Cons: Instructions for when we return the car. (There was no one present, we never had any proper instruction on how to retrn the car, where to park, leave the keys etc
10.0 ExcellentDec 27 2020
Pros: Great car - thank you! Friendly representatives too!
9.2 ExcellentOct 22 2020
Pros: Easy to pick it up, drop it off,Cons: The "needs maintenance" announcement always turned on when I started the car - very annoying
10.0 ExcellentOct 12 2020
Pros: Very friendly staff and very easy drop off
6.0 GoodSep 30 2020
Pros: Convient location.Cons: Tires slid in the rain; staff were not very courteous in addressing my questions; funny smell in the car and cupholders, etc., were a bit dingy; extended time waiting for my vehicle to be ready during pickup time.
8.4 ExcellentSep 29 2020
Pros: Both pick up and drop off were very easy.
2.0 MediocreSep 28 2020
Cons: I never got To rent the car! I expect A full refund.
2.0 MediocreSep 16 2020
Cons: I made a reservation to pick up at the Enterprise at 99 H Street which is inside of Union Station. When I arrived, the location was closed. I had to have a car service take me to the airport which was a $20 charge, and an hour and a half of my time that I needed for travel. If the location is closed, I’m confused as to why I could even make a reservation in the first place. This was extremely disappointing!
4.0 OkaySep 9 2020
Pros: Staff were friendly, despite the many issues we had.Cons: Our economy car was substituted with a ridiculous, bright red, Chevy Camero. I was told there were no other cars available. While I understand there can be substitutions, this model of car could not have been more terrible given we had a long trip planned. We were constantly followed by police and weren't able to fit the majority of our planned belongings - not to mention the gas millage cost us significantly more fuel. The seats were dropped back and low making it painful for me (a 28 year old athlete) to get in and out, let alone my wife with back issues! Not to mention the wide wheels and low profile made hydroplaning a constant threat even in mild mist. The car had obviously not been cleaned, it was disgusting. There were empty ice cream containers under the seats along with other random trash like receipts, a mask, etc. The trunk was full of some sort of mud or grease and, along with the rest of the car, covered in dirt and dust. The windows, doors, controls were all full of smudges and showed no signs of being disinfected or even wiped with a wet rag. But it gets worse, this model of car has tiny windows and visibility is a nightmare. To make that worse, the car had some kind of dealership writing, "lot #3..." melted into the windshield on the drivers' side resulting in even worse field of vision. Lastly, I was told on pickup, after I noted that the return time was not what I had booked (10am versus 8PM), I could bring the car back anytime. After arriving late at night after 12 hours on the road, I found no dropbox for the keys and no where to park the car (even the sidewalk was cluttered with returned rental cars). I had to take more time off of work to return the car this morning, and I was, of course, charged for an extra day. I can't imagine having a worse experience renting a car. At least if I'd been turned away I could have rented a car from somewhere else.
2.0 MediocreSep 9 2020
Pros: When the car I reserved is not there; when after waiting for 45 minutes I have to ask to learn that there are five people ahead of me and that they do not have cars for any of them either; when all three employees disappear for long periods of time; when after one hour I give up, which forces me to cancel out-of-town plans I have made for Labor Day weekend, plans that required reservations and deposits that I have now lost for good? THERE WAS NOTHING ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE THAT I LIKED. I AM INCENSED. WHAT IS THE POINT OF MAKING RESERVATIONS?Cons: ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER. YES, THE CUSTOMER SERVICE WAS AWFUL. BUT THE FACT THAT I RESERVED A CAR TO RENT AND UPON ARRIVAL, AND AFTER ONE HOUR OF WAITING, THAT CAR IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND? THAT IS THE MOST BASIC EXPECTATION OF RENTING A CAR, AND YOU FAILED MISERABLY. TO MY CONSIDERABLE EXPENSE.
Cons: Great service! Friendly staff! Gave me a free upgrade since there was going to be a snow storm and they wanted me to stay safe!
