Car Rental Rates Doubled, Tripled Around the Country Over the Holidays

Photo: © Juan Moyano |

- January 7, 2019

Travelers in need of a car rental over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays were in for some bad news, according to a recent survey released by According to the survey, car rental rates at airports across the country doubled and tripled Dec. 23–27.

New Yorkers paid $179 per day for the most affordable rental car available for pick-up at Newark (EWR), a 223 percent increase over the average winter car rental rates in New York City. Out of the 40 destinations the survey compared, the starting rates for rental cars were highest during the holidays in New York City.

Seattle and New Orleans were second- and third-mostexpensive, with travelers paying $118 per day for the most affordable car rentals at the Seattle airport (SEA) and $109 per day for the most affordable car rentals in New Orleans (MSY). While New York City had the highest starting rate for rentals, Seattle experienced the biggest percentage increase in pricing as compared to normal winter rates, with rates up more than 300 percent for Christmas.

The survey says the least expensive destinations for car rentals over Christmas were Louisville, Orlando and San Antonio. Prices from each destination’s major airport started at a reasonable $40 per day.

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