The concept of rental cars is possibly one of the most innovative concepts in the travel world. It closes up a huge lacuna by allowing even foreigners/out-of-towners to own cars for a specified period. This would mean they do not have to be restricted to taking public transportation if they don’t want to.
Given the popularity of the car rental industry, there are certain hacks that make for getting the best and cheapest offers. One of such hacks is renting the car during a specific day, a specific time and or a specific number of weeks/months before you actually need it.
In this article, we’ll be looking into the best times and periods to rent a car from car rental companies.
What Time of the Day Is Quieter for Car Rental Companies?
The quietest times for car rental companies are during the day are evenings.
Most rental deals are concluded between mornings and afternoons, while evenings at the rental companies are often silent. At such times, you’d probably just meet a few people at the counter.
However, booking during evenings might mean that you’ll have fewer options and have to settle for whatever is available. This is because the best offers/cars are scooped during the morning rush into the afternoons.
Best Time of the Day to Rent a Car Online
The best time of the day to rent a car online is early mornings, like really early. That way, you can take all the time you need before deciding on a car and price point within your budget.
You also get to take advantage of the early discount offers, if any, on the websites before they are exhausted.
Also, because you are renting online, you’d not have to worry about the bustling that characterizes offline morning deals.
Best Time of the Day to Rent a Car In-person
If you are looking to get the best cars/offers, we advise going to the rental companies very early in the morning. That way, you get to choose from a wide range of options and take advantage of any early offers.
Also, getting there very early in the morning means you get it over with fast and move on with your day. This is especially true if you are on a vacation with family and friends; the fun is better when it starts early.
However, if mornings are tight for you and evenings are the only available time, you can make that work. In this case, we would advise booking online and concluding the better parts of the deal. That way, whenever you get there, all you have to do is show some proof and the company will process the pickup.
Another thing about evenings is that they are quieter. If you particularly detest the morning activity, book online beforehand and come pick the car up by evening. You can’t go wrong with that combo.
Can You Get Better Rental Discounts Early Or Late in the Day?
If there are any discount offers, they are often available throughout the day or week. However, you are more likely to get better rental discounts if you book early in the day.
Like we said before, most rental deals are concluded in the mornings and afternoons. Hence, the companies might decide to shut down the discount offers for the day once the afternoons are over and the place is quieter.
So, if you are looking to cop a rental discount, your best bet is to go there very early in the morning.
To better stay on top of this, you can also make enquires about such discounts online through the car rental company’s website. Or you could have a chat with the company’s customer representative and ask direct questions about the discount offers.
That, in our opinion, would do a lot more good than putting all your chances at certain times of the day.
Is It Better to Rent a Car Ahead of Time?
Beyond renting at a particular time of the day or day of the week, most experts and industry stakeholders advise renting cars ahead of time. It’s pretty much a rule of thumb at this point and thanks to the Internet, you can do that even if you are a thousand miles away from the location.
If you are going to rent a car, it’s best to book three to six months before you actually need it. When you book around these times, the prices are a lot fairer and you likely would save yourself some money in the long run.
Also, booking ahead of time affords you the chance to observe the rental prices across months. That way, if you see a better offer, you can jump on it. P.S: Make sure your reservation is cancelable before you adopt this method.
Booking ahead of time also means that you are more likely to get the car you want. Last-minute rentals, especially during peak holiday seasons, might force you to settle for something less desirable because of the usual surge in demand.
If you select a car after booking ahead, the company is obliged to provide that very car, its equivalent or something better at the same price. This is especially true in cases where you made a prepaid reservation for “special” cars like luxury sedans, large SUVs and minivans.
Basically, there are loads of benefits to renting in advance and there are almost no downsides. However, we should mention that it’s okay to make late or last-minute reservations during non-holiday seasons. That is, normal periods of the year when there are no special holidays around the corner.
We should also add that some experts advise not booking too far ahead because it could be counterproductive. For instance, booking a year ahead might actually not save you any money in the long run, especially if you made the reservation during the holidays.
So, if you are booking ahead of time, keep it between 3-6 months before your travel.