Reader Larry H. writes:
I know I’m heading to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in September. How far in advance should I reserve my rental car?
Larry, it’s never too soon to start. Find the lowest rate you can, make a reservation now, and keep checking back for lower rates. I’m assuming you don’t have a preference as to rental car provider.
Unlike buying airline tickets, you’re generally not paying any money up front when you reserve a rental car. And if prices go down, you can always make a new reservation and then cancel the old one. (Note, on some airlines, you can get a refund on your airfare when the price drops, too, but unless you’re buying higher-priced refundable fares, you can’t just cancel your old reservations and make fresh ones willy-nilly without paying fees.)
So you should always revisit your old reservations and try to whittle that price down. As the date creeps closer, you’d also do well to check with Hotwire or Priceline, to try to beat the rate you’ve got reserved. Remember, though, that Hotwire and Priceline reservations are fully prepaid and nonrefundable. They don’t earn any points, either.