Do dealerships rent cars?

Smiling woman sitting in the front seat of a carImage: Smiling woman sitting in the front seat of a car

In a Nutshell

Some dealerships allow you to rent cars off the lot. This gives you another option to consider when searching for a rental car.
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When renting from a car rental company, it can be challenging to find the exact model you want.

Fortunately, car rental companies aren’t your only option. Some dealerships also offer car rentals and some brands — such as Toyota and Nissan – offer rental programs through participating dealerships. Getting a rental car from a dealership could improve your chances of renting a specific model.



Why do some dealerships rent cars?

There are some excellent reasons why dealerships may choose to rent cars.

  1. Rentals allow potential buyers to spend more time with a car than they’d get with a test drive. For a car shopper on the fence, renting the vehicle may be enough to spur a commitment to buy.
  2. Rentals can be an excellent option for customers with vehicles undergoing lengthy repairs.
  3. Rentals allow dealers to assist customers who may want a specific vehicle for a specific occasion, like a larger vehicle for out-of-town guests or a sports car for a weekend road trip.

Which dealerships rent cars?

Some manufacturers have centralized rental programs in place that are only available through their dealers. For example, Toyota has Rent a Toyota, a rental program offered at various Toyota dealerships.

These programs typically provide a list of participating dealerships nationwide, and some of them even integrate apps that make it easier to find and reserve the car you want. If the manufacturer you’re interested in doesn’t have a rental car program, you’ll need to locate dealers in your area and call or check their websites to see if they offer the rental car you’re searching for.

Toyota

Rent a Toyota offers a wide selection of vehicles. You can choose models from vehicle classes like sedan, SUV and hybrid.

The Rent a Toyota program features an app you can use to make your selection. The vehicles offered on the app are classed based on vehicle type. Details like color, trim package, add-ons and vehicle model will need to be handled when you visit the dealership.

How much does it cost to rent a vehicle via the Rent a Toyota program? As you’d expect, the cost varies based on your chosen model. One dealership lists the following daily rates. At one dealership, the Toyota Corolla has a daily rate of roughly $46, while the Camry starts at about $65. The RAV4 starts at around $75, and the Highlander goes for $95. For the Sienna minivan, daily rates start at about $105.

Chevrolet

Some Chevrolet dealers allow you to rent a car off the lot. You can choose from compact cars, full-size cars, SUVs, passenger vans, cargo vans and trucks.

The cost varies based on vehicle category. At one dealer, the Economy category includes cars like the Chevrolet Malibu and Chevrolet Trax, which have a daily rate of approximately $55. The Standard category includes models like the Chevy Equinox and Chevy Impala, and comes with a daily rate of about $69. Finally, the Full-Size category includes seven-passenger vehicles like the Chevy Traverse with a daily rate of roughly $79.

Ford

Certain Ford dealerships also provide car rentals. The range of Ford vehicles available for rent includes hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and trucks. The Ford F-150 is even available for rent at some dealer lots.

The cost varies from model to model. The pint-sized Fiesta rents for $30 per day at one dealership. And the Fusion costs approximately $40 per day, while the Explorer costs $45. Lastly, the F-150 has a daily rate of $55, while the large Expedition costs $85.

Honda

Honda dealerships may also offer rental cars, with options including sedans, SUVs and minivans.

At one dealership, the Fit, HR-V and Civic have a daily rate of about $50. The Accord and CR-V cost about $70. Renting a Passport, Pilot or Odyssey cost approximately $100.

Nissan

Nissan has a rental car program covering many dealerships. The vehicle selection includes cars, SUVs, trucks and the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

The Versa costs roughly $20 daily at one dealership, and the Sentra costs about $30 daily. The Rogue and Pathfinder cost $50 daily, while the NV passenger van rents for about $100.

Is renting a car from the dealership cheaper?

Rental car prices can vary based on your location, the company you use and the model you select. This applies to both dealerships and traditional rental car companies.

While it may not be more affordable, checking for dealership rentals can give you more options to compare during your search for a rental car.

Pros of renting a car from the dealership

  • You may be able to choose the make and model of your rental more specifically compared to traditional car rental companies.
  • If you’re renting from a dealer with an app-based rental program, you can use the app to make selections and input rental information to save time during pick-up.

Cons of renting a car from the dealership

  • The selection of dealers with rental vehicles may be limited in your area.
  • Each dealer’s range of vehicles is limited to the brand they sell.
  • The process requires research to determine if the dealership you’re interested in offers rentals.

Next steps

If you need to rent a car and have a brand or model in mind, check with local rental companies for pricing and availability. Then research local dealers to see if they have rentals available so you can compare pricing and other factors.


About the author: Warren Clarke is a writer whose work has been published by Edmunds.com and the New York Daily News. He enjoys providing readers with information that can make their lives happier and more expansive. Warren holds a Bac… Read more.