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Car Rental in Raleigh, NC: Driving through North Carolina’s capital city
The capital city of North Carolina, Raleigh, forms a large metropolitan area with two other well-known North Carolinian cities, Chapel Hill and Durham. Each of these cities is worth visiting while you are in the Raleigh area, as they each offer a different flavor to visitors. While Raleigh is the center of politics and economics, Durham offers a historical peak into the area’s forms of industry, and Chapel Hill is a university town. Stay mobile and independent by renting a car in Raleigh and exploring the region to its fullest. Here is a brief guide to finding cheap rental cars in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Raleigh rental cars are available in 10 locations throughout the city, including at the Raleigh Airport, at the Triangle Town Center and Crabtree Valley Malls, downtown, and in Knightdale. Raleigh car hire typically starts as low as $45 a day at the cheapest locations for short-term rental cars. This rate drops to around $35 a day throughout Raleigh for rental car contracts extended to 10 days or more.
Tips for Finding Cheap Car Rentals in Raleigh, NC
As in most major cities, the cheapest location from which to rent a car in Raleigh, North Carolina is at the Raleigh Airport. Also known as the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), the Raleigh Airport is located just over 15 miles northwest of the city. Over 7 rental car companies compete to offer customers the best deals on rental cars in Raleigh at the airport. These companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Thrifty, and Hertz.
Another great way to find cheap rental cars in Raleigh, North Carolina is by booking your rental car in the months before you arrive. You’ll typically find that if you book your rental car more than six months in advance, prices rise. Particularly if you avoid visiting Raleigh during the busiest months of the year—typically July and August—you can get great deals on last-minute rental car bookings.
Keep an eye out for discounts and deals of 15% and more from rental car companies such as Europcar and Thrifty in the Raleigh area!
Key Things to Remember: Driving Your Raleigh Rental Car
Raleigh’s downtown is dominated by one-way streets, which can be a bit confusing for newcomers, but helps keep traffic jams to a minimum throughout the city. Here are some tips for driving in and around Raleigh in your rental car:
Parking your rental car in Raleigh:
- You will have to pay to park your rental car on the street during normal business hours throughout downtown Raleigh, but doing so is relatively inexpensive. On-street parking costs $1 an hour and you can pay by cash or Visa / MasterCard. Feeding the meter, or inserting more coins or credit without moving your car, is prohibited, so be sure to stay alert to time limits. You can park on the street for free after 5 pm Monday through Friday and on the weekends.
- If you need to leave your rental car for a full morning, afternoon, or day, take advantage of the frequent parking garages and lots located throughout Raleigh. Parking garages and lots cost more the closer you get to the main area of downtown. You can expect most garages and lots to charge around $2 an hour, with a max rate of $16 a day. Max rates will decrease significantly the more you are willing to walk to your downtown destination.
Toll roads in North Carolina:
- The only tolled highway in North Carolina is the Triangle Expressway just outside of Raleigh. The Triangle Expressway is the section of highways 540 and 147 that link Holly Springs to Raleigh’s sister city, Durham. Tolls are payable by electronic transmitter or by mail, meaning that your rental car company will pass your tolls onto you after you use sections of the tolled highway. Be sure to ask your rental car company if any surcharges apply to your use of tolled highways.