Travelers flying into Washington, D.C. will want to consider renting a car, as cars offer the best access to many of the popular sites and day trips around D.C. For instance, FedExField, home to the Washington Redskins, takes over an hour to get to on public transportation, but only takes 30 minutes in a car. Popular tourist spots such as Shenandoah National Park and Mount Vernon are also easily reached in a rental car.
Fortunately for would-be rental car drivers with flights to Washington, D.C., all of the airports in the greater metropolitan area have easily accessible rental car centers. In Washington Dulles Airport, shuttles outside of the Baggage Claim Area will take travelers to the rental lot, while at Reagan National Airport, travelers will find the rental shuttle outside of Door 4 on the ticketing level.
Rush hour is no joke in Washington, D.C. and travelers should plan accordingly. Morning rush hour lasts from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and evening rush hour lasts from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. During those times, Key Bridge, Southeast Freeway, Chain Bridge, and New York Avenue should all be avoided as they number among the most congested spots in D.C.
Visitors to Washington, D.C. should be prepared to deal with the city’s famed traffic circles. Traffic circles such as Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, and Thomas Circle are notoriously difficult to navigate for first-time visitors, but with a bit of pre-planning and appropriate route planning, they should be no problem.
25% of our users found rental cars in Washington for C$ 53 or less
Book your rental car in Washington at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Standard rental cars in Washington are around 64% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Washington
Some car rental companies in Washington which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Hertz, Thrifty and Dollar
On average a hire car in Washington costs C$ 66 per day.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Washington are Enterprise (8.5, 217 reviews), Alamo (8.2, 164 reviews), and Avis (7.3, 174 reviews).
The average gas price in Washington is C$ 4.04 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 48 and C$ 65, depending on the car size.
Intermediate (Hyundai Elantra or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Washington.
The only car rental company onsite at Dulles Intl airport is Hertz.
The only car rental company onsite at Reagan-National airport is Hertz.
A Intermediate car rental in Washington costs C$ 64 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Washington costs C$ 50 per day, on average.
A Compact car rental in Washington costs C$ 98 per day, on average.
In Washington, cars are most frequently rented at Thrifty 7410 New Ridge Rd (41 km from city centre ).
On average a rental car in Washington costs C$ 464 per week (C$ 66 per day).
On average a rental car in Washington costs C$ 1,987 per month (C$ 66 per day).
Fortunately for visitors to D.C. with rental cars, the streets in general are fairly wide and easily accessible for a range of vehicle sizes. However, if you are going to be spending plenty of time downtown, parallel parking will be much easier to find with a smaller vehicle. Some of the smaller streets are easier to navigate in a small-to-midsize vehicle as well.
Travelers should note that the speed limits in Washington, D.C. tend to be much lower than other American cities. For instance, unless otherwise noted, the maximum speed limit is 25 mph, though many of the larger roads range from 25 mph up to 55 mph. In the immediate area surrounding D.C., the speed limit on highways and freeways is only 55 mph.
Gas prices in Washington, D.C. are luckily quite low compared to many of the other metropolitan areas in the United States. Visitors to the city will find the average gas price ranges from about $2 dollars to $2.50 per gallon.
Street parking and garage parking are the two main options available for parkers in Washington, D.C. For garage parking, travelers should keep in mind that many commuters to D.C. make use of the garages so the best locations can fill up fast, especially when an event is taking place nearby.