How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car?

When traveling long distances by car, some people prefer to put the miles and wear-and-tear on someone else’s car rather than their own.

Renting a car can solve this problem.

Renting a car can also be useful when traveling by plane so that you will have a car to drive when you arrive at your destination.

The price of the car you rent will depend on the type of car you wish to rent (sedan, SUV, van, truck, etc.), the duration of the rental, the day of the week and time of the year, and sometimes the miles projected to be put on the car.

Hertz Car Rental shuttle by Atomic Taco, on Flickr
Hertz Car Rental shuttle” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Atomic Taco

How much does it cost to rent a car?

Car Rental CompanyLocationType of VehicleTotal fees for three days
BudgetPhoenix AirportFull Size$108
EnterprisePhoenix AirportMini Van$227
PaylessPhoenix AirportCompact$56
AvisSeattle Non-AirportEconomy$47
AlamoSeattle Non-AirportSUV$134
NationalSeattle Non-AirportPick Up Truck$176
BudgetDes Moines AirportEconomy$88
DollarDes Moines AirportStandard$86
ThriftyDes Moines AirportMini Van$257
AlamoOrlando Non-AirportFull Size$101
EnterpriseOrlando Non-AirportSUV$101
SixtOrlando Non-AirportLuxury$157
E-Z Rent-A-CarDetroit AirportEconomy$77
FoxDetroit AirportSUV$128
ThriftyDetroit AirportMini Van$257

What is going to be included?

What are the extra costs?

Tips to know:

How can I save money?

How to Find Deals

Look for Specials and Discounts

Most major car rental companies often give specials.  To find these specials, they can be found in many ways.  Some of the most common ways to find these specials include joining their email newsletter or even liking a Facebook fan page.  Most of these specials are going to have restrictions and qualifications, so don’t forget to read the fine print.  Specials can include deals such as free weekend days, a certain dollar amount off or even a group discount.  Besides specials, ask the rental car agencies if they accept AAA, CAA or AARP discounts.

Search for Coupon Codes

Those that have their hearts set on a certain rental car company can often find coupon codes floating around on the Internet.  A great way to find these coupon codes is by using a search engine such as Google.  The trick here is to make sure that the most recent results are used.  By using the most recent results, users can often find the freshest coupon codes that haven’t expired yet.  By using a search such as the company name followed by rental car deals or coupon codes can yield some decent results.

Compare with Aggregators

The Internet is a great place to compare a lot of rental car companies all at once.  Long gone are the days of calling up a travel agent’s office to get the best deal.  Checking rates couldn’t be easier online.  Boot up a car rental comparison website and check the rates for a date.  Browse through the many companies to see who’s offering the best rate at the time.  Before a reservation is placed, be sure to look for special offers and blackout dates.

NOTE:  Just because the car rental prices are cheap on a third-party website, it doesn’t mean that this will be a finalized price.  There are many extra charges to be aware of.  These extra charges can include collision damage waiver fees, fuel charges, taxes, additional driver fees, out-of-state charges, and the list can go on.  It’s important that these charges are known before showing up to a place.

Start Reservations Early

While waiting until the last-minute can often pop up some great deals, it isn’t a guarantee.  Start bargain hunting as soon as possible to make sure that plenty of time is available to find that deal.  Those that want to be advanced with their search are encouraged to keep notes and rental car information to keep track of the deals.

Avoid Airports

Car rental agencies that are located within the airport often charge 20 to 30 percent more than those located five miles away.  If traveling to a popular city that has rental car companies outside of the airport, highly consider taking a taxi to this site and not book through the site within the airport.

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