Skip to Content

Most expensive cities for car rentals


asiandelight // Shutterstock

Most expensive cities for car rentals

A sign pointing to where customers can rent a car

It might be hard to believe that a “cheap” vacation can exist anymore, given that prices for everything have increased. That’s especially true if you need a rental car for your trip.

When the pandemic shut down the world, the travel industry took a steep hit. Car rental companies in the U.S. had lots full of cars that no one was renting, so to stay solvent, they sold off their excess inventory. While that strategy helped them survive in the short term, it’s also driven increases in rental car prices for consumers.

When people felt comfortable traveling again, they went right back to renting cars, causing the industry to quickly rebound. After revenues fell 27.4% in 2020, the industry experienced record growth in 2021, according to Auto Rental News.

Unfortunately, the sharp increase in demand left car rental companies in the lurch, as supply chain issues and semiconductor chip shortages made it difficult for them to replenish their inventories. Car rental companies’ ability to buy new cars is at its lowest rate in 20 years, per Auto Rental News.

While rental companies are adding more cars to their lots, it’s not at a pace to meet demand. This has sent car rental prices soaring, forcing consumers to budget a much larger portion of their travel expenses for car rentals.

Though the overall situation has improved since last summer, 93% of U.S. travelers plan to take a vacation this year—according to a February 2022 report from The Wall Street Journal—so demand is still high. A nationwide shortage of rental cars still persists, which will make a summer getaway in 2022 more expensive than it was pre-pandemic.

CoPilot looked at Business Travel News’ Corporate Travel Index to find which cities had the most expensive car rentals in the fourth quarter of 2021 (the latest data available), as well as how it’s changed year over year. The data averages car rental rates and taxes in 100 large U.S. cities using booking information from three major corporate travel companies. The average cost to rent a car in the U.S. during this time frame was about $46.18 per day, down 6.2% from the year before.

Read on to see what a rental car costs at your travel destination and whether you should consider booking it early.



Sopotnicki // Shutterstock

#25. Buffalo, New York

Cars in Buffalo, New York

– Average total cost per day: $47.93 (down 2.6% year over year)
— Rental car portion: $39.33
— Taxes: $8.60



K I Photography // Shutterstock

#24. Little Rock, Arkansas

Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas

– Average total cost per day: $48.02 (down 18.1%)
— Rental car: $34.67
— Taxes: $13.34



Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

#23. Salt Lake City

Cars at an intersection in Salt Lake City, Utah

– Average total cost per day: $48.52 (down 9.2%)
— Rental car: $36.36
— Taxes: $12.15



Real Window Creative // Shutterstock

#22. Seattle

Downtown Seattle as seen from Interstate 5

– Average total cost per day: $48.63 (up 1.2%)
— Rental car: $35.49
— Taxes: $13.14



Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

#21. Providence, Rhode Island

The Providence, Rhode Island, skyline with a parking lot in the foreground

– Average total cost per day: $48.87 (down 11.1%)
— Rental car: $37.89
— Taxes: $10.98



Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#20. Dayton, Ohio

An aerial view of Dayton, Ohio, in summer

– Average total cost per day: $48.90 (down 9.2%)
— Rental car: $39.03
— Taxes: $9.87



amadeustx // Shutterstock

#19. Jackson, Mississippi

The Lamar Life Building in downtown Jackson, Mississippi

– Average total cost per day: $48.95 (up 9.5%)
— Rental car: $35.41
— Taxes: $13.54



Ted PAGEL // Shutterstock

#18. Springfield, Missouri

A street scene of cars and buildings at night in downtown Springfield, Missouri

– Average total cost per day: $49.01 (down 1.5%)
— Rental car: $38.80
— Taxes: $10.21



View Apart // Shutterstock

#17. Los Angeles

Hollywood Boulevard at sunset

– Average total cost per day: $49.15 (up 11.1%)
— Rental car: $36.21
— Taxes: $12.94



Roschetzky Photography // Shutterstock

#16. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

– Average total cost per day: $49.41 (down 13.0%)
— Rental car: $39.01
— Taxes: $10.40



Sam Wagner // Shutterstock

#15. Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota with a highway in the foreground

– Average total cost per day: $50.97 (down 2.4%)
— Rental car: $37.65
— Taxes: $13.32



f11photo // Shutterstock

#14. Chicago

Traffic in downtown Chicago, Illinois

– Average total cost per day: $51.49 (down 18.8%)
— Rental car: $37.76
— Taxes: $13.74



Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#13. Memphis, Tennessee

Historic Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

– Average total cost per day: $51.85 (up 9.3%)
— Rental car: $36.53
— Taxes: $15.31



Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#12. Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio, with a parking lot in the foreground

– Average total cost per day: $52.31 (up 18.8%)
— Rental car: $35.75
— Taxes: $16.56



Felix Mizioznikov // Shutterstock

#11. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aerial view of downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana

– Average total cost per day: $52.35 (up 9.1%)
— Rental car: $40.87
— Taxes: $11.48



NoyanYalcin // Shutterstock

#10. Boston

Cars lining a street in Boston, Massachusetts

– Average total cost per day: $52.72 (down 14.6%)
— Rental car: $37.47
— Taxes: $15.26



Kevin Ruck // Shutterstock

#9. Columbia, South Carolina

Downtown Columbia, South Carolina

– Average total cost per day: $53.12 (up 17.0%)
— Rental car: $35.63
— Taxes: $17.48



Tim Roberts Photography // Shutterstock

#8. Phoenix

Loop 101 & I-17 Interchange in Phoenix, Arizona

– Average total cost per day: $53.74 (down 13.3%)
— Rental car: $37.64
— Taxes: $16.10



f11photo // Shutterstock

#7. New Orleans

The French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana

– Average total cost per day: $55.56 (up 6.4%)
— Rental car: $41.20
— Taxes: $14.36



Stacy Ellen // Shutterstock

#6. Madison, Wisconsin

Cars driving in Madison, Wisconsin

– Average total cost per day: $57.64 (up 5.1%)
— Rental car: $41.84
— Taxes: $15.80



Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#5. Hartford, Connecticut

The Hartford skyline with a highway in the foreground

– Average total cost per day: $58.22 (up 15.8%)
— Rental car: $42.74
— Taxes: $15.48



Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

#4. Rochester, Minnesota

Aerial view of Rochester, Minnesota

– Average total cost per day: $60.35 (up 8.0%)
— Rental car: $42.98
— Taxes: $17.37



Michael715 // Shutterstock

#3. Newark, New Jersey

Cars and people outside the entrance to Newark Penn station in Newark, New Jersey

– Average total cost per day: $63.48 (up 4.6%)
— Rental car: $48.80
— Taxes: $14.67



Ryan DeBerardinis // Shutterstock

#2. New York City

Traffic in New York, New York

– Average total cost per day: $66.75 (down 1.8%)
— Rental car: $54.48
— Taxes: $12.27



Erick C Freitas // Shutterstock

#1. White Plains, New York

Aerial view of White Plains, New York

– Average total cost per day: $76.29 (up 37.9%)
— Rental car: $50.90
— Taxes: $25.40

This story originally appeared on CoPilot and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.


Article Topic Follows: Travel

Stacker

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content