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The Official Car Rental Blog
13 March, 2013 - Peta Daniels Peta Daniels

How Are Car Hire Days Calculated?

Have you ever amended your pick up or drop off time and noticed that the quoted price for the listed vehicles changed dramatically? The first aspect to note is that car hire suppliers work on a 24 hour time period in calculating how many 'days' you are hiring a vehicle for. Depending upon the accumulated hire hours, you may experience differing quoted prices with changes as small as one hour. So when performing a quote, remember that it is not based upon the dates, but rather the calculated time period you are hiring for.

How Are Car Hire Days Calculated

To assist in explaining time variations, we have provided a few quote examples based upon the car hire preferences of pick up on the 13th of March 2013 and drop off on the 14th of March 2013 for Brisbane city.

Quote One

  • Pick Up Date: 13/03/2013
  • Pick Up Time: 10:00 am
  • Drop Off Date: 14/03/2013
  • Drop Off Time: 10:00 am

Total Hire Hours: 24

Quoted Price: $34.00

The quoted vehicles stipulate that the hire period is for one day. This is based on the factor that the pick up and drop off times equate to a 24 hour time period. NOTE: If the time calculated is less than 24 hours, some suppliers may reduce the rate while others will charge for a full day's hire.

In the following images, we have selected the 'Kia Picanto or similar' rental package for comparison purposes.

Quote Example - One

Quote Two

  • Pick Up Date: 13/03/2013
  • Pick Up Time: 10:00 am
  • Drop Off Date: 14/03/2013
  • Drop Off Time: 11:00 am

Total Hire Hours: 25

Quoted Price: $48.14

In this quote, the drop off time has been extended by only one hour to 11:00 am. The price has changed significantly from the above example. The result is the supplier has calculated this as a two day car hire but only portioned an additional charge - not a full two day charge (please see Quote Four for a full complete two day car hire price).

Quote Example - Two

Quote Three

  • Pick Up Date: 13/03/2013
  • Pick Up Time: 10:00 am
  • Drop Off Date: 14/03/2013
  • Drop Off Time: 2:00 pm

Total Hire Hours: 28

Quoted Price: $68.00

The quote now displays a drop off time of 2:00 pm. The price has also changed but is now different to the price illustrated in the second example. The supplier (based on its own terms and conditions) has charged for a full two day hire.

Quote Four

  • Pick Up Date: 13/03/2013
  • Pick Up Time: 10:00 am
  • Drop Off Date: 15/03/2013
  • Drop Off Time: 10:00 am

Total Hire Hours: 48

Quoted Price: $68.00

For reference, we have also included a quote for a full two day car hire period (48 hours) as a comparison to the above quote examples.

Quote Example - Four

We hope the above information has assisted in explaining the pricing differences you may experience when conducting a quote online and how suppliers calculate hire usage.

Top Tip: If you are flexible with your pick up and drop off dates, ensure you compare not only the vehicles available, but the accumulated hours you plan to hire a vehicle for.

On a side note, if using a car hire comparison website like Car Rental Buddy, suppliers may not have their rental packages displayed within all presented quotes you perform. Depending upon their operating hours, you may find that some suppliers are not open for one or more of the times you have selected, therefore, their rental packages will not be displayed. Please keep this in mind if you plan on performing quotes for various pick up and drop off times as a means to compare a specific rental package.

Complete our free online quote form below to instantly compare suppliers for your chosen car hire preferences!

Free Comparison Quote

We hope you have a positive experience when booking your car hire online, and don't forget to read the full terms and conditions (also referred to as 'Rate Details' and 'Rental Conditions') to ensure you are fully aware of what is included in the quoted price.

Take care!