Picture this: you’re planning the perfect Hawaiian vacation when all of a sudden, you realize a rental car is unavailable during your stay. This can happen for a number of different reasons, but one of the common causes is a blackout. Blackout dates happen in a few industries, and unfortunately vehicle rentals is one of them.

While they can be frustrating, learning more about blackout dates can help you avoid these inconvenient mishaps and keep your vacation plans running smoothly. We’ve chosen to highlight a few facts for you, and this should give you a little bit better of an understanding as to how, why and when these blacked out periods may occur.

No Rentals, Period
While some blackout periods restrict certain features, others will eliminate your ability to rent a vehicle all together. Companies may choose to blackout dates around a holiday since rentals tend to be heavily booked and supply may be limited. Other heavily traveled timeframes (like spring break or the beginning of summer) may also cause supplies to be depleted and a blackout to occur. One way to avoid these total blackout periods is to book well in advance since many companies don’t kick them in until their supply becomes very limited.

Promotional Blackouts
It’s not uncommon for major car rental companies to put a blackout period on using certain promotions and discounts. This can also happen for a number of reasons, but mainly it’s a way for the company to encourage travel during less popular dates as opposed to peak timeframes like holidays and spring break. When the discount is not able to be used during December or March, travelers are encouraged to visit during less popular times of the year. While this may work out for some, it can be frustrating to those who planned on traveling during peak dates.

Is There a Way Around It?
While we do recommend booking in advance and checking the site regularly, every car rental company is different in its own way. Remember that if one company is blacked out during your travel dates, another may not be. It’s important to shop around and check all of the available options before making a final decision. Utilizing promotions and coupons may be a big money saver, so be sure to find a company that will allow you to rent a reliable vehicle at an affordable and fair price during your vacation dates. Aloha, travelers!

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