11 cheap car rentals in San Francisco

Get the best bang for your buck by opting for one of these cheap car rentals in San Francisco
Car rental in San Francisco
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All the money you saved by booking a cheap hotel in San Francisco and researching the best San Francisco hacks won't matter if you don't find a cheap car rental in San Francisco. To help you save your hard-earned dollars, we checked the base prices at rental companies all over the city on a weekday in June to compile this ranked list. Though the exact rates vary by date, this should give you an idea of where to go for cheap car rentals in San Francisco. You might just be surprised by the locations with the best prices, too: In some cases, North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf beat out the San Francisco International Airport locations. Your bank account will thank you for opting for a budget-friendly car rental. 

 

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Cheap car rentals in San Francisco

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Fox Rent A Car

Best price: $35.79 for a compact or midsize SUV on a weekday
Cheapest location: San Francisco International Airport

Fox Rent A Car caters to airport travelers around the country, so it makes sense that it offered the least expensive car rentals in our search. On the day we checked prices, the cheapest cars available were the compact and midsize SUVs—and they still cost less per day than economy and compact cars at competitors.

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Budget Car Rental

Best price: $40.49 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: South San Francisco

True to its name, Budget Car Rental delivers strong bang for your buck. Unlike many rental car companies on this list, Budget’s prices stayed rather consistent at locations around San Francisco.

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Rent-a-Wreck

Best price: $40.99 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: Rent-a-Wreck of San Francisco

This rental car company stocks used cars to keep their prices down, but its fleet is far from falling apart. They’re careful to keep tabs on any recalls, so you can be sure you’re getting a car that’s safe to drive. Who needs a brand new rental car, anyway?

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Best price: $47.54 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: Daly City

With 31 locations in the San Francisco area, Enterprise Rent-A-Car would be a good choice for travelers who want to pick up or drop off their car in a specific neighborhood. The company's reach isn’t surprising, as Enterprise Holdings is the largest rental car company in the United States. Our search found that the Daly City location offered the best prices, but it might be worth spending a few extra bucks to drop your rental off somewhere convenient.

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City Rent-A-Car

Best price: $49.99 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: Union Square

This local company has just one location in Union Square, but still offers 24/7 drop-off service. It also beat out several big-name competitors in our searches for the cheapest price.

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Avis

Best price: $50.35 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: Tie between Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square and 821 Howard Street

Thanks to its 5,500 locations spread across 165 countries, Avis qualifies as one of the largest car rental companies with a presence in San Francisco. It came in right in the middle of the pack during our price test.

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Sixt Rent-a-Car

Best price: $50.97 for a Kia Rio or similar car on a weekday
Cheapest location: San Francisco International Airport

This international car rental company was founded in Germany in 1912, but has since expanded to 105 countries around the world. Our price comparison found that the cars were cheapest at its airport location, a boon to travelers who want to pick up their cars as soon as they land.

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National Car Rental

Best price: $53 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: Tie between San Francisco Convention Center, Union Square and O’Farrell Street

Though this rental company is also owned by Enterprise Holdings, an economy car cost more more per day at National than at Enterprise. National also operates just four locations in San Francisco—about one-eighth of Enterprise’s footprint in the city.

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Thrifty Car Rental

Best price: $53.23 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: O’Farrell Street

Although Thrifty’s name appeals to a budget-conscious customer, it actually ranked as one of the more expensive options in our search. The locations at both San Francisco and Oakland International Airports were also much more expensive than the Thrifty Car Rental near Union Square.

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Alamo Rent A Car

Best price: $54.89 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: San Francisco International Airport

Even though Enterprise Holdings also owns Alamo Rent A Car, there was a significant difference in price between the two brands. Look out for special discounts and temporary offers that can drive the cost down, though.

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Hertz Rental Cars

Best price: $55.15 for an economy car on a weekday
Cheapest location: Mason Street

With 14 San Francisco locations, Hertz has a large presence in the city. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal: When we searched for rental cars, Hertz offered the highest prices on this list. Only the airport location is open 24 hours, so that might be your best bet if you’re arriving early or leaving late.

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