The Best Time to Book a Car Rental

The Best Time to Book a Car Rental

Cars are the most proffered mode of transportation and deservedly so. This is due to several factors, the top among them being the convenience they come with as opposed to using their public counterparts. This preference by most people has created a demand leading to the sprouting of many rental companies all fighting to get a piece of the pie in what has turned out to be a very lucrative industry. 


These companies set rental prices competitively making them prone to fluctuations based on demand and supply. Which begs the question: When is the best time to book a rental car? To answer this question, this article has done some digging and come up with a few factors you should put in mind to settle on the right time to make your booking. So sit back, relax, and let’s shed some light on them for you.

Your destination

Popular tourist destinations have a high demand for cars which translates to higher rental prices. These prices also fluctuate a lot including even several times during the day. When traveling to areas popular with tourists like say Hawaii, the earlier you book the better the rates will be. You should make your bookings a month or even two in advance to be assured of good rates.

Although less popular destinations have fewer people in need of rental cars, it doesn’t translate to less demand because rental companies also assign fewer cars to these areas. This reduction in supply creates a scarcity that then also results in a scramble for the few available units and you still have to book as early as you can to avoid inconveniences. 

Rental companies are in business and one strategy they use is setting their prices competitively which will attract people and then raise the demand. With the demand high they also increase their prices and capitalize. 


Conversion rates

When traveling abroad the conversion rate will greatly affect your rental price. You should watch out for events like elections which tend to have an impact on the strength of currencies and ultimately affect exchange rates.

Day of the week

Contrary to what most people assume. Weekdays attract higher rental rates than weekends. If you are going to need a car for just a few days, consider booking it for a weekend and the price will be lower. You might even get a free upgrade from the rental company because more cars are available due to low demand.

Type of car 

The common categories of cars like economy and compact are often in large supply as they are preferred by most people and hence don’t experience much price fluctuations. This means you can book them a little closer to your travel dates. The other car categories like vans, luxury cars, four-wheel drives, and convertibles will require you to book early enough because fewer units are available and the prices can sharply rise when the demand is high.

The price increase, however, affects only the base rental rate, and the extra cost for amenities like baby seats and GPS devices doesn’t change. Other extra charges like the additional driver charge and young driver’s fee for under 25 car rental also remain the same. Visit to compare the different USA cars for rent prices and get yourself the best car rental deals.


The time you have before traveling

If you still have lots of time before traveling, it is advisable to book between two to four months in advance. This period ensures you bag the best prices. There is, however, an exception for peak seasons like holidays and popular destinations, booking this early will see you make savings however little they may be.

When booking early, opt to pay later with a cancellation option because it gives you the chance to jump ship if you encounter another better offer elsewhere. Most rental companies have this option until a few days before the pick-up date when you can’t cancel. This early booking makes you bag the cheap rate while still buying you time to look around for better offers. 


Car rental prices are not fixed and fluctuate a lot based on several factors, demand being a major one. To get the best rates you have to get your timing right. Booking early always guarantees you cheaper rates than booking close to your travel date.

The decision on when to pay for car rental will depend on a few factors some discussed in this article. There is no one size fits all but the golden rule is to book a car for rent once you confirm your travel dates to get good rates. 


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