Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL

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      Rental period: 4 d.
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      Your quick travel guide to Chicago

      Car rental in Chicago: the birthplace of the skyscraper

      Chicago is the cultural heart of the American Midwest, a city boasting the best combination of high culture and ethnic diversity on the shores of the Great Lakes amidst America’s agricultural plains. Make the most of your visit by getting mobile: don’t make the mistake of just focusing on Chicago’s magical downtown, but tour the surrounding neighborhoods, and wider landscapes of Illinois as well. Book your rental car now.

      Are you looking for cheap car rental deals in Chicago, Illinois?

      The shoulder seasons—April through May and September through October—are the most comfortable times to visit Chicago, when the weather, though changeable, is typically quite comfortable and most of the tourist crowds have not yet arrived or have just left.

      The de facto national language of the United States is English, though you’re certain to find pockets of ethnic heritage throughout the city, where immigrants’ mother tongues are still spoken, particularly Spanish. Algonquin was the major language spoken by indigenous people of the area before they were removed to Oklahoma in the 1800s.

      Chicago is located in the Central Time Zone, UTC-6.

      The currency throughout the United States is the dollar. Credit cards are accepted at the vast majority of businesses and ATMs are also quite frequent.

      Get out of the bustle of Chicago with some great day trips. Beer lovers will be interested in heading to bountiful brewery tours in New Glarus, Wisconsin or Grand Rapids, Michigan, both three hours away. Or head to Ottawa, Illinois and the Starved Rock State Park for some outdoor adventures, 90 minutes southwest of Chicago.

      Automobile hire is available in over 40 locations throughout Chicago, though the most popular pick-up locations are Chicago Downtown, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and Chicago Midway Airport. Taxi fare from either airport is quite expensive, so if you are planning on renting a car for the length of your trip, consider picking your car up at either airport after landing.

      Chicago car rentals & travel guide

      Visa Regulations

      38 nationalities can enter the United States as tourists without applying for a visa, though if you are among these nationalities, you are still required to fill out the ESTA in advance. Visit esta.us for more information. Visitors to the United States will be fingerprinted and biometrically photographed upon entry. If your nationality is not included in the visa-waiver program, you will be required to apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa in advance of your arrival.

      Driving in Chicago

      While driving in downtown Chicago can be infuriating, don’t make the mistake that many tourists do and simply stay in Chicago’s city center. Instead, book a rental car to see Chicago’s unique neighborhoods and beyond. Make the most of your travels by exploring the region spontaneously and comfortably with your rental car.

      Right-Hand Driving

      • Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road in Chicago, as in the rest of North America.

      Speed Limits

      • In the city: 25 to 30 mph (circa 40 to 50 km/h)
      • On urban highways: typically 55 mph (88 km/h)
      • On interstate highways outside of city limits: 70 mph (112 km/h)
      • Expect heavy traffic congestion throughout Chicago during morning and evening rush hours.

      Other Regulations

      1. Particularly in downtown Chicago, parking can be quite expensive, so be sure to book a hotel with complementary off-street parking. Street parking outside of downtown Chicago is also regulated and is sometimes reserved for residents, so be vigilant about checking parking signs before you leave your car.
      2. Your domestic driver’s license is valid in Illinois for up to 90 days.
      3. Most of the highways in and around Chicago are tolled, so ask your rental-car dealership if your automobile is equipped with an I-Pass to receive reduced toll rates and avoid the necessity of carrying extra coins and bills.
      4. 18 is the minimum driving age in Illinois for an unrestricted driver’s license, though you will likely have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, and drivers under the age of 25 are likely to be issued young-driver surcharges.

      Top car deals in Chicago - best deals

      Automobile hire in Chicago typically starts at around $40 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Chicago:

      • Toyota Yaris or similar (economy class) – $25/day
      • Nissan Versa or similar (compact class) – $26/day
      • Hyundai Elantra or similar (intermediate class) – $27/day
      • Chevrolet Cruze or similar (standard class) – $29/day
      • Ford Fusion or similar (fullsize class) – $33/day

      Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.

