Premier Travel Inn, the country's largest budget hotel group, has launched a late rooms section on its website.
It means that those willing to wait and chance availability can book from £30 per night on Fridays and Sundays (rising to £40 at the company's more expensive Metro sites).
Gill Baker, sales and marketing director at the Whitbread-owned chain, said: "This is a great opportunity for our customers who can now get even better value for money by booking online."
The late room scheme is currently available at about 60 hotels in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham.
Rival budget brand Travelodge launched a room-by-the-hour scheme at the end of 2003 to allow tired motorists to take a break, although the offer was only available to individuals.
Premier Travel Inn will take over the 105-bedroom Vencourt hotel in London's Hammersmith next month. The company intends to spend £2.7m on refurbishing the site.
by Chris Druce