How Much To Rent an SUV
Renting a car is crucial for many Americans, especially as the holiday season approaches. When renting a car, one of the most important things to consider is price. After all, the price per day for a rental vehicle—especially a popular vehicle type like a full-size SUV, BMW, Nissan Rogue, or Ford Edge— can affect how long you can rent for, how far you can drive, and so on.
So how much is a standard SUV rental? The answer is a little more complicated than you might initially think. Let’s break down how much it is to rent an SUV on average by analyzing several key factors.
Factors That Affect SUV Rentals
When renting an SUV or any other type of vehicle, various factors can affect its overall price. These factors include:
- Rental details like the age of the vehicle or its make and model. Generally, the newer the vehicle is or the more popular the make and model, the more expensive the rental will be. The older the vehicle (and the likelier you’ll need to make a repair or replace a tire!), the cheaper it will be
- How long you plan to drive the vehicle/when the rental ends
- Cost of rental car insurance
- How many drivers will be included in your plan, such as a spouse. If you have multiple people assigned as drivers for the same SUV, it will cost more since the rental dealer takes on additional risk
- The car’s safety rating, such as 5-star safety, from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
- Collision damage waiver coverage
- How large the SUV is. If the SUV has plenty of space and seats more passengers, it will probably be more expensive
- What type of gas does the SUV take. This will not necessarily affect the initial price of the SUV, but it could affect your overall bill
- Any additional offers, preferred points, discount codes, or coupon codes
Because of these factors, nailing down a specific rental price is all but impossible. Instead, when planning to rent an SUV, plan for a range of prices per day depending on whether or not you need extra capacity with a large SUV.
Is There a Rental Vehicle Shortage?
Renting an SUV could be more expensive in the near future because of a nationwide rental vehicle availability issue.
Rental prices always go up over the holidays because people travel by plane, then rent a car to visit their friends and family members. However, there’s a more general rental vehicle shortage going on due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a nutshell, the pandemic affected the broader economy in several ways, including in manufacturing. With fewer vehicles available to replace lost or broken rental cars in agencies’ fleets, there are now fewer rental cars to go around. Because of this, rental companies are oftentimes increasing their prices to compensate, and because they’re able to because of the increased demand.
So, while renting a small SUV can be affordable, it may be more expensive now than it will be in another year or so once the market stabilizes. Keep this in mind when planning out your rental car costs.
Average SUV Rental Price
As noted, average SUV rental prices are increasing and they may fluctuate by the time you read this guide. However, at the time of this writing, average rental SUV prices across America can have lower rates like $17 per day. That said, that extraordinarily low price is only available in certain locations and at car dealerships where there are plenty of SUV model vehicles to spare.
More frequently, you may encounter prices like $22 per day, $33 per day, or even $40 per day, especially for better SUVs with more plenty of room for your legs and other amenities or features like four-wheel drive in the winter months, GPS navigation, and trunk space for a large bag. Of course, the better the SUV you want to rent, the higher the price will be.
You should also keep in mind that your location will heavily impact the price of your SUV rental. For example, many SUVs available in Denver can be rented for as little as $13 per day. Other cities may be more expensive or cheaper depending on market conditions and the current level of demand.
Because of this price variability, it’s a good idea to shop around and contact multiple car rental companies before signing on the dotted line. Don’t rent the first SUV you can find—wait for the best deal.
That said, you also shouldn’t wait too long to finalize your rental contract. Because rental cars are vanishing quickly due to the upcoming holiday season, you should decide on your SUV rental early and once you’ve looked at all the available lots and SUV rental prices in your area.
Is It Better To Rent an SUV or Another Car?
That depends on what exactly you need.
SUVs are popular vehicles for rentals because of their versatility. They are the cheapest option compared to some other vehicle types. But unlike smaller cars like sedans that only fit a small bag, SUVs have extra room for packing bags, taking camping gear or equipment, and accommodating other travel needs you may have on your next road trip.
On top of that, some SUVs are downright comfortable and luxurious as compared to economy cars. Many of them include plenty of legroom, warm seats, satellite radio, and inbuilt GPS to help you navigate. Because of these capabilities, SUVs are often thought of as the perfect traveling cars, especially for short-term rental purposes.
But when it comes to price, all these features can make midsized or standard SUVs more expensive than several alternatives available for your convenience.
If you want to rent cheaply, you could go for a sedan or a similar sized car. Or you might look at older vehicles that have a lot of miles on them if you aren’t going to be driving them too far. Remember to keep gas prices in mind as well when considering upcoming reservations. Some SUVs only take gas above a certain caliber, which could impact the bottom line price you pay when all is said and done.
Will SUV Rental Prices Go Down?
While SUV rental prices are pretty high in a lot of major metropolitan areas, this trend is unlikely to continue for too long. Once manufacturing returns to pre-COVID levels, odds are many rental fleets will be able to replace old or broken down vehicles and demand will decrease relative to supply. This should stabilize prices for SUV rentals and allow average Americans to rent SUVs more consistently in the future.
For now, though, don’t expect SUV rental prices to decrease too much, especially throughout the holiday season when demand is artificially high. The earliest price decreases could crop up in the spring or summer of 2022, but it may take over a year or more for prices to return to pre-COVID levels everywhere.
Ultimately, the price to rent an SUV could be as little as $15 a day all the way up to $100 per day or more depending on where you rent from, the SUV you choose, credit card benefits, the safety standards, whether you have an underage driver’s fee, additional drivers, and more.
In general, it’s a good idea to come up with a basic budget for your rental plan before going rental shopping. That way, you know the upper limit of how much you can afford and won’t get attached to a rental SUV or 5-star vehicle you can’t afford. It is tough to make accurate rental estimates until you know your options.
Of course, you can always contact Advantage over other rental car agencies if you want to make sure you can afford a rental SUV quickly. We not only have several SUV types available in our fleets, but our SUVs are frequently available at airport lots. Contact us today for more information.