      Tips for rental car in Chicago

      There is not much seasonal variation in price for car rental in Chicago, where the internationally recognized brands have fairly standardized prices year round.

      Instead, you can save money by picking up your rental car at the airport, where Budget offers rentals up to $20 cheaper per day than other brands throughout the city. Avis and Dollar are also cheap rental options and are available in some locations throughout Chicago if picking your car up at an airport is inconvenient.

      You can also save over $10 a day if you extend your rental period to over a week!

      Get a Pickup car near the Chicago Midway International Airport

      When you arrive at the Chicago Midway International Airport and are looking for a convenient way to start your Windy City adventure, getting a pick-up car is a fantastic choice. Many car rental companies in Chicago offer a variety of options for travelers. Whether you want to explore the city, visit the renowned Art Institute of Chicago, or experience the upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue, having a rental car at your disposal is a great way to hit the road and make the most of your time in Chicago.

      Some travelers may prefer the versatility of an SUV, while others might opt for a pickup for their road trip in and around Chicago. The choice between the two depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you're planning to explore the city and its attractions, a smaller compact car might be a more practical option, as Chicago's downtown area is quite walkable, and parking can be a challenge. However, if you're planning to venture further, perhaps to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore or to the charming town of Geneva, an SUV or pickup may provide the space and flexibility you require.

      Explore car companies in Chicago

      Chicago offers a wide range of car rental options, including both luxury car rental in Chicago and more budget-friendly choices. The city is known for its deep-dish pizza and walkable neighborhoods, making it easy to explore. Some of the top car rental companies in Chicago, such as Hertz Car Rental, offer rental deals and reservations, allowing you to secure your set of wheels in advance.

      Travelers can find rental cars in various categories, from convertible rentals for a stylish ride across the city to practical and economical choices for those who are budget-conscious. Some car rental companies may impose additional fees for young drivers or require proof of insurance. However, many now offer free cancellation, so you don't have to worry if your plans change.

      Before you hit the road in Chicago, make sure to check the terms and conditions of your rental agreement and reservation. You'll find great rental deals in the Chicagoland area, and a rental car makes it easy to navigate Chicago's diverse neighborhoods, from the shores of Lake Michigan to the banks of the Chicago River. Enjoy your Windy City adventure with the freedom and flexibility that a rental car provides.

      SUV or Pick-up? Which car is better to choose for your road trip to Chicago

      Deciding between an SUV or a pickup for your road trip to Chicago depends on various factors, including your specific needs and preferences. Both vehicle types offer advantages and limitations, so it's essential to consider what suits your trip best.

      If you plan to explore the city and its iconic attractions, such as driving along the scenic Lake Shore Drive or visiting renowned eateries and museums like the Art Museum, a smaller and more maneuverable SUV could be the ideal choice. It provides ample space and comfort while being more manageable for city driving and parking. In contrast, a pickup may offer greater cargo capacity, making it ideal for travelers who intend to carry sports equipment, luggage, or larger items during their journey.

      The choice can also vary based on your itinerary. If your road trip involves extended highway travel or venturing to nearby destinations like O'Hare Airport or neighboring cities, an SUV is often more fuel-efficient and comfortable for longer journeys. On the other hand, if you plan to explore Chicago's best-kept secrets, hidden gems, or engage in activities that require a rugged vehicle, a pickup could be your go-to option.

      Before making your decision, take advantage of rental car deals and check the availability of rental car categories, including luxury rentals, to secure the best prices. Some rental companies may require an additional driver fee, so make sure you're aware of all terms and conditions. Regardless of your choice, a rental car from Chicago will help you find a convenient ride from one place to another and explore the city and its surrounding areas while saving even more with rental car deals and offers.

