How Much Can Rental Car Pricing Change After a Reservation?

The price you reserve your rental car at is a snapshot in time. It will change day to day afterward, sometimes hour to hour. How much can it change?

By Morgan MacArthur

Why Do Rental Car Rates Fluctuate?

Most any price in the hospitality or travel industry will experience some fluctuation. Most people expect flights are cheapest Tuesday nights, hotels another day, and so on. The rules are generally true to a degree, and follow from whom they expect to be booking at different times.

How Do I Know I Didn't Pay Too Much?

With most things, it is best to avoid buyer's remorse and just quit researching once you've made a decision. But if you want to know for sure that you got a killer deal before you head out for your vacation road trip, you can check prices up until the vacation arrives. There are automated methods as well, such as the site you're on.

Can I Change My Reservation Without Fees?

That's the magic of the rental car reservation as opposed to flights and hotels-- you can alter or cancel your reservation right up until you pay for it, the day it starts. You have no obligation to keep your reservation if you don't like it. So if you use Rental Drops, or any tracking service, you can grab a better price, then a better price, then a better price, canceling the worse offers along the way.

How Much Can I Actually Save?

Car rental rates fluctuate significantly throughout periods as short as a week. You can pay twice as much one day as you might the next for the same rental. Over weeks, the prices can change even more. Add in promotions, discounts, and coupon codes, and you can regularly save 50%, sometimes as much as 80%.

What's the Best Way to Get the Best Rate?

If you need a car soon, it is a good idea to grab a reservation immediately and then look for a better one. That way if the price trend is all upward, you're covered. But if you are weeks out, or if you haven't decided it's worthwhile yet, set up an alert on Rental Drops for your target price, and wait to be notified. Get notified by text or email, follow the link, and get a better rate. It's that easy.

How Do I Get Started?

Enter your contact and your desired rental car information and price, and then just wait! You won't be contacted for any other reason and you can respond with "stop" anytime to discontinue your alerts. Give it a try today!