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Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

Atlanta, Georgia
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848 posts
106 reviews
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Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

are car rentals like airplane tickets, that is the price goes up the nearer you get to the date you want your car?

or is it ok to reserve now for end of july?

Thanks

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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431 reviews
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1. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

I usually go ahead and reserve and know that I can cancel and then continue to compare car rental prices at www.carrentals.com.

I have found that they generally go up about 2 weeks before travel date.

Driggs, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
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2. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

Given that you don't need to reserve a car rental with a credit card, why not commandeer one (or two) now and keep revisiting the itinerary as the time gets closer to see if the price gets better? You can open a new browser so you don't edit your current reservation, and then you can compare the two and cancel the higher one. I can't recall right now, but several sites also allow you to edit changes, but allow you to go back to your original reservation without consequences should it not be monetarily beneficial.

Given that Yellowstone is a very popular place, I don't see the opportunity for your car rental price to go down, especially in the Summer. However, in any given place if they have extra inventory, its not unreasonable for them to rent them at a reduced cost.

People have great luck locking in prices ahead of time with Hotwire or other related venues. I personally don't like to do that because I've learned that their cost doesn't show the full cost of all taxes etc associated with the city/town you are renting in. Furthermore, if in the unfortunate situation I was unable to make it to my destination, the car rental is the one thing I don't have to worry about paying for until I pick it up (unless you bought it at a discount in advance).

Marcellus, New York
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929 posts
201 reviews
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3. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

It can go both ways, so as others have suggested, book what you can live with now and hope for something better later! I had my reservation for July months ago, but just this week I checked and was able to save $300+ on a month-long rental, same car class.

I use Kayak.com to search for prices, but I always book directly when I'm ready. I've only used priceline once, and was really worried the whole time there was going to be some hidden fee. There wasn't in the end, but for my peace of mind I like booking directly.

Edited: 9:44 am, April 20, 2014
Hampton, New...
12 posts
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4. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

I use Priceline all the time. There are no hidden fees. However, you pay for the rental up front when you make the reservation instead of when you return the car as with a reservation made directly with the rental company. If you know you are going to use the car it can be a big savings. If your not sure, don't use it. You will not be able to get a refund.

Indiana
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112 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

I reserved 2 mini vans in November 2013 for a 2 week vacation in June 2014. We are locked in at $803 per van. If I reserved the same vans today it would cost $1550 per van. It's always best to book early since you can cancel at any time.

Madrid, Spain
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1 post
260 reviews
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6. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

Nos robaron nuestro dinero en Álamo rent a car

No alquilen NUNCA en Álamo hace unos días fuimos desde España a visitar Yellowstone US airlines cambio nuestro vuelo desde Denver y nos derivo a Idaho falls cuando llegamos allí con el retraso debido al vuelo Álamo había dispuesto de nuestro coche a pesar de estar pagado por 3 días desde España y en Idaho falls no nos alquilaron otro que pudiéramos devolver en Jacson dado que nuestro vuelo de regreso a Denver era desde Jackson consideró que nos robaron nuestro dinero tuvimos que alquilar en Avis otro coche que sí pudimos devolver en Jacson

Moose, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Wyoming, Jackson, Jackson Hole
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6,716 posts
5 reviews
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7. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

Very sorry you had so much trouble. I hope Alamo gives you a refund.

Atlanta, Georgia
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848 posts
106 reviews
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8. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

many complaints I read with the orbitz etc are about the reservation not being sent to the hotel or car agency, maybe the merchants lose some of them on purpose?

North Carolina
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1,663 posts
330 reviews
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9. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

In my experience, car rentals are more expensive the farther away from your travel date you reserve. If I see a good rate, I book it, then if I see a better rate at some other time or place, I cancel it. I keep playing the "game" of checking and cancelling as needed. I am booking a car in SLC, but I fully intend to check again for a lower rate than the one I have right now. You can't lose. There is no penalty for booking and then cancelling.

Philadelphia
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1 post
13 reviews
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10. Re: Car rental- do prices go up near rent date?

My experience is to ask around & look for "sale dates". For Example, one rental company reduces its prices for the following week every Thursday after 9pm. Recently I watched a midsize car go from $88.00 for the weekend down to $15.00!! (not including taxes & fees). Also make sure to use any coupons & discounts with caution. Sometimes it can raise the price of the rental, while other times you can use them together to double save.