Best Way to Book a Last Minute Car Rental

Best Way to Book a Last Minute Car Rental

In a perfect scenario, you’d know where you were going, when you were leaving, and how long you’d be gone well in advance of your trip. You’d be able to book your car rental and all of your travel plans at the best times to get the best deals. You’d have your bags packed and organized, and you’d be counting down the days until you left for your trip. 

However, life is rarely perfect and taking a taxi or uber everywhere can be costly. You may find yourself in a situation where you cannot book a rental at the best time, and you just need to book a last minute car rental. It can be done, but let’s first look at how to avoid a last minute car rental in the first place, even in a less-than-perfect scenario.

How To Avoid A Last Minute Car Rental

Before you sign yourself up for making last-minute trip reservations, look at the situation and see if you can avoid it. Here’s how:


As soon as you know when you’ll be traveling, begin making your reservations on the search engine results page. You can make changes later, but making your reservation early can help ensure that a vehicle will be available when you need it. If possible, you should skip the walk-up rates and aim to make your reservations about a month before you travel. 

Be sure you plan your trip according to the guidance of CDC to keep yourself safe as we all continue to deal with the pandemic of Covid-19 and choose a rental company, like Advantage Rent-A-Car that takes your health and safety seriously too. 

Advantage even gives you the flexibility to make those last-minute changes to your reservation as needed. 

Book Online

Walking up to the counter at the airport for a reservation can lead to a frustrating experience if there are no vehicles available for you to rent. It can be even more frustrating when you see the rental price. 

Remember that the cost of rentals is based on supply and demand. If there is a high demand and a low supply of vehicles, you can expect prices to increase. That is one of the basic principles of economics

Making your reservation online can give you a better price, and the sooner you can make your reservation, the better. Even if you make your reservation online just a little while before you go to the counter to pick up your luxury vehicle, you may land a better deal than if you show up empty-handed. 

Book For Your Location

If you are flying into an airport with local rental car companies and rental sites, you’ll want to book your car rental as soon as you know the airport location. Major companies like Advantage Rent-A-Car have locations at the airport, saving you the extra cost of traveling to pick up your rental car. 

As soon as you know you’ll be flying, you can book your reservation online, and if your flight plans change, you can move your reservation as needed. At least, you’ll already have a reservation.

When searching for online car rentals, enter your airport code for more cheap last minute specials. These search results will give you the general road rate, so don’t be afraid to contact the reservations department to find last minute deals.

How To Book Last Minute Car Rental

Last-minute car rentals are fairly common, but some best practices can make the process cheaper and easier for you. In our fast-paced society, it’s just as likely that you’ll make plans just before a trip as it is for you to plan ahead. 

So, what can you do to book in the best way?

Book As Early As You Can

Even if it is last minute, you should aim to book your rental as early as you can. Car rental companies have a set amount of vehicles in their fleet, and they rely on planning to book those vehicles for use to meet demand. 

In order to be sure you get a vehicle, it’s best to book as soon as you can. A last-minute reservation is better than no reservation at all.

Shop Around

Just because you are booking your rental at the last minute doesn’t mean you want to pay more than you should for your rental. When you know where you’ll be traveling to, you can search online for the available traditional companies in the area. 

Spending a little time making price comparisons can help save you money on your rental, and for most of us, we’ll trade a little extra time to hold on to more of our money. You may even be able to find free add-ons with the right price.

Know What You Want

Looking for a smaller vehicle? Knowing what type of vehicle you want for your trip will make the booking process faster. Having the details of when you want to travel, how long you need your rental, and how many drivers you will have for your rental will make it easier to ask for what you need and give you a quick idea of how much you can expect to spend. 

Be Flexible

What to get the best rental deals and discounts? Like most other reservations, when you book at the last minute, you may not always be able to get exactly what you wanted. Being flexible with when you plan to arrive can help you save money or make it easier to get a vehicle. 

For example, it may be easier to get a vehicle if you arrive on a Thursday instead of a Friday.

Being flexible about what kind of vehicle you get can help make it easier to make a reservation. Usually, if you’re willing to work with what’s available, the car rental company will be willing to work with you. You may even score some cheap car rental last minute specials.

Know Your Insurance Needs

Your car rental company will be able to provide you with the best offers in car rental insurance. But if you know whether or not you need additional coverage, it will make the process faster. Familiarize yourself with your personal auto insurance policy if you have one so you’ll always know if your rental car is covered under your policy. 

If not, try to have an idea of what kind of coverage gives you the most peace of mind for a price you can live with. When you know where you’ll be going, you should also look into the insurance requirements for that area or ask your car rental company when you make your reservation.

Remember the main things you need to know for your reservation: where you’re going, when you’ll arrive, and how long you plan to stay.

Like Advantage Rent-A-Car, you can be confident in your reservation and flexibility with the right company.


Making last-minute plans while being thrifty can be stressful, but making a car rental reservation doesn’t have to be. If you know the best way to book a last-minute car rental, you can drive away on your trip satisfied that you made a successful reservation at a good price. 

Just remember that doing things at the last minute doesn’t mean you have to be unprepared. Book as soon as you know when you’ll be traveling. Be flexible to other options, and know what kind of extras you’ll need to add for your trip. 

Domestic Travel During COVID-19 |
3.3 Demand, Supply, and Equilibrium – Principles of Economics |
Vehicle Liability Insurance Requirements – United States Department of State |

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