However, our compensation is never tied to whether you purchase an insurance product. For more information, please see our NextAdvisor is not a license policy company, representation or broker and we do not sell, solicit or negotiate insurance. Our content provides summaries of insurance providers and/or products that may not include all terms, benefits or limitations of such supplier or product. Please consult a accredited insurance company or producer regarding any indemnity product. Our site may include links that take you to another web site and resultant role in us earning a fee.For more information, please see our Advertising Disclosure and How We Make Money. Driving away from a lease car agency in a glazed newly fomite feels like the starting signal of an gamble. With non-essential travel paused because of the pandemic, many of those adventures will have to wait. But for those even in need of a impermanent vehicle — or planning a future vacation — it pays to know how lease car costs work .

How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Car?

rental car agencies impose all types of charges. Some you can avoid, and others you simply must pay. Many of them won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be included in on-line quotes, the Federal Trade Commission warns. special features and perks may make driving more enjoyable or accomplishable, but they can besides take a collocate out of your wallet.

That ’ mho why finding a great car rental deal involves more than finding an low-cost day rate. You need to know the ins and outs of lease car shopping, understand the all right print of a lease cable car sign, and avoid common mistakes that can jack up the final examination price .

Factors That Affect Car Rental Rates

  • Vehicle size: Rental car agencies often price vehicles according to size or make. They use terms such as “large sedan” or “small SUV” to help you easily choose the size automobile you need. A selection may also include verbiage such as “five-passenger SUV” or “extra capacity large SUV” to indicate how many passengers or the amount of cargo you can transport.
  • Make, model, and special features: A vehicle’s brand can impact its rental cost. Luxury automobiles, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and convertibles usually rent for higher rates. For instance, renting a Cadillac XTS typically costs more than a Chevrolet Malibu, even though they are about the same size.
  • Location: Base rates can vary by location, even when renting the same make and model of the vehicle from the same national agency. Fees and tax rates also vary by city and state.
  • Fees: Car rental agencies charge a variety of fees. For example, an agency may charge a concession recovery fee, which offsets the company’s expenses for operating in an airport or hotel. Other common charges include airport security, customer transportation, and security fees. Many rental agencies provide definitions of charges on their websites.
  • Taxes: Rental car transactions are subject to local and state sales taxes. But in some locations, you must also pay a highway use tax or tourism tax levied by local or state laws.
  • Insurance: During the online reservation process or at the rental office, the agency will offer you various insurance options similar to a standard auto insurance policy. Some coverages cover the vehicle, while others provide medical expense and liability protection. The coverages, which you can choose to purchase or decline, are charged at a daily rate.
  • Driver’s age: Many rental car companies don’t rent to drivers under 20. However, some follow minimum rental ages established by state laws and rent to drivers as young as 18. Some rental car companies levy a surcharge for drivers ages 21 to 24. An agency may also impose restrictions on the type of vehicle drivers aged 21 to 24 can rent.
  • Additional drivers: If you want to add an additional driver to your rental contract, like a partner, spouse, or travel companion, the rental agency may impose a fee, usually charged per day. Additional driver fees, if any, vary by company and state.
  • Extras: Agencies offer a wide range of optional features for your rental car, which may include a child safety seat, fuel refill waiver, mobile GPS, roadside assistance, a road toll plan, or satellite radio.

Pro Tip

Book early or concluding minute, depending on when you ’ rhenium travel. You can find better deals if you record early for peak season change of location dates and end minute for off-peak times .

Average Cost Examples

On February 22, 2021, the prices below were quoted for lease dates of March 3 through March 8, 2021. We searched for each company ’ second lowest-priced fomite for a large sedan or life-size car .

New York City (pickup and drop off at John F. Kennedy Airport)

Car Rental Company Hertz Enterprise Budget
Base cost for five-day rental $362.15* $364.20 $320.99*
Airport concession recovery fee $42.26 $40.46 $35.66
Concession recovery fee surcharge $2.50 $2.50 $2.50
Transportation fee $12.50 N/A $12.50
Taxes $85.47 $85 $77.58
Total costs $494.90 $492.16 $449.23
*The Pay Now base rate for this vehicle was $271.60, a savings of $90.55. *Budget gave us the option to pay when making the reservation for a base rate of $283.99, a $37 savings.

Chicago (pickup and drop off at Chicago Midway Airport)

Car Rental Company Hertz Enterprise Budget
Base cost for five-day rental $399.17* $326.47 (one week rate) $314.99*
Airport concession recovery fee $45.45 $36.91 $36.58
Vehicle license recovery fee and customer facility charge: $9.90 $29.50 $38
Taxes $119.20 $80.27 $79.57
Total costs $573.72 $473.15 469.14
*The Pay Now base rate for this vehicle was $284.50, a savings of $114.67. *The agency offered us an even better base rate of $251.99, a $63 savings if we paid online when making the reservation.

