid weekdays rentals. And try to book a rental car, in advance, and as early as you can
· Skip the add-ons
While renting a car, the rental owners might persuade you to buy additional things. Like, insurance policies and GPS navigation. If we talk about insurance, it can be completed via your first insurance. However, renting a car abroad needs to have insurance regardless of the primary one.
You can avoid the additional cost of GPS and use your phone instead. It has everything or even more. So, there is no need to buy these features when you can avail yourself of them for free.
Moreover, bring a child with you before renting the car out. So, it does not cost you too much later on.
What are other things you can check when considering renting a car?
Some things you should check when considering renting a car are:
· Be certain to keep drivers to the least
With the added drivers, you have to pay a daily price regardless they drive the vehicle or not. In often cases, the rental companies might skip the cost for some people. It includes spouses and collaborators, but it is better to check such policies beforehand.
One thing to keep in your mind is that there is no such policy for a 23-year-old. It does not matter if they have a good and clean driving history. Most drivers under the age of 25 are likely to appeal extra payment.
· Check the vehicle
It is recommended that before you leave your car buying trip, make sure to check the car thoroughly. Take a good look at it and observe the tiniest details as well. Or, as proof, you can take pictures for later if they are needed.
Afterward, you can ask the rental agent for specific issues. These issues should be added to the documents as well.
This technique can save you from paying for the damage you did not cause. Even when you return the car, check again and take snaps. It will make you certain about the specific condition of the car. Also, your things are not left inside.
Can you cancel your rental booking?
Yes, you can cancel your rental booking. However, before doing so, ensure checking the company’s conditions you are booking with. Some companies, in their rules, state that you would pay a certain amount of money if you cancel your booking. It is known as “cancellation fees”.
Try to avoid booking with such types of companies. It is because companies can sometimes lower their prices. And in that case, you need to cancel your booking to rebook it.
We have covered information about the best time to rent a car. When renting a car, ensure checking the company’s fuel policy. Moreover, make sure to read the rental agreement. So, you can avoid any inconvenience later on.