a silver car parked in a field
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Why Getting a Rental Vehicle is Better Earlier In the Day

Learn from my experience.

Well, I have recently learned first hand why getting a rental vehicle is better earlier in the day with an experience that has yet to be resolved — especially when renting a vehicle at a location that is not at an airport.

Why Getting a Rental Vehicle is Better Earlier In the Day

Because I needed the rental vehicle at 6:00 in the morning on a particular day, I scheduled the time to pick up the rental vehicle at 4:30 in the afternoon the day before I needed it at a facility that closes at 5:00 in the afternoon and does not open before 8:00 in the morning. I rarely pay for a reservation in advance for a rental vehicle; but that is what I did this time.

A voice message was left on my mobile telephone 39 minutes prior to the time I was to pick up the rental vehicle. A member of the staff at the facility informed me in that message that they had no vehicles available for the remainder of the week and would remain sold out for at least four days.

Not only have I paid for the reservation in full in advance; but I also currently have top tier elite status with the membership program of this rental car company. The facility still did not hold a vehicle to honor my reservation.

Final Boarding Call

As 4:30 in the afternoon is during the early part of rush hour where I am based, traffic can be significantly heavy and slow; so I likely would not have arrived at the rental car facility prior to when it closed at 5:00 in the afternoon. Had I scheduled an earlier time to pick up the rental vehicle, I might have had a chance to arrive at the facility in the hopes that a vehicle would be returned at the last minute.

Learn a lesson from my experience. Do not allow this to happen to you…

Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

  1. This is absolutely useless article I ever read. No rental company name, no city or airport info. I have never had any issue with car rental anywhere in the world. If they would not have car in my reserved class, I always get complimentary upgrade.

    1. The rental car location couldn’t provide any car from its lot, so the idea of a complimentary upgrade would mean what? Still, no car at that location when needed.

      The best time to avoid such a car rental issue varies by rental car location. For some city locations, there seem to be select times of the day or some days of the year where there seem to be way more cars being returned than being than being checked out. 30-60 minutes after those “big return” periods seem to be best way for me to avoid this kind of situation. This kind of thing can also happen at airport rental locations. One of these days for a situation like this, I will probably end up wanting to stick the car rental company with my hotel bill for the night.

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