Top 10 most expensive cities to rent a car through the holidays

Due to the global chip shortage, car prices are through the roof, meaning many people are renting cars to take road trips until prices drop. While travelers are seeing extremely high car rental costs, some cities are worse than others — and Kayak put together a list of the 10 most expense cities to rent a car through the holidays.

If you’re planning to travel this fall and need to rent a car, expect a car rental shortage, which means higher costs. New data from KAYAK reveals rental car searches and prices for the holiday season (November 12 – January 7) are up across the board compared to both 2019 and 2020.

road trip planner

Rental car searches are already up 230% compared to 2019 and up 243% compared to 2020, according to Kayak. Prices follow a similar pattern with the average cost per day seeing a 75% increase compared to 2019 and a 66% increase compared to 2020.

Here are the top 10 most expensive cities to rent a car, according to Kayak

    • Maui, HI – $183 per day, up 72% compared to the national average car rental rate

    • Honolulu, HI – $164 per day, up 54%

    • Lihue, HI – $164 per day, up 54%

    • Jackson, WY – $156 per day, up 47%

    • Kailua, Kona, HI – $153 per day, up 44%

    • Hilo, HI – $152 per day, up 43%

    • Bozeman, MT – $143 per day, up 35%

    • Colorado Springs, CO – $121 per day, up 14%

    • Myrtle Beach, SC – $120 per day, up 13%

    • Salt Lake City, UT – $119 per day, up 12%

It’s clear that Hawaii ranks high with five of the 10 most expensive cities in the Hawaii islands.

Other vacation favorites like Wyoming, Montana, and Utah made the list.

What should you do instead of renting a car?

If you need to rent a car in any of these destinations, try taking rideshare, like Uber and Lyft, to places you absolutely want to visit, and of course, shorter distances. While most of these destinations are countryside or beach, rideshare prices may not be cheap, so try to plan your activities accordingly.

Also check out the destination’s public transportation system. If none are available, get in touch with your hotel to see what kind of transportation services they offer. Some may have complimentary cars that guests can book and use within certain distances, and some larger resorts have their own shuttles.

Private car with JetsetRuby.

You can also check to see if Zipcar is available in your destination. Travelbinger did a review of the carshare service, which you can check out here. Prices are often cheaper than car rentals, depending on the city, but there is also a cap on miles.

Zipcar member ID
Zipcar member ID

More stories:

8 healthy snacks to pack for road trips

10 things you should never do on a road trip

13 most overrated tourist attractions to avoid

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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