While I don’t typically recommend renting a car in Las Vegas (because… well… alcohol, and numerous other transportation options), some folks don’t have a choice.
I figured that compiling tips for snagging a cheaper rental car would be helpful for those that want to visit outdoor attractions around Las Vegas, explore Vegas like a local, or for those that move around SO much that rideshare/taxis just don’t make financial sense.
While finding a cheap rental car in Vegas can be a tad more inconvenient, the cost savings could potentially justify the “hassle factor”.
Related: More on the Pros & Cons of Renting a Car in Las Vegas!
Rent From a Neighborhood (Non-Airport) Location
While most visitors opt to pick up their rental car at the airport, you can frequently save big money by picking your car up from a neighborhood location away from the airport.
No, it’s not nearly as convenient, and you’ll need to pay for a ride to the pickup location, but if you’re renting for a relatively long period of time, the added inconvenience could be worth it.
Example: For my upcoming 2-day trip, booking my rental through Hertz for a pickup at the airport costs $158 in total. That same rental can be had for $98 total if I opt to pick it up at their neighborhood location at the JW Marriott on Rampart Blvd. which is admittedly pretty darn inconvenient if you’re staying on the Strip.
Some Hertz locations found in casinos along the Strip were also slightly cheaper than the airport (as low as the $130s), albeit not the cheapest options available.
Note that other casino locations were more expensive than picking up at the airport, so casino locations aren’t necessarily a slam dunk.
While I used Hertz as an example, this information is also applicable to other major brands like Enterprise, Budget, Dollar, etc.
How to Find Neighborhood Location Pricing
A really easy way to gauge neighborhood location pricing is by using Kayak.com.
Once there, search for your desired dates/times in Las Vegas (the city, don’t select the airport).
Next, sort results by price. Typically, the neighborhood locations that are the least expensive will float to the top. A map will also detail where the rental location is, making it easy to gauge how inconvenient/convenient that car would be to chase down.
You can then utilize the Uber or Lyft phone apps to gauge how much a ride to that location would cost to and from the airport to determine if it’s worth booking that way.
I almost always then take that price information gleaned from Kayak and book the car directly with the company I intend to rent with (more on that below). I simply use Kayak as the platform to easily see which company is the cheapest and at what locations. The user interface, in my opinion, is pretty slick for comparison shopping across brands.
Full disclosure: I personally would never sacrifice the convenience of picking up my car at the airport to save a relatively small amount of money… But I know some are stingier than me, and I respect the quest for savings.
Leverage Discount Companies Requiring a “Double Shuttle”
Everyone who rents a car in Las Vegas for pickup at the airport needs to take at least one shuttle to the centralized rental car center. The rental car companies that tend to be the cheapest require a second shuttle from that centralized rental car center to their off-site location.
While a second shuttle ride is somewhat inconvenient, many don’t mind the time wasted in exchange for the savings they receive.
Las Vegas rental car companies that require a double shuttle include Fox, Ace, and Advantage.
Book a Refundable Car Rental
It may cost a few additional dollars at the time of booking, but securing a rental that you can cancel and re-book if prices drop can be a great way to score a discount.
I use the same philosophy with hotel rooms in Vegas. Think of it as your first gamble of the trip :).
Scope Out Options on Turo
Unlike traditional rental car companies, Turo is a peer-to-peer platform that allows regular folks to rent their car out to others. The spectrum of options is pretty impressive and includes brands like Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, and others.
On the other end of the “fanciness spectrum” are where the deals tend to be. Run-of-the-mill Fords, Toyotas, and Hondas are available, and commonly for cheap.
Keep in mind, while Turo rentals are among the cheapest in Las Vegas, most require a $50 – $100 delivery fee to meet you at the airport.
With delivery, or without delivery (if you don’t mind the hassle of Ubering to the pickup location), Turo is worth checking out as their lower-end inventory can often be reserved at a discount compared to traditional rental car companies.
3rd Party Booking Sites are Not Always a Great Bet
While I’ve heard people celebrate deals they’ve gotten via 3rd party online travel agent websites, I’ve struggled to find many occasions where the deal offered is better than booking directly with the rental car company.
When the pricing is the same, there just isn’t a reason to not book direct. Your reservation is less likely to be lost, you’ll earn loyalty points, and you can oftentimes skip the line and drive off with your preferred car without any hassle as I do with Hertz.
When shopping for my upcoming trip, I noticed that a 3rd party travel website was claiming their rental price was $98 for the trip vs. $121 directly with Hertz. I looked to verify that savings on Hertz.com and found their cheapest to also be $98. Always double-check to ensure “advertised savings” on 3rd party websites are what they say it will be.
Ultimately, there isn’t a “silver bullet” hack, secret website, or hassle-free “cheapest way to rent a car in Las Vegas”.
Ways to save commonly require you to sacrifice some time and energy. Additionally, you could explore peer-to-peer networks like Turo which can be a less professional experience.
Just know, there are ways to do it cheaper if you’re willing to hop through a hoop or two.
I’m a former software salesman turned Vegas aficionado. While the craps table is my preferred habitat, I pull myself away to explore new attractions, shows, restaurants, and outdoor activities around Las Vegas with the intent of sharing my experiences.
Ultimately, I just want to help folks plan a better trip and save a few bucks in the process.