      Experience the top locations with car rental in Chicago

      Chicago O Hare Airport
      Routes Car Rentals
      8.0
      Chicago Midway Airport
      Dollar
      7.7

      Discover the cheapest car rental in Chicago

      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Nissan Rogue
      Nissan Rogue
      5
      2
      4
      A
      From US$ 5.52 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Nissan Rogue
      Nissan Rogue
      5
      2
      4
      A
      From US$ 5.52 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Nissan Altima
      Nissan Altima
      5
      2
      4
      A
      From US$ 5.52 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Hyundai Accent
      Hyundai Accent
      5
      1
      4
      A
      From US$ 9.68 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Ford Fiesta
      Ford Fiesta
      5
      1
      4
      A
      From US$ 6.34 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Chevrolet Impala
      Chevrolet Impala
      5
      2
      4
      A
      From US$ 26.01 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Jeep gladiator
      Jeep gladiator
      2
      A
      From US$ 19.44 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Nissan Quest
      Nissan Quest
      7
      1
      A
      From US$ 29.97 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Chrysler 300
      Chrysler 300
      5
      2
      4
      A
      From US$ 26.33 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Nissan Quest
      Nissan Quest
      7
      2
      4
      A
      From US$ 49.61 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Tesla Model 3 Standard Range
      Tesla Model 3 Standard Range
      5
      2
      4
      A
      Electric
      From US$ 38.36 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
      Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
      4
      1
      A
      From US$ 32.37 per day
      *
      Cheap Car Rental in Chicago, IL DODGE CHALLENGER
      DODGE CHALLENGER
      4
      2
      A
      From US$ 63.42 per day
      *

      * Disclaimer: Prices displayed may not reflect today's rates.

      What our customers say

      Car rental companies in Chicago

      We have prepared a shortlist of top rental companies in Chicago. To save both time and money compare offers on EconomyBookings.com to find the best deal.

      Dollar
      star
      7.5 /358 reviews
      Available in 2 locations
      Dollar
      Time it took to drop your car off9.8
      Cleanliness of the car8.9
      Overall condition of the car8.0
      Time it took to pick your car up6.4
      Thrifty
      star
      7.0 /355 reviews
      Available in 2 locations
      Thrifty
      Time it took to drop your car off9.7
      Cleanliness of the car8.8
      Overall condition of the car8.4
      Time it took to pick your car up6.8
      Routes Car Rentals
      star
      8.0 /182 reviews
      Available in 1 location
      Routes Car Rentals
      Time it took to drop your car off9.2
      Cleanliness of the car8.3
      Overall condition of the car7.9
      Time it took to pick your car up7.3

      Frequently asked questions

      Are there any specific requirements for renting a car in Chicago?
      Yes, there may be specific requirements depending on the car rental agency. Usually, you need to be at least 21 years old with a valid driver's license and a major credit card. Some agencies may require you to be at least 25 years old to rent certain types of vehicles.
      What are the top car rental agencies in Chicago?
      Chicago's best car rental agencies are: Hertz, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Avis, Budget Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car, National Car Rental, Thrifty Car Rental, and Dollar Rent A Car.
      How long can I rent a car in Chicago?
      The duration of car rentals in Chicago varies depending on your needs. You can typically rent a car for a day, a week, or even longer. Some car rental agencies may have minimum rental periods, so it's best to check their policies.
      Where can I find car rental services around Chicago?
      Car rental services around Chicago are widely available in various locations, including airports, downtown areas, suburbs, and beyond. 
      How can I book a car rental in Chicago?
      Booking a car rental is easy. You can either book online through the car rental agency's website or call their customer service to make a reservation. Simply search for car rental Chicago or rent a car in Chicago to find various options.
      Can I rent a luxury car in Chicago?
      Yes, many car rental agencies in Chicago offer rent a luxury car options. Whether you're looking for a high-end sedan, sports car, or SUV, you can find various luxury vehicle options to suit your preferences.
      What documents do I need when picking up a rental car in Chicago?
      When picking up a rental car in Chicago, you'll usually need to present the following documents: a valid driver's license, a major credit card in the renter's name, and a reservation confirmation. Additionally, it's recommended to have proof of insurance coverage.