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Car Rental--Pay Now vs Pay Later

I’m about to rent a car from one of the major rentals, and was surprised to see they have a Pay Now or Pay Later price. “Now” is about 25% lower. Is there something I’m missing about what seems to be a very attractive price? Possibly the money is non-refundable?

Yep, probably non-refundable. Same applies to many of those cheap hotel rates at many of the dot com travel sites. If you’re certain you’ll use it, fine, but just watch out!

Go to the rental company’s web site and read the fine print. It will tell you what you need to know. I’m sure that they are required to disclose the requirements of the contract to you. If you assume that they want ot be in business for a long time (I think that’s reasonable), they will tell you.

This seems pretty recent/applicable.

Thanks for the tips. I decided to call them. They wanted more than what I was seeing on the internet. They easily capitulated to a few dollars lower.

The fine print, which is not easily shown on the web, is they charge you $50 for a 24 hour cancellation, and $25 for 48 hours.

$75+ for tax with a total of $178 for 7 days.

Is this $178. for 7 days unlimited mileage? If it is and you’re going to be driving a lot this sounds like a great deal. If it’s not unlimited mileage you need to check the cost per mile. This can get expensive if you do a lot of driving with the car.

Yep, unlimited. I plan to drive a lot.

Paying now is lower because you’re the one taking the risk of not showing up. Paying later is the company’s risk because they don’t know what will happen while you’re driving it before you pay them, so it costs a little more