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How to Find the Best Last Minute Car Rental Deals and Discounts

Don’t Stress Over a Last Minute Car Rental

It is the norm to book a car rental well in advance to avoid last-minute stress. People sometimes book their car rentals three to four months in advance.

However, several unavoidable situations, including sudden changes in travel plans and last-minute trip planning, may force people to book their car rentals within just 24 to 48 hours before the vehicle pick-up time.

Are last-minute car rentals expensive? The answer: not always!

A recent survey by Nerd Wallet revealed that travelers can save around 15% by booking at the last minute. However, to book a last-minute rental at the best rate without undergoing any stress, you may need to do a lot of groundwork and follow several guidelines.

This article provides an overview of several guidelines that help you find the last-minute rental deals and discounts in the market.

How to Score Last Minute Car Rental Deals

Majority of car rental companies in the United States offer last-minute car rental deals. However, you may not be able to cut the best deal because of several hidden and additional charges.

The following guidelines would help you save a good amount of money on the last minute car rental deals:

Aim for Same Time Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs 

Car rental companies typically fix prices based on 24-hour intervals. If you drop off the car anytime within the 24 hours, you will be charged for the 24 hours. However, if you delay the drop-off of the car by one or two hours over the agreed 24-hour timeframe, you may need to pay for the additional 24 hours. So the best practice is to avoid dropping off the vehicle late.

For the maximum benefit, travelers should aim for pick-up and drop-off at the same time.  No matter if you are renting a car for 24 hours, 48 hours, or a week, ensure your pick-up and drop-off times are the same.

Compare Prices 

The pricing structures of no two car rental companies aren’t the same. The price variations will be very high in the case of last-minute rentals.

Due to the rushed timeline, most travelers choose a rental car that is readily available regardless of the high price. Rather than choosing a readily available car, travelers should spend a few minutes comparing the prices of last-minute rental deals offered by different companies.

The two main benefits of spending time on price comparison are:

  1. You will be able to close the best last-minute car rental deal.

  2. You will avoid the regret of not spending enough time comparing prices.  

Be Flexible

Any car rental options at the last minute may be limited. Rental companies may offer last-minute car rental deals only on a few vehicle models. If you have your heart set on a particular type of car, you would be forced to pay a higher price.

The best practice while dealing with last-time car rentals is to be flexible with the type of car you hire. Don’t stick to a particular vehicle model; if an alternative model is available, just go for it without any second thought.

Seek Out Discount Codes

Car rental companies offer a wide range of discount codes that help travelers reduce their rental prices. While booking the last-minute car rental, enquire with customer support if the company is offering any discount coupon codes.

For instance, Airport Van Rental (AVR) is running a Pay Now scheme that helps you get a discount of up to 35% on the rental price if you pay the money upfront with a credit card. Additionally, you can get an instant discount of 5% on the rental rate if you have an AAA or USAA membership.

Consider Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program is a marketing strategy that emphasizes encouraging existing customers to continue their association with the organization. Frequent travelers can join loyalty programs of various rental car companies in their best interest to earn perks and rewards that lower the rental rates. Loyalty programs are highly helpful to people who always plan their trips at the last minute.

For instance, AVR offers a loyalty program, Prestige Members, at the Los Angeles location. This loyalty program ensures that frequent renters with the company don’t wait in line and get the best available vehicle in the class booked. AVR is planning to expand this loyalty program to other locations very soon.

Avoid Pesky Costs

The overall trip cost may go up if the traveler spends money on unnecessary items that could be easily avoided. These unnecessary expenses may seem negligible at the time of spending but they would result in a steep increase in your rental cost.

The top three pesky costs you can avoid are:

  1. Returning the rental car with a full tank.  

  2. Investing in a toll pass.

  3. Not bothering about small damages to the car that could increase the rental cost.

Always Make a Reservation

Regardless of whether you are renting a car well in advance or at the last minute, make the reservation. If you walk into a travel agency without a reservation, you may end up paying a higher walk-up cost.

Moreover, online reservations allow you to use a wide range of discount codes, rewards, promotional codes, and membership schemes to get a rebate on the price. Unless you are renting the best car for an immediate need, don’t walk into a travel agency without a reservation. 

Find Last Minute Car Rental Discounts with AVR

Last-minute rentals are not necessarily expensive. If you do a bit of groundwork and spend time evaluating prices, you will be able to find the best last-minute car rental deal. If you are renting at the last minute, be flexible with the type of car you want, seek out discount codes, aim for same-time pick-up and drop-off, and compare rental prices of multiple companies.

With over 15,500 car rental businesses, including AVR, Avis, Enterprise, Dollar, Hertz, Alamo, Sixt, and Thrifty, you can find a car rental agency in every corner of the United States. Don’t blindly rely on them as they may not offer reliable services and a premium fleet of vehicles. Choose a rental company that has been there in the market for at least a decade or so.

AVR is a family-owned rental company that gives utmost priority to customer satisfaction. It has a premium fleet of vehicles, including:

With over 12 years of experience in the market, AVR has helped numerous families take stress-free vacations. AVR has over a dozen rental locations across the country. A few of its locations include Atlanta, Burbank, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, San Francisco, and Tampa.

Regardless of whether you are planning weekend getaways, family vacations, road trips, you will enjoy the following benefits from AVR:

  1. Convenient drop-off and pick-up locations

  2. Premier customer support

  3. Lowest prices in the market

  4. Discount codes, promotional codes, and rewards on rental prices

  5. Amenities like WiFi hotspot and GPS

Book a rental car with AVR to get the lowest ever prices on last-minute car rental deals.