No matter where you look for information on vehicle rental questions are always the same advice, book early to save money. Although it is generally the rule, and it's always a good idea to have a vehicle reserved in advance of your trip you can see that our early booking may actually wind up costing you more. There may be economies in the last minute car rentals.
Now, if your trip comes at a time as around a popular holiday, you probably will not find the latest offerings. Even if you've already booked, it is always a good idea to shop around again a few days before you travel to recheck the line rates. You may just find that rates have dropped significantly since the time when you made your reservation with good reason.
Car rental companies base their rates on the number of cars they expect the lease for a specific period of time. When they are only a few days of the weekend and they still find they have a lot of cars always available, they will try to reduce the rate significantly to try to do all their rental vehicles. A car that is sitting on the lot is not put in any money, even if they rent the car for you at a price they will make more than this car to sit.
This is why checking around at the last minute may be to your benefit. Most reservations can be cancelled without penalty with 24 hours notice so this still allows you to change your reservation with no penalty. If you find that the company you have reserved with has lowered their rates then ask them to give you the lower rate. Some may make you cancel your original reservation and then rebook while others will just switch the rate on the reservation. Either way you will find that the savings you will receive is well worth this small additional effort.
Last minute reservations can save you money, but not always. It remains the best idea to make your initial reservation well in advance and then rearrange the last minute if you find a better offer. Get the best deals may require a little patience but in the end if you get the rental car for less will be a happy camper.