Best Time & Day for Rental Car Pickup?

Mar 10th, 2007, 05:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13
Best Time & Day for Rental Car Pickup?

Hi all, going to Germany again this June and schedule is a little flexible. Can a traveler with a little more experience advise me on the best time and day of the week when rental cars are more available? Before I book the car it would be nice to know if there are more cars available at a given point in the week i.e. weekday, weekend. I know business travelers sometimes deplete the reserves. Many thanks in advance!
garnetlake is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,153
Hi G,

It is generally cheaper to rent your car before you get to Europe.

In that case, they will have a car for you any day or time you want to pick it up.


ira is online now  
Mar 10th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Hi ira, I always rent before going but a couple of times the company has nothing left in the class I rented and gave me something really not good for the alps which is where we travel. I was thinking more along the lines of when more cars are available?
garnetlake is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 80
I would think that there would be more cars on a weekend. Fewest on a Monday morning based on the thought of business travelers. I have not encountered such a problem in my rental experiences. The times I have landed in Germany have been so early in ther am, that there was never a problem. You should not have to accept a lower class car, they should give you a higher class for the same price. If you were to receive a lower class car, I would ask where the next nearest office was, drive there and get the proper level of car.

Also, if you get the car at the airport, they will charge you a lot more for the rental period.
mr_compass is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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The obvious, bad answer, is the best time is when the car rental place is open.

However, don't rule out U.S. car rentals over pure European ones. I'm using Hertz this year because I got a better rate, ttc, in France than some of the European rental sites.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 04:49 PM
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Thanks all, the weekend it is. Plus, I do use Hertz to be honest with you. They have pretty good service and I do it well ahead of time. I have found though that they give your car away if they get swamped which is why I posted. Thanks for all your input!
garnetlake is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
The problem with Hertz, is that if you are gold or better, they tend to 'upgrade' you.

In the U.S. or Canada, I want a car not some Chevy Tahoe POS.

I end up having to go back to the counter and get a normal car.

In Europe, they tend to upgrade you to a nicer, small car. I once went from a do-dah car up to a Mercedes (small) because they gave my car away.

As with any rental company anywhere, it truly is the luck of the draw as to what's available vs. what you rented.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
Actually the question has some validity. You are charged for the number of days so if you can return your car before the hour that you picked it up you can save a day's charge. In other words a car rented on a Monday at 10AM and returned at 11AM on a Friday is charged for 5 days. The same car returned at 9:30AM is only charged for 4 days.
robjame is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Regards to all and Rastaguytoday and robjame for posting again. I have had good luck with Hertz but I will be in the Austrian Alps and since I am a driving type person I usually want a car that is suitable for that type of terrain. We take all back roads and mountain passes so we like cars that handle well and have some oomph. The last thing I want is an upgrade to a Kombi or the like. A lot of the other companies people have suggested have no representation at Munich. So I will take everyone's advice annd roll the dice. Fly in Saturday morning and take my chances on getting a 540 or possibly a 3 series cabriolet.
garnetlake is offline  

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