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CostHelper > Cars  > Car Rental

Car Rental Cost


How Much Does a Car Rental Cost?

 
 average costRange: $20-$50/day 
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  Typical costs:
  • Car rental costs vary by location, duration of rental, type of car and season. To get an initial estimate of costs, try checking on an online travel website such as Orbitz[1] .
  • According to a 2003 study by Consumer Web Watch, Orbitz.com often had the lowest car rental rates, followed by Travelocity, Expedia, Dollar and Alamo.
  • Tip: Consider joining frequent rental programs, such as Dollar Express or the Hertz #1 Club, which are often free. These clubs often let you bypass the long lines and either go directly from the shuttle to your car, or go to an express line.
Additional costs:
  • Often, there are additional charges for drivers under 25 years of age, and some rental companies do not rent to younger drivers at all.
  • There are additional fees for gas (if you do not return the car with a full tank), or car insurance (if your credit card company and auto insurance company do not cover you).
  • Taxes and additional fees can be hefty. Some airports have additional car rental taxes on top of normal sales tax.
  • Additional drivers may or may not cost extra, depending on the car company. Spouses typically do not cost more.
Discounts:
  • If you're willing to spend some extra time, you can often save money by taking a shuttle to a rental company that is located outside of the airport. This can save you from additional airport convenience fees and also typically give lower rates. An example of an airport with in-terminal and off-site rental agencies is the Honolulu International Airport.
  • Tip: Talk to your car insurance company and credit card company before you travel to determine whether car rentals are already covered. If so, you should be able to decline the costly insurance fees.
  • Tip: Shop different online travel sites such as Expedia and Travelocity, but then also compare rates directly with the rental companies. Rental companies often have a "Special Offers" section with various promotions and discounts, such as AAA discounts or "Hot Deals" that may not be listed on the travel sites.
  • Tip: You can also use search engines, such as Google, to search for money saving promotion or coupon codes. For example, if you are considering using Hertz, try searching for "Hertz promo code".
Shopping for a car rental:
  • Online travel websites include Expedia[2] , Kayak[3] and Hotwire[4] .
  • Major car rental companies include Hertz[5] , Dollar[6] , Avis[7] , Enterprise[8] and Alamo[9] .
post Post   Comments (9)
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Thrifty Car Rental at Boston Logan
Amount: $495.29
Posted by: Ray Adams in Boston, MA.Posted: July 9th, 2018 01:07PM
Location: Boston Logan AirportCar Size: Mid-Size
Duration of Rental: 7 Days
The Advertised Car rental price for this period was $285.11. It was returned with a full tank of gas. Additional Fees were $184.29, Taxes were an additional $25.89. Total costs were 179% of the advertised price. The car was driven approximately 200 miles.
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It was horrible with Enterprise
Amount: $203.41
Posted by: a user in Philly, PA.Posted: July 29th, 2014 09:07AM
Location: PhillyCar Size: economy
Duration of Rental: 1 day
I drove this car for one day for a total of 215 miles. I was originally quoted for 135.00. All of sudden the bill was $203.41. There are so many hidden fees and taxes are unbelievable. I would pay in cash upfront and never use a credit card. Make sure you nail them down for the total charges!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Alamo via Priceline
Amount: $642.16
Posted by: Don Torres in PHX, AZ.Posted: May 3rd, 2014 10:05AM
Duration of Rental: 14 Days
Sky Harbor Int'l Airport
Mazda3, Class: ICAR
964mi driven (unlimited) incl into Mexico
Charges: FSO $48.76, Mexico insurance $499.85, CRF $55.40, Stadium charge $3.39, VLS $27.70, TPT @10.3% $57.06
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car rental cost
Amount: $165.81
Posted by: PAM SMITH in OJAI, CA.Posted: October 8th, 2013 06:10PM
Location: Panama City/AirportCar Size: standard
Duration of Rental: 6 days
I used pricelines name your price option..i offered 15.00 a day and it was accepted..give it a try!
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undergae car rental
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: dale in eatontown, NJ.Posted: December 19th, 2010 12:12AM
Location: Car Size: mid
Duration of Rental: week
used avis awd z652297 and gave me a great rate in nj
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rental from priceline
Amount: $750.00
Posted by: tony1111 in dallas, TX.Posted: September 16th, 2010 10:09AM
Location: DFWCar Size: minivan
Duration of Rental: 2 weeks
bid from pliceline. rental company was National car rental
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5-Day Car Rental in Las Vegas
Amount: $145.00
Posted by: Lindsay in Las Vegas, NV.Posted: March 11th, 2009 10:03AM
Location: Las VegasCar Size: Economy
Duration of Rental: 5 days
I got a great deal on Priceline, which came out to $29/day with taxes and fees included. I saved money by picking up my car in a location other than the airport. Once I found out Avis would offer me the best deal on Priceline, I also Googled "Avis coupon codes" and found an additional code to put in, which got me the reduced rate of $145 for 5 full days.
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Tried Priceline, happy with result on car rental
Amount: $20.00
Posted by: Wedding Guest in Seattle, WA.Posted: August 31st, 2007 01:08AM
Location: Seattle, Washington (Seatac)Car Size: full
Duration of Rental: 5 days
I recently shopped for a full-size rental car in Seattle for early August. I had been wanting to try Priceline, but I always felt unsure because I didn't know how much to bid and I worried I'd be paying too much. started my bidding for a full-size car at $17 a day, which Priceline said was very unlikely to work, so I tried $18 a day. That bid failed, but they let me immediately rebid (normally you have to wait 24-72 hours after an unsuccessful bid). I bid $20 a day and got a full-size car from Avis. The taxes and fees (amazingly) are another $67, so the total was $167 for a 5 day rental, averaging just $33 a day with all taxes.
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Rental at Honolulu International Airport from Alamo
Amount: $264.00
Posted by: Hawaii Trip in Honolulu, HI.Posted: March 8th, 2007 03:03AM
Location: Honolulu AirportCar Size: Intermediate
Duration of Rental: 1 week
We just rented two mid-sized cars at the Honolulu International Airport from Alamo for $264 per car including all taxes. The rental location was off-site from the airport and it took about 20 minutes to get the the Alamo desk by van. Alamo has a deal going on where you get 10-15% off if you pre-pay, which we did (and if you need to, you can still cancel the pre-paid reservation). If you pay by Mastercard, Alamo has a coupon for a free car upgrade through 2007: http://www.alamo.com/index.do?action=/hotDealsTemplate&msg=AL_MastercardCardholders_upgrade_coupon
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External Resources:
  1.  www.orbitz.com/car-rental/
  2.  www.expedia.com/Cars
  3.  www.kayak.com/cars
  4.  www.hotwire.com
  5.  www.hertz.com
  6.  www.dollar.com
  7.  www.avis.com/car-rental/avisHome/home.ac
  8.  www.enterprise.com/car_rental/home.do
  9.  /www.alamo.com/en_US/car-rental/home.html
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