Rental car prices can vary depending on a variety of factors. It is worth knowing when the savviest time to book is so that you can get the best possible deal and vehicle. Here are some things to keep in mind when renting a car in the Vancouver area.
Major cities host some of the largest airports, which means the area will likely be busy. Rental companies change their prices in these areas frequently throughout the day as a result. These changes are often small but can amount to quite a bit. In a busy city like Vancouver, it pays to book as soon as you know you are going.
If you want a specific car like a convertible, seven-seater, or one with four-wheel drive, it is worth booking early. Rental car companies do not have as many of these types of vehicles, so it could be harder to get your hands on one. As well, the prices of these cars do not go up and down as much as standard vehicles, so there is no point in waiting.
The Ideal Time
The best time to book a rental car is three to six months before your travel date. If you book around this time, you are more likely to get the car you want without risking price increases closer to the date. It is during this period of time that prices are the most competitive. Prices tend to be higher any more than six months before the date, so there is no benefit to booking earlier than that.
The terms and conditions of rental car companies vary, but some contracts may include free cancellation. This means you are able to cancel your booking within a period of time and receive a full refund. Typically, this time frame will be at some point after you have booked the car but before your pick up day. That means if you find a lower price, you can book it and simply cancel your old booking.
Booking Last Minute
Late bookings are inevitable sometimes. It helps to keep in mind that prices usually jump within a week of your date and they are typically at their highest within 48 hours of your trip. If you are stuck booking last minute, it is worth booking online even if you are leaving in just a few hours. That way you can check out the company’s full inventory and compare prices, rather than being stuck with whatever is left when you get there.
Insurance and Additional Fees
These prices are fixed and will not be affected by the time of booking. Add-ons like car seats, GPS devices, ski racks, etc. are extras that do not fluctuate in price.