10.0 ExcellentJan 8 2021
Pros: Friendly and efficient staff both in Washington and Queens.Cons: Nothing.
2.0 MediocreDec 28 2020
Pros: I had to wait an hour outside after arriving on time for my pickup. Once I was inside the agent was awful: rude, unaccommodating, eager to stick me with a pickup truck. What is the point of reserving a particular kind of car if I'm just given what's available after the small car I needed and requested is nowhere to be found, nor, as I was told, is a particular kind of car even guaranteed? I drove the SUV I was given as little as possible while I had it because it was nearly impossible to park it in the city.Cons: Customer service, wait time, availability, respecting the reservation that i had made.
2.0 MediocreDec 4 2020
Pros: Horrible service... additional charges for no obvious reasons. WTH!!!Cons: Charge what they said
10.0 ExcellentNov 2 2020
Pros: Great staff
9.6 ExcellentJul 31 2020
Pros: The staff was great, and the car ran well.Cons: The EZ-Pass fees were horrendous! Easier to pay cash.
10.0 ExcellentJul 24 2020
Pros: Friendly staff, explained everything clearly, not rushed, car pick-up and drop-off went smoothly -- great rental experience!
10.0 ExcellentJul 13 2020
Pros: Weiney Tolessa with Avis at Georgetown location was extremely helpful with my check in process. I greatly appreciated her professionalism.
8.8 ExcellentJun 17 2020
Pros: Dropoff was easyCons: Pickup could have been easier had the car been pulled out for me
8.0 ExcellentJun 7 2020
Pros: Front desk lady was excellent - she was very communicative of the rental car status when people were returning the car late.Cons: It would be great if the guy who handed me the keys told me more info about the car (i.e. where the cruise control button is and how it works in that particular model). I'm used to old cars, and when I drive it right away, I waste a few minutes figuring out where all the buttons are while being hurried to move the car out of the way.
Pros: Pick up and drop off was not easy especially drop off. It’s in a mall and I have no idea where is car returns. I haven’t given any directions, all I have is the address. No signs whatsoever about car returns. I have to park in the mall and go around asking people. I found there office inside the mall and the lady said I can park anywhere in the mall. The lady wasn’t friendly. I’m not super happy about the drop off part but the price and car were great.Cons: Better communication towards pickups and drop off locations and more instructions.
2.0 MediocreJan 3 2021
Cons: They didn't have any cars, despite me having (and confirming) a reservation.
10.0 ExcellentJan 1 2021
Pros: The process at both locations was seamless.
6.0 GoodDec 29 2020
Pros: The pick-up was horrible. I was suppose to pick up the vehicle at 12 noon. I didn't get a vehicle until after 1:00pm.Cons: This was my first time driving a "keyless" vehicle. I wasn't given any instructions how to operate it. I had to call a friend to tell me how to start and turn off the vehicle. I'm old school and hadn't rented a vehicle in over several years.
2.0 MediocreDec 22 2020
Pros: The car was comfortable .Cons: The pickup was an absolute nightmare at dc location. Not enough people working, huge lines, line waits, they didn’t have enough cars. They also marked my tank as being full when it was not. I was also charged an additional $20 for some unexplainable reason that I have to now spend time looking into. Never again.
7.6 GoodOct 19 2020
Pros: Staff was wonderful. Unfortunately Budget doesn't provide the location with vehicles for the day until two hours before the site opens for business, so there was a long delay from check-in until my rental was ready.Cons: Turnover could be improved for cleaning vehicles by either having more staff or providing vehicles to be sterilized earlier.
9.6 ExcellentSep 9 2020
Cons: The exterior of the car was not completely clean. Budget told me that they were not allowed to use water to wash their cars in DC. This struck me as a bit odd, given that I live in DC and had not heard about such restrictions.
10.0 ExcellentSep 2 2020
Pros: The staff was very helpful and friendly.
