Lonely Planet Writer

Planning a road trip? The cheapest place in the US to rent a car is Orlando

If you’re planning to sneak in a road trip before the summer ends, the cheapest city to rent a car in the US is Orlando, according to a new survey from CheapCarRental.net.

This could be you using this roadtrip map.
This could be you using this roadtrip map. Image by Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

An average rental in Orlando will set you back about $26 per day, while the most expensive US city to rent a car for the day is Philadelphia at $83.

The website compared 50 destinations in the USA based on the average car rental rate for August 2016, using the city’s airport as the pick-up and drop-off site.

Cars whizzing past nightlife leading to the Philadelphia City Hall.
Cars whizzing past nightlife leading to the Philadelphia City Hall. Image by Víctor Fernández / 500px

While Philly was the most expensive, it was closely followed by Seattle and Boston at $81 and $80 respectively.

It seems that if you’re looking for an inexpensive rental, cities around Florida are the best place in the US to be, as vehicle rentals cost around $30 in Miami, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

Lifeguard station on beach, Miami Beach, Florida, USA.
Lifeguard station on beach, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. Image by Boris Baldinger

The top 10 most expensive places to rent a car in August are: Philadelphia ($83), Seattle ($81), Boston ($80), Chicago ($73), Detroit ($71), Portland ($69), Cincinnati ($67), Indianapolis ($61), Denver ($61), and Cleveland ($60).

The least expensive cities are: Orlando ($26), Miami ($28), Tampa ($30), Fort Lauderdale ($32), San Diego ($40), Los Angeles ($41), Las Vegas ($41), Honolulu ($42), Phoenix ($42) and Charlotte ($43).

If the car rental is the right price, then the next road trip question is where to go. An earlier survey from this summer found the top 20 destinations around the US attracting the interest of road trippers, according to MapQuest, with Nashville in the top spot, followed by Las Vegas and Chicago.

However, if time is more of a factor than price to your plans to hit the road, never fear. A researcher in the US also used an algorithm to create an optimised road trip that could take travellers to every state capitol building in 48 states in 8 ½ days of driving – if you can stay awake long enough to actually do it.