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Our 4 tips to maximize your chances of finding a car this summer

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It’s summer and many of you will be on the road to vacation soon. And although availability is not too bad from Monday to Friday, weekends (especially sunny ones) will remain an issue…

1. Think FLEX, even for long reservations

For last-minute trips or trips of a day or two, FLEX vehicles are an excellent alternative when no round-trip cars are available. To maximize your savings, consider subscribing to one of our Value plans and use the trip calculator to compare the cost differences. You might be surprised!

2. Longer does not necessarily mean more expensive

For a weekend outing (but this is also true during the week), did you know that taking possession of a FLEX the evening before departure can cost you the same price as the following morning? And in the evenings, hundreds of cars in Montreal and dozens in Quebec become available again. Where else will you find such a generous offer at the last minute and at such competitive prices?

3. Plan ahead

You may already know this, but as a reminder for new users:

  • For multi-day trips (especially if they include a Saturday or Sunday), to maximize your chances of finding a vehicle at a station not too far from where you want it, book as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks (up to one month) in advance.
  • If your plans change, you can cancel the reservation free of charge up to two hours before, and even until 9am on the day of your departure.

Don’t abuse last-minute cancellations…but don’t feel guilty, either, if you do so in good faith and believe you really needed a vehicle on that date. Last-minute cancellations are not just a calamity: they allow those who had not booked in advance to sometimes find a car on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday in summer.

4. Try and try again

You may not find the vehicle you are looking for the first time around. So try again! For vehicles in stations, check frequently to take advantage of last-minute cancellations. It works more often than you think. If it’s a short trip (just a few hours), vary the length of your trip and/or try different times.

Another option: do you know the web tool that we call the “reservation grid”? This tool (which is available in the online version only) is practical for a last-minute reservation because it allows you to know precisely, for the next 72 hours, the start and end dates/times of the reservations of all the vehicles of a station or a station selection. This allows you, if you have some flexibility, to adjust your trip time to squeeze between two reservations.

No FLEX cars near you? Sometimes we even wonder if it might be a technical issue! However, by refreshing the page frequently on the app, vehicles appear most of the time here and there, even during long weekends. After a few minutes, if you’re patient, chances are it’s your turn.

Summer is always hot at Communauto

We won’t hide it, the vacation period at Communauto always represents a challenge. At one time, we could count on the rental companies, on weekends, to absorb our excess demand. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case today and rental prices are reaching stratospheric heights.

We could have given in to the temptation to increase our rates too, to take advantage of this windfall, but that would have been opposite to our mission, which is to offer you an economically interesting alternative to car ownership. And to achieve this goal, it is necessary to offer predictability in prices, and to not yo-yo according to demand.

The counterpart of this approach is that it happens, at certain times, that demand exceeds supply because we deprive ourselves of being able to use the price signal to regulate demand. All in all, if we look at the situation as a whole, you are the primary beneficiaries. Yes, it requires some planning, but what other service gives you so much for so little?

We are delighted with the growing interest in carsharing. And despite the constraints (external ones too, as much as those we impose on ourselves remain faithful to our mission), we are aware that we must continue to put all our energies into improving our offer. For that, you can count on our team!

Thank you for your understanding.

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