Where to Find the Highest, Lowest Rental Car Rates in the US

Rental car rates are down across the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact travel. However, some cities have seen bigger drops in cost than others.

While Detroit and Orlando are two very different cities, travelers might be surprised to know that the Theme Park Capital of the World is far cheaper than the Motor City when it comes to rental car rates this summer.

According to a new survey conducted by CheapCarRental.net, travelers visiting Detroit can expect to spend $446 per week on average for the most affordable available rental car this month compared to $120 in Orlando.

The recent study examined 50 cities across the United States, looking at each destination’s car rental rates across all national car rental companies, comparing rates at pick-up locations in urban hubs as well as airports for August 2020.

Memphis ($425) and Philadelphia ($406) aren’t far behind Detroit in terms of the priciest cities, with Kansas City ($385) and Pittsburgh ($352) rounding out the top five most-expensive U.S. destinations for car rentals this summer, followed by Indianapolis, Sacramento, New York City, Anchorage and Albuquerque—each of which comes in above $315 per week.

When it comes to affordability, Florida and California dominate. Los Angeles is the second-cheapest city behind only Orlando with a per week average cost of $130, while Tampa ($157) and Miami ($163) are also extremely budget-friendly. Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland and Jacksonville are also among the most affordable cities for a car rental this August, CheapCarRental.net found, offering average weekly rates at or below $200.

Overall, rental car rates across the country are down by approximately 15 percent compared to this time last year, the website reports, with rates in places like Boston and Seattle down by nearly 40 percent heading into shoulder season this fall.

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