Times are changing and long gone are the days when the only way for you to know how much a flight or accommodation costs is by phoning the airline or hotel. Today, for the most part, finding and comparing prices is as easy as a few clicks of a button (or for some a few taps on a screen) — most especially with online booking and comparison sites like Expedia and Trivago. This brings a few questions to people’s minds though. Questions like “Do you really get to save money when you book from these websites?” and “Do you get more when you book with these sites or when you book directly from the website?”


When it comes to car hire, accommodations, and flights; I say direct bookings trump third-party sites. Here’s why:

On Price

While you get to see the price differences for the service you need, it doesn’t always give you the “guaranteed best price”. This is most especially for car hire and hotels, which often have price beat guarantees. If you’re lucky, they even match third-party sites, giving you even better deals than the lowest published rate. For some of them, it makes more sense in a cost perspective to give you a discount than to pay out a commission from comparison sites. Remember, price beat guarantees only work if you have a quote and not a booking.

On Compensation
Sometimes unfortunate things happen during your holiday. Whether it’s a delay in your flight, a car breaking down, or a room with a rowdy group next door; some things you just don’t want to deal with during your holiday. The trouble with third-party or comparison sites is that they’re the ones you need to talk to and negotiate with to ask for a refund. Even high-end hotels have some form of a third-party booking policy that, when it comes to complaints, the third-party site should fix it for you.

On Flexibility
When you book from a comparison site, you lose your flexibility in terms of changing plans. Remember that the moment you book from those sites, you’re bound by contract to stick to those dates. Airlines and hotels, on the other hand, have an allowable timeframe when you can still cancel without incurring any penalties.

On Getting Better Service
Have you ever noticed how you get better rooms/cars/seats when you book direct. Of course, hotels would never intentionally give customer sub par service, but when their patrons will always come first. You may not receive the best room/car/seat when you book direct, but you have less chances of being first in line to receive the less desirable smoking rooms at the far end of the hall or the older cars with slight scratches.

And there you have it, my four reasons why direct booking wins in the battle of Online VS Direct.  Do you agree? Sound off in the comments!

Alpha Car Hire has convenient locations in Brisbane Airport, Melbourne Airport, and Gold Coast Airport. For the best prices of comfortable, reliable cars, book a car from Alpha today!