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Prepaying For Car Rentals Is Tempting, But Is It Worth It?

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More often than not, first time car hire customers face a tough decision with implications they don’t fully grasp: should they pay for the service immediately and benefit from the discount or make the reservation and pay at the rental office counter? In the following article, we will be discussing the implications of prepaying and hopefully, we can eliminate some of the confusion associated with this topic.

Prepaying guarantees you get the desired vehicle 

While it is true that it varies from company to company, some car rental services lose up to 30% of the potential profits on average due to no-shows. In order to counter the effect, companies prefer to overbook the automobiles in their fleet so they can compensate their losses, at least to a certain degree. Unfortunately, this practice presents setbacks for some clients who might end up not having an available vehicle, in spite of the fact that they have a confirmed reservation. Therefore, if you want the exact model of car to be ready when you need it, you should consider the prepay option. 

Prepaying For Car Rentals Is Tempting, But Is It Worth It?

Prepaying and not showing up automatically results in a penalty fee

Granted, prepaying for the car rental means that the company has some guarantee that you will show up to pick up the vehicle. However, you also need to be certain that you can make it at the established time and date. As car hire services suggest, prepaying the full sum or a part of the amount motivates the client to do his best and respect the agreement. And, in the eventuality that you don’t show up, then you will be charged a penalty fee. 

The “Pay Now” discount provides an equitable solution

It is important to note that not all car hire services offer their customers the opportunity to pay for their reservation in advance. In addition, those that do have this payment system might not apply it for all the cars in their fleet. However, since the competition in this niche is stiff, more and more car rental companies adhere to this practice and offer the option along with a discount varying from 5% to 15%. 
Without denying the fact that a 15% discount is tempting for anyone with a solid plan in mind, you should be aware of the fact that irrespective of the reasons you have to cancel the reservation, you will automatically have to pay an annulment fee. In general, the fees applied by major car rental services is around $25 for cancelling the reservation more than 24 hours in advance and double that amount if you revoke it within the last 24 hours.

A final thought

Even though you risk paying a cancellation fee, the truth is that prepaying for this service in advance has a few noteworthy advantages. First off, you can be certain you’ll be leaving with the desired car from the parking lot. Secondly, you can benefit from a great discount of up to 15%. Lastly, because car rental services can change the prices multiple times per day, you will know for sure the total amount you have to invest in this service, thereby making you a wise consumer.