Cheap Car Rentals in San Diego: The best companies

by Paul Joseph  |  Published January 12, 2021

Perched on the Pacific coast of California, San Diego is renowned for its beaches, parks and warm climate. The green expanse of Balboa Park is home to the famus San Diego zoo, while dotted across the city are a huge number of cultural institutions including art galleries, studios, and museums. The city also has a rich maritime heritage, with a large active naval fleet based in a deep harbour.

The hilly seaside neighborhood of La Jolla in San Diego (Photo: Nicholas Cole via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

There are numerous reputable car rental companies dotted around San Diego. If you’re organising a trip here and want to hire a cheap car during your stay, we’ve looked into the options and picked out the best rental companies offering affordable deals in three different parts of the city.

San Diego Airport: Sixt & Thrifty

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For those arriving into San Dieo by air, there are car rental desks located at the Consolidated Rental Car Center, open daily from 7am-12.30am. Free dedicated shuttle busses run continually to ferry customers between the airport terminals and the Rental Car Center. For the best value, we’ve picked out Sixt and Thrifty, with both offering a wide number of mid-range cars at affordable rates. When we conducted an online search, we found Sixt’s best deal to be a Kia Rio, which was available for $248 for a week’s rental. Thrifty, meanwhile, offer a Ford Fiesta for $251 per week, or for the same price you may well opt for the larger Ford Focus.

Downtown San Diego: Avis

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Visitors to San Diego will often be keen to be based around the city’s vibrant downtown district and here you’ll find an Avis rental agency office. When we searched their impressive roster of cars we found a Chevrolet Cruze available for $263 per week. Other enticing deals included a Buick Verano for $283 per week and a Ford Edge SUV for $298 per week.

Chula Vista: Avis

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Around a 10-mile drive south San Diego is the city of Chula Vista, another popular tourist spot. Here, you’ll find an Avis rental office with a wide variety of cheap hire car deals available for travellers seeking their own transport. Among the best deals we found were a Chevrolet Cruze, priced at $263 for a week’s rental. Alternatively, if you’d like to enjoy the power and performance of an SUV, there was also a Ford Escape for $295 per week.