- Young whippersnappers might not remember that you didn’t always have to take out a loan to rent a car for the weekend. Thankfully, after the pandemic years, prices are coming down, and there are even deals to be had.
- Signs that the rental-car industry is turning around can be found in recent expansion announcements, both about new cars being added to fleets and more rental counters in more locations.
- We found some deals from Sixt, Hertz, and Avis in case you’re looking for temporary wheels soon.
The rental-car world is shifting back to normal, sort of. These past few years introduced us to a slew of pandemic-influenced strangeness and incredibly high prices. Remember when it cost $200 a day to rent a car or that unusual U-Haul life hack? But now rental-car prices are coming back down to earth, and some companies are back to offering deals for your temporary wheels.
EVs, Luxury Cars Entering the Fleet
One way to see how things are on the upswing is recent news about growing capacity. Hertz, for example, announced this week that it will add 2100 electric vehicles to its Houston fleet, nearly tripling the number of EVs available in the area. Hertz is also building a new fast-charging hub at the Houston Hobby Airport. So far this year, Sixt has announced a number of new North American locations, including Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Toronto, and has said it will announce further expansion plans later this year. In February, peer-to-peer car-sharing service Turo said it was adjusting its maps of where it expects to see growing demand for vacation rentals for its vehicles, with the Carolina coast predicted to be one such hotspot in 2023.
The revival is happening globally, too, with Dubai’s luxury-car rentals “skyrocketing,” for example. The Vietnamese conglomerate VinGroup, which owns the new EV brand VinFast, announced earlier this month that it had established a new joint stock company called GSM (which stands for Green Smart Mobility) that would focus on renting out VinFast EVs as well as renting VinFast’s scooters and operating a taxi service. As you might be able to guess, with all of this revitalized activity, there are now deals to be had if you need to rent a car soon. Here are a few options that might fit your plans.
Sixt is offering midweek and regional deals, as well as discounts on luxury vehicles at all of its locations through the end of June. The midweek deal—up to 30 percent off—is for anyone who starts their rental on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday and ends by Thursday. Or you can choose to get up to 25 percent off the cost of a rental of a premium or luxury vehicle or one from the “extraordinary” category. Some regional Sixt offices are also offering deals up to 25 percent off. None of these Sixt deals are available between April 2 and 22, also known as the prime Spring Break travel weeks.
Avis doesn’t have as many deals as Sixt right now, but if you spend $175 or more on a rental that lasts three days or more, you can get $15 off.
If you need a car for a week or more, Hertz is offering a free day if you rent for five days. The company is also offering a discount of up to 30 percent on your rental if you choose to drive an EV. That’s worth plugging in for, probably.
Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk, and other outlets. His first green-car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the new technology’s importance not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole. Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV.