Geonode Community


Posted on

When is the Best Time to Book a Rental Car

Renting a car can be a significant expense when planning a trip, whether for business or pleasure. However, timing your rental can make a substantial difference in cost and availability. This guide will help you understand the best times to rent a car from and provide tips for securing the best deal.

When is the Best Time to Book a Rental Car?

Advance Booking:

Ideal Timing: Book your rental car as early as possible. Generally, booking a rental car three to six months in advance can secure you the best rates. As the pick-up date approaches, prices tend to rise due to increased demand and reduced availability.

Exception: For off-peak travel times, booking a few weeks in advance might still yield good deals, but it’s always safer to book earlier to avoid price hikes.

Off-Peak Seasons:

Lower Demand Periods: Renting a car during off-peak seasons—such as late fall (excluding holidays), winter (excluding holiday seasons), and early spring—can result in lower prices. During these times, rental companies often have more vehicles available and are keen to rent them out at lower rates.

Holiday Seasons and Events: Prices tend to surge during peak travel seasons, holidays, and major events. If you must travel during these times, booking well in advance is even more crucial.

Midweek Rentals:

Weekdays vs. Weekends: Car rental prices are often lower during the weekdays (Monday through Thursday) compared to weekends. This is because the demand is typically higher over the weekend when more people are likely to travel.

Factors Influencing Car Rental Prices


Airport vs. Off-Airport Locations: Renting a car from an airport location is usually more expensive due to additional taxes and fees. Consider renting from an off-airport location and using a shuttle or public transportation to get there.

Destination Demand: High-demand tourist destinations often have higher rental rates, especially during peak travel times.

Duration of Rental:

Weekly Rates: If you need a car for more than a few days, check the weekly rates. Many rental companies offer significant discounts for longer rentals.

Daily Rates: For shorter rentals, daily rates can be cost-effective. Compare both daily and weekly rates to find the best deal for your specific rental period.

Type of Vehicle:

Economy vs. Luxury: Smaller, economy cars are generally cheaper to rent than larger vehicles or luxury cars. Consider your needs carefully to avoid unnecessary expenses on a larger or more luxurious car.

Tips for Securing the Best Rental Car Deals

Use Comparison Sites:

Shop Around: Use comparison websites like Kayak, Expedia, or to compare rates from multiple rental companies. This can help you find the best deals and discounts available.

Check Directly: Sometimes, rental companies offer exclusive discounts on their own websites, so it’s worth checking these after using comparison sites.

Look for Discounts and Coupons:

Membership Discounts: Many membership organizations (such as AAA, AARP, or frequent flyer programs) offer discounts on car rentals. Check if you qualify for any of these.

Credit Card Benefits: Some credit cards offer car rental discounts or additional insurance coverage. Review your card’s benefits to take advantage of these perks.

Flexible Dates:

Adjust Your Schedule: If your travel dates are flexible, adjust them slightly to see if you can find better rates. Midweek rentals are often cheaper than weekend rentals.

Return Timing: Returning the car at the same time you picked it up can avoid extra day charges. Rental companies often charge by the 24-hour period, so returning a car late can result in an additional full day’s charge.

Avoid Extra Costs:

Decline Extras: Rental companies often try to upsell extras like GPS, child seats, and additional insurance. If you have a smartphone with a navigation app, bring your own GPS. Check if your auto insurance or credit card already covers rental insurance.

Fuel Policies: Choose a fuel policy that works best for you. The “full-to-full” policy is usually the most cost-effective, as long as you remember to refill the tank before returning the car.


Timing is crucial when it comes to securing the best deals on car rentals from By booking early, choosing off-peak travel times, and being flexible with your dates, you can save significantly. Additionally, leveraging comparison tools, discounts, and avoiding unnecessary extras can further reduce costs. With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to find the best rental car deals and enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.

Top comments (0)