How To Find a Last-Minute Car Rental Deal

Whether your car’s broken down the night before a family holiday (common!), your Aunt Muriel’s flown in unannounced (again!), or you’re just a ‘spontaneous road trip’ kind of person (the best kind!), you will find many reasons why you might need to find a car rental at the last minute. The problem, is usually that car companies can usually sense desperation. So when you arrive towards the counter with this slightly wild try your eyes, asking if indeed they possess anything, some thing designed for today, you could start to look similar to a talking money indication to a commission-driven product sales associate. Gulp.

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But hardly ever dread! We got you, Last-Minute Larry. For all your less organized or just unluckier drivers in our midst, here are our top 10 10 methods for finding the ideal automobile at a moment’s notice – and still getting a good deal!

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Book Online

Even at the last minute, the best car rental deals are still to be found online. Going in to the rental company to book in person is almost always more expensive (often considerably more, Larry!) If you’re already in the store, managers know you’re likely to accept the price they offer, whereas online, hundreds of companies are competing for your business, so you should still be capable to find a better rate. In general, prices will increase the nearer you get to the pick-up date, so book as soon as you can to secure the best possible price.

Use Third-party Comparison Sites

Rather than limiting yourself to checking out one or two car rental companies’ prices on their own websites, make use of a third-party comparison site to check hundreds of companies at once, and find you the best deals. These websites will immediately compare offers from all of the best car hire businesses, showing you the very best prices open to your last-minute personal. Below are a few of our favorites:

  • Expedia: Expedia is normally most likely the biggest name in travel cost evaluation, and along with plane tickets, resorts and excursions, you should use this site to find great last-minute car rental deals. The detailed search function allows you to search by location, day and time, and filter the results by car type and car rental company.
  • CheapTickets: This site is part of the Expedia group, so the layout and search function are very similar to the above. However, for some unfamiliar reason, the costs shown perform vary between your two, therefore it’s worth checking out both, to be sure you’re obtaining the best possible offer.
  • RentalCars: As the name suggests, this web site specializes in local rental cars. This implies it provides a very much broader range than a number of the various other general travel evaluation sites – they state to utilize over 900 car hire businesses. There is also the innovative search options, letting you filter by from harm surplus to whether you will be met on the airport terminal (great if you’ve constantly wanted someone to be waiting at Arrivals holding a sign with your name on!)
  • Skyscanner: Not just for flights, Skyscanner also allows you to search for car rental deals, and will list them in price order, from least expensive to highest. The results are displayed alongside an interactive map, allowing you to easily see the locations and prices of the outlined accommodations, and make a snappy-but-informed decision about which one is best for you.
  • Priceline: This site is fantastic if you’re operating within a stringent spending budget. Priceline’s ‘Name Your Cost’ tool gives you to insight your car local rental requirements, and set the utmost amount you’re ready to spend. Companies are after that able to find your bet, and choose if to simply accept it. You must wait a day between bids, which means this one’s just an excellent idea in the event that you still possess at least a few days before your pick-up time.
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End up being Flexible

If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for at this late stage, consider what factors you might be willing to compromise on. If you wanted an SUV, but there are only Economy cars available, could you accept that instead (and save yourself a few pennies along the way?) Many car rental companies prefer drivers that are aged over 25, and will either not accept, or charge a premium for, a younger driver. If you’re in this situation, is there anyone older who could do the traveling in your house? In substitution for your stellar business, amazing Spotify playlists and on-point navigating abilities, obviously.

Alter Your Pick-off and Drop-off Places

If you’re desperate for much with your selected pick-off and drop-off places, try changing them (within cause). For instance, collecting accommodations car through the company’s office can frequently be substantially cheaper than through the airport terminal, and Aunt Muriel could constantly get yourself a bus or Uber to any office from the airport terminal. It’ll be a supplementary little adventure on her behalf. Many companies may also charge reduced for returning the automobile to another area than where it had been collected, therefore if this is your initial strategy, consider whether you possess the flexibleness to instead come back it to its unique location.

Modification Your Pick-up and Drop-off Times

It may also be worth adjusting your pick up and drop off times, as this can make a difference both to what cars are available, and the price. Most car rental companies rent their cars out in 24 hour periods, meaning that you will be charged the same price for a rental of 25 hours as one of 48 hours. It also means that, whilst they may not have any cars available at 9am, they could have one available at 11am, after it has been returned by the previous day’s renter.

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Minimize Additional Costs

Renting a car at the last minute can be pricier than in advance, so try to keep any other additional costs to a minimum. Choose a rental car having a ‘Total to Total’ fuel plan, meaning that, for as long you fill the car right before you return it, you won’t be charged any additional re-fuelling fees. Resist adding any other extras that are ‘good to have’ but that you can do without, such as extra drivers or GPS navigation – just use your phone, or go old-school with a paper map (yes, they do still exist!)

Check Reviews

Even if you’re desperate and there’s nothing else available, it’s not worth giving your money to a dodgy company. Check the testimonials of the business before reservation anything, particularly if you haven’t heard about them before. Sometimes, car rental businesses have hidden fees that aren’t clarified until you’re stood before them at work – where time, it’s as well late for you yourself to find an alternative solution, and you also begrudgingly need to pay out up to be able to get the automobile. The good thing, is that will be the kind of issue disgruntled customers have become likely to compose an assessment about – therefore be sure to consider them before committing your very own hard-earned money.

Make use of Cashback Sites and ONLINE CODES

Because you’re shopping on the last second, doesn’t mean you can’t utilize special discounts. Once you’ve found the car rental deal you need, search for coupon codes for that organization on sites such as, and check if you can get cashback through sites like TopCashback and Ebates. Many companies also offer discounts or other incentives in return for signing up to their email news letters, so keep an eye out for these offers on site.

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Resist Adding Insurance You Don’t Need

We know you’re in a rush, but don’t let yourself by pressured into paying for expensive insurance you don’t actually need at the rental office counter-top. Instead, make period before collecting the automobile to check your present insurance coverage, as you might well already end up being covered for accommodations vehicle. If not really, or if you’d like additional cover, purchase online instead of at the counter-top, as – as with the automobile itself – you are able to shop around, rather than end up being coerced into agreeing to only option the automobile hire company provides available.

Stand Company

There’s often a chance when booking accommodations car online at short notice that you may arrive at the rental office to be told they’ve oversold or don’t have a car available for you. If this happens, and you have a confirmed reservation, stand your ground – it’s the company’s responsibility to fulfil their end of the agreement and find you a suitable alternative, even if that means upgrading you to a better car for free (which wouldn’t end up being so horrible!)

Therefore, there you own it – our top 10 suggestions for selecting a last-minute car local rental deal. The main element things to keep in mind are that, despite the fact that it’s short see, still check around and evaluate prices to obtain the best deal, check for discount rates, and don’t feel pressured into over-paying for solutions you don’t really need. Keep these tips in mind, and next time you need an automobile in the last minute, you’ll be on the road in no time!

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