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5 min read Published on October 19, 2022.
Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter
Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers with the ins and outs of securely using loans to buy a car.
Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances by providing precise, well-researched and well-written information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.
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If you’re to a vacation spot and would like the convenience and freedom of wheels while exploring or need a car while yours is in the shop, chances are you’ll take a rental car at some time. There were 1.8 million cars that were in rental service in 2021 . Costs differ based on the type of car you rent, which rental car service you choose to use and the location where you lease the vehicle. Knowing how these variables influence the cost will allow you to budget for the cost. Cost of a typical car rental to rent a vehicle varies according to factors such as location, type of car and rental company. However, the cost average at mid-October 2022 was around $81 per day . To estimate your estimated cost you can contact Hertz, Enterprise, Avis or any other rental company you’re thinking of using to prepare for the expense. Factors that influence rental car prices Several aspects affect the cost of your rental – both in and outside your control. Reduce costs wherever you can by understanding the factors that affect cost. Car type when selecting the rental car the first question that renters ask is how much space they will need. Car rental companies categorize their vehicles according to size. Economy cars are generally the least expensive and smallest rental firms offer. These vehicles have room for one or two people, along with their luggage. The compact or intermediate models offer more space than economy cars typically through additional space in the trunk. Intermediate cars can hold up to four persons with a small quantity of baggage. The most basic vehicles with large back seats can accommodate four adults. They also have plenty of trunk space, which makes them a great choice for families that have lots of luggage. Luxury vehicles are premium vehicles that include everything from sportsy convertibles to large SUVs and vans. In the majority of cases, the daily rental fee is based on the size and class of the vehicle or truck. However, some rental companies offer specials for vehicles belonging to certain categories, especially when they are able to have a large number of vehicles of them in stock. For example, if the rental company has a small number of economy cars available to rent for a certain weekend, they might offer a discounted rate on standard vehicles. Below are the lowest daily rates for different types of vehicles, as per Kayak. Car type
Least expensive rate per day
2 adults 2 bags
4 adults, 2 bags
5 adults 3 bags
5 adults, 3 bags
5 adults, 2 bags
5 adults 2 bags
5 adults, 5 bags
5 adults, 5 bags
Kayak at the time of writing in October 2022. Location Similar to other goods or services, costs vary depending on demand and supply. Many people find better car rental rates close to the heart of the city, instead of the airport. Prices for rental vary across various regions across the country. Highly trafficked tourist areas could have lower rental costs than other areas due to the greater competition. But they may also have more expensive rates during peak seasons when the demand is very high. Location
Average rental cost per day
Kayak at the time of writing in October 2022. Age of the driver The renter’s age greatly influences the cost. If the renter is younger, higher the cost because young drivers are more risky for rental companies. Some rental companies do not even rent to those under twenty years of age. Renters may be charged additional charges for renters under the age of 20. According to the state charges can range from $40 to $65 per day. Consider these higher prices in determining the driver of your rental. Certain states have charges for drivers who fall within certain age groups. For instance leasing through Enterprise in Michigan comes with an additional $40 daily charge for drivers aged 18 to 20 years old. The fee is $19 per day for drivers between 21 and 24. Renters who are younger in New York can expect to be charged the additional $64.50 in order to cover their age. However, not every rental firm has these charges. Consider both the daily cost and any additional charges when deciding which rental company to use. How to get the best bargain on your rental vehicle Although a rental car’s price is based on a range of factors, there are still a few ways you can get a little extra cash in your pocket. Comparison shopping You can get a better deal when you rent your car by shopping around. Prices often vary by rental company, so doing a bit of research could get you a much better deal. Comparison sites like Priceline, Expedia, AutoSlash and Kayak make it easier to compare rental car quotes. Visit the websites of the rental agencies to ensure that you’re getting best price available on the car. Make sure to fill the tank with fuel. Make sure to fill up the tank of gas prior to returning your rental car to the rental agency. You’ll save money on refilling. Plan your reservation early. The ability to reserve your car in advance lets you get the best vehicle, skip long lines and potentially save cash. This is especially important for those planning to travel around a major holiday. Skip add-ons Before getting the keys to your car, you’ll likely be provided with a variety of add-ons. The options could include GPS, toll plan, the ability to access XM radio, or carseats. Skip these options if you are able to save money. This is a costly extra-cost option that is usually offered when you reserve or pick up the vehicle. It could add $15 to $30 per day to your bill however, it can save thousands of dollars if there is an incident or your car is stolen. The four kinds of typical insurance for rental cars include: Loss-and-damage waiver (LDW) also known as collision damage waiver (CDW) offers protection in the event that your car is damaged or stolen. Supplemental insurance for liability: shields you from liability if you damage property or vehicles Personal accident protection: pays for medical expenses for yourself and passengers (if appropriate) when you get into an accident Personal effects coverage: pays the cost of items that are stolen from the rental car These protections may already be or current auto or homeowners insurance policy. Certain types of insurance have restrictions, however you should verify how they interact together with your credit card issuer or insurance provider. Hidden fees and additional costs Car rental companies can also charge hidden charges that impact the cost of renting. They build certain fees into the cost for the rental. Other fees may be listed on statements several months after the rental time. The rental of a car at an airport is more expensive than renting at an off-site location. This is due to the fact that the airport has fees, such as an airport concession fee and an expense for customer facilities which the rental car provider transfers to the customer. Certain companies put an authorization hold on the client’s credit or debit card. The charge, which varies from $150 to $500, offers the rental car provider some security in the event that the renter is damaged or does not return the car. The company can release the funds within a couple of days after receiving the rental car back in a good in good condition. Many companies charge a cancellation fee for renters who cancel their reservations less than 24 hours before the rental. If the renter has paid prior to the rental, then the business will refund the deposit less the cancellation cost. Renters who cause damage to the interior or exterior of the vehicle have to be responsible for the repairs . Inexperienced renters could end having to pay for damages caused by previous drivers. Thoroughly inspect the vehicle before leaving the lot and take photos of any apparent damage and inform an employee. The majority of rental agencies have a fee per day to add additional drivers in the rental agreement. The cost is determined by the rental agency and state. Changing the conditions of the rental agreement by altering or expanding it could also incur additional cost. The amount you’ll be charged for may differ, and you could pay an additional daily fee. However, knowing about these hidden fees will help renters comprehend why total rental fees cost more than the rental advertised price, there is usually little that you can do to avoid them. The basic rental cost of cars varies based on rental company, type of car location, car type and the how old the chauffeur is. There are also instances when locations are more expensive than other markets. However, there are ways to lower your costs such as shopping around, booking ahead and avoiding any add-ons. Check the rental agreement’s fine print to avoid any unexpected costs. Find out more
Writen by Auto Loans Reporter
Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of borrowing money to purchase the car they want.
Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor
Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing precise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.
Auto loans editor
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