How Much Is It To Rent a Car?

How Much Is It To Rent a Car?

When you decide to rent a vehicle, odds are you have one big question at the forefront of your concerns: how much would it be to rent a car? The answer, unfortunately, is quite variable. Renting a car can be very cheap, sometimes as little as $30 per day, but it can also be very expensive and cost you over $100 per day.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how car rental prices are calculated and break down some ways you can guarantee affordable rentals the next time you need to rent a car.

Average Rental Price in the US

The average price of a rental vehicle in the US fluctuates over time, but at the time of this writing, it’s about $42 per day. This range can vary heavily based on car type, the state in which you rent your car, and, of course, how long you need to rent a vehicle for.

Naturally, the longer you need a reservation, the more you’ll pay in the long run. Some of the cheapest car rentals can go as low as $7 a day… but these rentals might not be for quality vehicles you can rely on.

Some of the more expensive car rental companies may charge you over $100 per day in order to rent a quality car. As you can see, the cost to rent a car varies heavily because of several major factors.

Factors That Affect Rental Price

To answer the key question more thoroughly, let’s break down the major aspects that affect rental prices, whether you choose to rent with a high-quality and affordable rental company like Advantage or someone else.

Time for the Reservation

The length of time you need the car for will affect its overall price. Take the national average of $42 per day, for example. If you only need a car for one day, you already know how much you’ll pay.

But if you need the car for three days, you’ll pay a grand total of $118, not counting the cost of insurance or any ancillary fees you might be on the hook for.

Keep this in mind when planning out a trip or deciding how long to rent a vehicle for. It might be more cost-effective to rent a car for only one or two days and rely on other forms of transportation for the longer timespans of your journey. 

Lot Location

When you look at a car rental company’s fleet of vehicles, you might see the same car listed for two different prices at different locations. Sometimes, rental cars have to be driven to a lot close to you so you can pick up the vehicle on time. This adds to the rental price, either in terms of a fee or a few dollars added to the daily rate.

Always check to see whether a vehicle is available for a cheaper price at a local lot if you want to save money.

Did You Reserve Ahead of Time?

Generally, renting your vehicle ahead of time will result in you paying fewer costs for your rental. Most car rental companies will charge you a little more if you try to reserve a vehicle on the day that you need it rather than reserving your vehicle ahead of time.

Reserving your vehicle ahead of time is better for you since it lets you plan your trip. But it’s also better for the rental company since they can move the right vehicle to the correct lot. On top of that, you’ll likely have more vehicle options if you rent ahead of schedule since the car rental company can move the correct vehicle to your lot of choice.

So, if you want to save money, put down your reservation a few days before you need a car.

Car Class and Type

The class or type of car you choose will also affect its overall price for a rental. Generally, economy cars are much more affordable, both in terms of their rental price tag and in terms of their gas prices.

Economy cars get better gas mileage, so you’ll pay for less gas over your entire journey than you would with a sports car or luxury vehicle. Similarly, gas guzzlers are not as cheap, usually because they are bigger (so they come with a larger daily rate) and because they take more gas that you’ll then need to pay for.

That’s one reason why Advantage usually has tons of great economy vehicles available for affordable yet reliable rental solutions.

Insurance and Extras

Then there’s insurance. We highly recommend you make sure you have insurance whenever you rent a car, whether it’s your personal car insurance or a policy you adopt when you sign on the dotted line.

All good car rental companies will provide you with insurance options that cover you for the cost of damage to the rental vehicle up to a certain amount, such as $50,000. The insurance might cost a little bit in the short term, but it’s much better than having to pay thousands of dollars because you ended up in an accident with an unsafe driver.

Of course, if you already have personal car insurance, you may not need to pay anything extra. You may still want to take advantage of extra insurance policies, like a damage waiver. Some car rental companies also provide extra services, like amenities or gas cards, which can add to the total price of your rental agreement.

How Many Drivers?

Lastly, the number of drivers you have listed on the contract will affect the rental price. It’s cheapest to have only a single driver assigned to a rented vehicle. If you add another driver to the vehicle, you could face fees from as little as $15 extra per day up to $50 extra per day or even more.

That’s because the car rental company takes on extra risk for every driver assigned to a rental contract. So if you have to drive with multiple people in the vehicle, it’s most cost-effective to assign one person to drive the car and have their name on the rental contract.

So, How Much Is It To Rent a Car?

There’s no single answer to how much it is to rent a car. It depends on the above factors, your travel plans, and even the type of vehicle you plan to rent.

For example, you could take the national average of $42, but want to assign another driver to the contract for a $20 fee. That would bring your total daily price up to $62 per day. If you rent the car for three days, you’ll eventually need to pay close to $200 when all is said and done.

Fortunately, companies like Advantage make pricing transparent and easy to understand. If you need to rent a vehicle for a day, week, or even a month, we can help. Check out our fleet of vehicles and contact us today for rates and available vehicles near you.


Car Rentals in United States from $13/day | KAYAK
Rental car types: how to find the perfect rental car | KAYAK
Rental Car Insurance: Do You Need It? | Statefarm

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