The Most Expensive U.S. Cities for Car Rentals Right Now

If you live in Alaska, renting a car will seriously cost you.


Rental cars are scarce right now and have been for most of the summer. That's because more people are traveling in rented wheels to destinations across the nation, causing supply to dwindle while demand rises. As a result, the cost of renting a car has gone through the roof, at least in some places.

According to CheapCarRental, the price of renting a car varies vastly depending on where you want to pick up your temporary ride. Still, the price comparison site noted, "rental car rates across the United States are, on average, about 50% higher now than last year, looking at rates from August 2020. In certain cities, including Minneapolis, Seattle, and Boston, average rates have doubled year over year."

The cause? A shortage of cars is available due to increased demand and low supply. This is a result of more people traveling by car now after too few were doing so during the early days of the pandemic. Forbes reported in June that with rental companies strapped for cash in 2020, many sold off large portions of their car fleets. Travel began making a comeback after aggressive vaccine rollouts across the nation.

While overseas travel remained low in 2021 as a result of the pandemic, many were eager to get out and explore in some way. According to the outlet, car travel was expected to pass 2019 levels by summer's end, specifically via rental car. Some people were planning domestic flights, with many of them booking rental cars upon landing and furthering the shortage.

CheapCarRental ran a survey, comparing airport car rentals at the top 100 airports in the United States. The survey compared prices based on average weekly rates. It found that renting a car in cities like Alaska or Hawaii was significantly pricier than renting a car in other parts of the country.

These are the top 10 most expensive cities to rent a car in:

1. Anchorage: $1451
2. Lihue: $1065
3. Portland: $965
4. Kona: $948
5. Honolulu: $937
6. Kahului: $895
7. Portland: $840
8. Seattle: $746
9. Boise: $701
10. Minneapolis: $690

The full list can be found here. On the cheaper end of the spectrum were cities like Fort Meyers, Florida; Miami; and El Paso, Texas

Rental car prices are just one thing to keep in mind if you're planning to travel soon. Another is COVID-19. In addition to being one of the pricier places to borrow a car, Hawaii is currently seeing a surge in cases. The governor recently asked tourists to stay home in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. 

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.