Is Prepaying for your Car Rental Worthwhile?

There are a number of different questions that often spring up in the car rental business, with one of the most common ones being “Is prepayingfor your car rental worthwhile?”.

Like many things in life, there is no black and white answer to the question, as we will explore further in this article.

Ordering a rental car in advance

One of the first areas to clarify is that there is a clear difference between ordering your rental car in advance and prepaying for it.

Generally speaking, ordering, or booking your rental car in advance is highly recommended, as prices are only likely to rise as the dates you require it become closer. In combination with this, the selection of cars that are available also reduces, meaning that you are less likely to get one which suits your purpose. This is entirely different from prepaying for your rental car in advance, as we will now explain.

Prepaying for a rental car in advance

Each rental car company will have their own set of rules and regulations on whether you are required to prepay for the rental, or if the fee will be charged on collection of the car. Some companies will also offer the choice of both options, with there usually being a monetary incentive to prepay for the car at that moment. This allows the rental car company to lock you into a reservation, guaranteeing them revenue.

While you will likely save yourself money by prepaying for the car, it also means that you are committed to the transaction, so in the case of a no show, or extenuating circumstances, you may not receive your money back, depending on the company policy. It is important to know what you are agreeing to before you commit to prepayment in full.

Often, a rental car company will require a deposit to hold your car reservation, which may be retained in the case of a no-show. Paying a deposit on your booking is not the same as prepaying for your car rental and will not likely gain you a discount, but will more likely just be company policy to ensure that renters do not no-show, leaving the rental company with un-rented vehicles which are not earning any income.

In summary

In order to answer the question of ‘Is prepaying for your car rental worthwhile?’, you must consider the amount of money saved by prepaying and weigh that against the potential chance that you may need to cancelyour booking, before deciding which is the best choice for you.