2.0 MediocreAug 24 2020
Cons: They charged me a $180 fee with no information as to why. Terrible customer service.
2.0 MediocreAug 12 2020
Pros: They canceled my reservation at the last minute and sent me to a closed location. I will never use this website again
Cons: The Kayak App changed the pickup location and I had to cancel the reservation. Then I went to the Hertz Website and had a great experience.
2.0 MediocreFeb 28 2021
Pros: nothing. pick-up closed at 3pm. my pickup was scheduled for 3pm. i arrived about 5 mins late. no one was in the booth. no notice was provided when i reserved to let me know that they closed at 3pm. never got my car. had to go to Hertz's site to cancel. overall, a complete waste of time.Cons: everything could have been better. from kayak's letting me know the place closed at 3 when i made the reservation. to hertz having reasonable hours. to hertz having any sort of grace period about the pickup. to me getting a refund for my Allianz insurance that i prepaid for. to me not having to go rent from another company. to me not having to wait about 30 mins for enterprise to get me a car at a higher price than my original reservation. everything.
10.0 ExcellentFeb 10 2021
Pros: Staff was very friendly and efficient, easy pick-up and drop-off.
8.0 ExcellentJan 24 2021
Pros: The staff was excellent, particularly at pick-up counter. And drop-off was a sync.Cons: I thought I was going to get a larger car, however, the one I received was good. What could have been better had to do with how I got the vehicle from Hertz. I wanted to return the car 5 days early for a refund for those days, however, I could not, according to Hertz staff, because I made and paid for the rental on-line, I could not get a refund. If that policy could be changed it would be welcomed and beneficial.
4.0 OkayJan 21 2021
Pros: Nothing, reallyCons: The “special class” car I rented wound up being a Ford Focus. When I inquired about what a non-special class is, the guy said, “compact, economy, midsize” and walked away from me. Upon arrival, when I asked to pay more for a nicer car I was told there were none and everything in the lot was already reserved. So my options were the Focus or two other, tiny, put-put cars.
4.0 OkayJan 9 2021
Pros: The car itself was fine.Cons: I was double charged by Priceline and Hertz on the rental. Had to spend a couple of hours on my day off getting a refund. Totally unacceptable!
10.0 ExcellentJan 5 2021
Pros: The staff was extremely helpful and kind.
10.0 ExcellentDec 31 2020
Pros: staff was great, drop off was super speedy, had to wait a while for pick up but i ended up with a free upgradeCons: faster pick up
8.0 ExcellentDec 30 2020
Pros: Free upgradeCons: Long wait to pickup car (35 minutes), it wasn't the car I reserved, and the car did not look like it was recently cleaned.
4.0 OkayDec 27 2020
Pros: Drop off was easyCons: Our car was not ready and we were told that they had no idea how long it could take. Our only option was to upgrade to another car or else wait for multiple hours. It felt very much like were getting scammed and should have just been given whatever car was available because it was not on us to keep their inventory in order.
Pros: The car drove nicely and didn’t have any critical issues. The originally confirmed price (NOT what we were charged in the end) was wonderful.Cons: We were hit with a $436.59 ‘’inner city fee’’ despite dropping off where confirmed by our desk agent in Atlanta. At that meeting as well, we waited over two hours as Thrifty, Hertz, and one additional rental company were all required to wait in the same line for two agents. Finally, our windshield wipers did not work on timed settings. During the hours of rain we experienced from Atlanta to New York City, our only option was to hold down the trigger manually.
10.0 ExcellentNov 26 2020
Pros: All good.Cons: Specific vehicle availability--I requested a SUV but ended up with a minivan.