Los Angeles (pickup and drop off at Los Angeles International Airport)

Car Rental Company Hertz Enterprise Budget
Base cost for five-day rental $306.24* $375 $271.99
Airport concession recovery fee $34.78 $42.57 $31.16
Vehicle license recovery fee and customer facility charge: $51.85 $53.15 $53.50
State tourism assessment $10.72 $13.13 $9.51
Taxes $33.04 $39.67 $29.61
Total costs $436.63 $523.52 $395.77
*The quoted Pay Now price for this vehicle reduced the base rate by more than $16 per day, which would reduce the cost of a five-day rental by $80.

How to Get the Best Deal on Your Car Rental

Shop Around

As the above comparison shows, prices can vary precipitously by rental means. Likewise, your prefer rental car ship’s company may not always offer the best prices in every localization. “ I normally will shop around, ” says Emily Laubach, a corporate event planner in the San Francisco Bay Area. Laubach rents cars regularly for her clientele trips and besides arranges rentals for league and convention guests. “ I ’ ll go directly to the car rental agency, then I ’ ll go to a web site with a name-your-price tool, like Priceline. You may end up with the like Hertz rental cable car, but you might save $ 20 a day by shopping around on different sites. ” Association members ( like AARP ), people who have credit cards, folks enrolled in patronize circular programs, and warehouse club members ( like Costco ) can much find great deals by shopping for rental cars on the AutoSlash web site. We requested an AutoSlash quotation mark for a five-day Los Angeles trip and received better rates on Enterprise and Budget car rentals. AutoSlash ’ s quotes besides include local agencies, which may offer even lower rates than national companies like Hertz, Budget, and Enterprise .

Skip the Extras

extra creature comforts make driving more enjoyable, but they can add up. For example, in Los Angeles, Hertz charges $ 35.93 per workweek for optional SiriusXM serve and $ 84.95 for mobile GPS. Most rental cars are relatively new. If the vehicle ’ mho sound system is equipped with bluetooth, you can stream music, news programs, or podcasts from your Android smartphone or iPhone alternatively. Apps such as Waze provide detailed maps and audible, turn-by-turn driving instructions using your telephone ’ second built-in GPS. If you truly need an addition, arrange it in advance. “ If you need a cable car seat or something like that, always reserve that ahead of time because they don ’ t have them at all cable car rental agencies, ” says Laubach. “ They might have them at another position in the area, but not in all locations. ” If you don ’ triiodothyronine reserve the equipment you need, you may have to buy it at your address, adding costs to your travel .

Decline Certain Insurance Coverages (but Understand the Risks)

Declining coverage at the car rental position can save money. But “ there are big risks, ” says Elaine Morton, vice president of the united states of Morton Insurance Agency in Bartlett, Tennessee.

sometimes collision and comprehensive coverage is movable from your personal car policy to your rental, yet you would even have to pay a deductible in the event of a claim. And without purchasing extra coverage from the rental agency, you could be required to pay for their loss of use, says Morton. Loss of use is the dollar amount the rental agency will lose by not renting out the vehicle while it is getting repaired. Bottom pipeline, you can save on costs here, but at your own gamble. rental agencies besides offer a collision/loss damage release, an agreement that prohibits them from suing you for damages or loss while you ’ re using the car. “ If you purchase the collision damage release from the rental car caller, it includes collision and comprehensive examination, with no deductible, ” says Morton. For more information on car rental insurance, this lead will break it all down for you .

Charge the Rental to Your Credit Card

many credit cards feature rental collision release benefits for their cardholders. This fringe benefit can save you from having to pay the lease cable car caller extra to stay protected on the road. While a collision/loss damage waiver international relations and security network ’ t technically indemnity, it ’ s an agreement that prohibits the rental car company from suing you for loss or damages to the lease cable car while you were driving it. To take advantage, you ’ ll need to charge the lease to that tease, decline the release at the lease counter, and make certain to check with your credit batting order issuer first ahead choosing this choice, as certain conditions will apply .

Book Early — or Last Minute

When to script can be crafty. “ If you know you need a rental cable car in four months, book it immediately because sometimes they ’ ll give you a better hand, ” says Laubach. “ sometimes, if there are only a few cars left, they ’ ll jack up the monetary value. ‘ The price can besides depend on whether you ’ rhenium traveling on peak or off-peak. If you plan to travel during extremum season, it ’ sulfur best to reserve a car as far in gain as you can. But if it ’ south off-peak, you can sometimes get bargains at the last minute, says Laubach .

Avoid Unnecessary Fees

When you make a rental car reservation, read the fine print in the ratification e-mail and the agency ’ randomness FAQs on its web site. If you arrive early to pick up your rental or return it after the schedule time, the agency could impose an early on arrival or belated return fee. many companies apply a late fee when returning a car less than 30 minutes delinquent. look for rentals that include inexhaustible mileage to avoid mileage fees. If you plan to drive the vehicle across state lines, ask the representation if you will incur out-of-state charges. typically, rental car agencies require you to refill the fuel tank car before returning the fomite. otherwise, you ’ ll pay fuel charges. Some agencies offer an optional fuel plan, which allows you to return the cable car unfilled, but you can normally get a better fuel price at the pump .

Pay Upfront, not at the Counter

Some rental companies will charge you a lesser pace if you pay at reservation, either on-line or over the telephone, alternatively of paying when you pick up the car.

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