3.6 MediocreNov 17 2020
Cons: We booked the car for 8:30am. We got there, the car was not ready. They tried to give us an upgrade of a V8 for a long trip when I booked an economical car. We then had to wait 45 mins for a car to arrive. It had tire pressure issues. They filled with air and said it was fine. We got down the road 5 mins and a warning light came on. We then had to find another Alamo to switch out the car which took another 40 mins as they had to do the paperwork and clean the car. 11am we were finally in the road for a 12 hour trip This is totally unacceptable
10.0 ExcellentSep 13 2020
Pros: Everything was smooth and easy. Car was very clean.
10.0 ExcellentAug 31 2020
Pros: Incredibly friendly staff, made me feel comfortable and welcome.
3.6 MediocreAug 2 2020
Pros: The car was very cleanCons: So it had leaky tires, none of the charging ports worked, and the guy working there drove around really fast and freaked me out.
2.0 MediocreJul 11 2020
Pros: Told me on arrival their computer system had a glitch and they actually had no cars available. They also said they'd call me in the afternoon to let me know when the next car would be available and then never called.Cons: Fix your website so people don't waste their time.
10.0 ExcellentJun 22 2020
Pros: Staff was greatCons: Car was almost not ready on time
5.2 OkayDec 31 2019
Cons: They didn’t have my reserved car, nor any other car available. This also happened to two other people who were there at the same time.
8.4 ExcellentJun 25 2019
Pros: Staff was wonderful. Very friendly and courteous, Things moved along at a great clip. Thanks to themCons: You have only one location in DC. Its not open 24 hours. Having a location open 24 hours would be much more convenient...or waive fee for DCA drop off if after hours in the DC location. This is whats really missing.
Pros: Tia was really helpful and easy going.Cons: Nothing, again, Tia was fabulous
6.4 GoodNov 25 2018
Offices closedPros: Manager at airport location was able to accommodate our reservationCons: We were called a week in advance that our pick up location inDC would be closed that we needed to go to union station to pick up rental. However, after getting an Uber to union station, that office was closed too. Then we had to get another Uber to the Ronald Reagan airport. So more Uber drives. Very late start to our drive to Virginia.
10.0 ExcellentOct 18 2016
Great experiencePros: I booked at a place that was off the airport and they worked with me to get the car at the airport. Very nice and professional people.
10.0 ExcellentSep 20 2016
Pros: Great service, great truck
9.2 ExcellentSep 6 2016
Great Service and Delivered as PromisedPros: I ordered a pickup truck and actually was given my choice of the ones they had on site, not just the one selected for me. Staff was friendly, courtesy and very helpful.Cons: National does not pick up or drop off customers before or after rental, so you are responsible for arriving here and getting back on your own accord.
9.2 ExcellentJul 16 2016
Pros: Front desk staff was really nice and pleasant.Cons: I didn't enjoy the car I drove. But that isn't the fault of Kayak.
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 $42 or less
Book your rental car in Washington at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Off-airport rental car locations in Washington are around 32% cheaper than airport locations on average
Intermediate rental cars in Washington are around 29% 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 rental car in Washington costs $55 per day.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Budget ($25/day), Sixt ($42/day) and Hertz ($43/day). In the last 72 hours the cheapest rental car price was found at Hertz 99 H Street Ne 20001 (2 miles from city center).
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, 163 reviews), and Avis (7.3, 172 reviews).
The average gas price in Washington is $2.95 per gallon over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between $35 and $47, depending on the car size.
Standard (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 Standard car rental in Washington costs $56 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Washington costs $52 per day, on average.
A Intermediate car rental in Washington costs $66 per day, on average.
In Washington, cars are most frequently rented at Hertz 23540 Autopilot Dr (23 miles from city center).
On average a rental car in Washington costs $383 per week ($55 per day).
On average a rental car in Washington costs $1,644 per month ($55 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.
Finding the right price, understanding the add-ons and staying up to date with policy changes can be a challenge. That’s why KAYAK has produced the ultimate guide to renting a car to help you cut though the jargon and make the right choice for your rental car. Find tips and insights for how to book your rental, what car rental insurance you’ll need, how to deal with a car rental agency and what extra fees to expect (and avoid!).