Car Rental at San Diego Airport

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San Diego Airport, San Diego, USA - California
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Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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  • 30 - 65
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500+ Trusted Providers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Economy
Chevrolet Spark or similar
Chevrolet Spark
  • 4
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Dollar
$80.95 per day
Compact
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$84.79 per day
Intermediate
Toyota Corolla or similar
Toyota Corolla
  • 5
  • 1
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Budget
$96.81 per day
Standard
VW Jetta or similar
VW Jetta
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Europcar
$105.91 per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

Full-size
Nissan Altima or similar
Nissan Altima
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Alamo
$123.23 / per day
Luxury
Chrysler 300 or similar
Chrysler 300
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Thrifty
$140.64 / per day
Premium
Nissan Maxima or similar
Nissan Maxima
  • 5
  • 3
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Enterprise
$143.07 / per day
Minivan
Chrysler Pacifica or similar
Chrysler Pacifica
  • 7
  • 4
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
National
$198.84 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 03:02 on 2022-07-25. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Language
English
Currency
USD
Traffic direction
Right-hand
Country code
1
Economy car rental price
$99.60 / per day
Average car rental length
5 days
Speed limit within town
40 - 120 km/h
25 - 75 mi/h
Speed limit out of town
72 - 120 km/h
45 - 75 mi/h
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%
Rating
9.8
San Diego Airport Car Rental

Airport Car Rental

Known for its excellent beaches, surfer culture, and many family attractions, San Diego is one of the most famous destinations of the Golden State. In addition to being a great destination in its own right, the city can serve as a hub for exploring Southern California. These are three of the most interesting destinations in and around San Diego:

  • La Jolla. Located right on the oceanfront, about a 20-minute drive from downtown, ‘The Jewel’ is one of the most popular areas of San Diego for locals and visitors alike. The main draw of La Jolla is its atmosphere, but there are also famous landmarks that include the monumental Museum of Contemporary Art, Birch Aquarium, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the unmistakable La Soledad cross that overlooks the neighborhood. 
  • The Gaslamp Quarter. Located right at the heart of the city, the Gaslamp Quarter (or the District, as it is known among locals) is another popular area of San Diego. Listed as a historic district, it was primarily settled in the 1860s when it was known as New Town. Nowadays, it is home to a large number of heritage buildings like the William Heath Davis House, Old City Hall, and Broker’s Building.
  • Temecula Valley. Located about an hour’s drive northeast, Temecula Valley is one of the greatest wine-growing areas in the United States — and consequently, one of the most popular day trips from San Diego. In addition to more than 30 wineries (that are fascinating to visit even if you are driving and cannot participate in tastings), the area is also home to a well-preserved old town and several interesting olive oil tours (this being another important industry of the area).

Top international routes

  • San Francisco
  • Denver
  • Phoenix
  • Seattle/Tacoma
  • Las Vegas
  • Atlanta

Main airlines

Southwest Airlines is the main airline serving SAN serving more than a third of the airport’s total passengers. Its most popular destinations are San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Jose, Las Vegas, and Sacramento.

The three major domestic carriers all also serve the airport with each carrying a little over 10% of the airport’s traffic each. United’s busiest routes are to and from San Francisco and Denver, its West Coast and Rocky Region hubs. American’s busiest destinations from the airport are to Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Chicago-O’Hare. Delta’s busiest routes include Seattle, its West Coast hub, and Las Vegas.

Alaska Airlines is the other major airline serving the airport. It flies to many destinations on the West Coast, to the Hawaiian Islands, and to Cabo in Mexico.

Terminals

There are two passenger terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Each is divided into two sections, East and West. There are shuttle buses and vans that can take you from one terminal to other.

Location

The airport is just 3 miles (4.8 km) north of downtown San Diego. Harbor Drive is the main street that connects San Diego Airport to the city.

Most popular types of rental car

  • Convertibles - from $173 per day
  • Large cars - from $126 per day
  • Medium cars - from $109 per day
  • Vans - from $182 per day
  • Premium cars - from $149 per day
  • Small cars - from $110 per day
  • SUVs - from $169 per day

Car rental desks

Those rental companies with on-airport locations can be found in the Consolidated Rental Car Facility at 3355 Admiral Boland Way. A free shuttle runs at all hours between the terminals and the facility.

Mex, Nu, and Ace are not located in the facility. All of them are located just east of the airport off of Pacific Highway. Each provides a shuttle for its customers.

Services and facilities

You’ll find many bars and dining opportunities, shops and stores, lounges, relaxation services, a spa, and three lactation rooms for new mothers. There are also ATMs, a currency exchange, and a lost and found office. Luggage carts can be found on the upper level of Terminal 2, near entrance doors. San Diego Airport offers help to passengers with reduced mobility, but you should contact your airline in advance if this is needed. You can find more information on the airport's official website.

Nearest gas station

If returning to the airport from downtown along Pacific Highway, there is a Mobil station between Hawthorn Street and Grape Street. There is a Shell station a few blocks to the north which is closer to the airport; however, it’s prices are significantly higher.

For those returning cars to Mex, Nu, or Ace, then the same Mobil station is the best at which to full up no matter which direction you are coming from.

If traveling to the rental car facility via I-5 from either direction, a Shell station at the corner of India and Vine Streets is very convenient. From the south take exit 18B and from the north, 18A. The rental car facility is just a block away from the station and Vine Street will lead you to Kettner Blvd. from which you can turn right to reach the facility.

Popular one-way rentals

  • Los Angeles (125 mi / 201 km)
  • San Francisco (525 mi / 845 km)
  • Las Vegas (334 mi / 537 km)
  • Phoenix (358 mi / 576 km)
  • Seattle (1,256 mi / 2,021 km)
  • Palm Springs (142 mi / 228 mi)

Airport info

Rating
8.1
  • Getting to the airport 7.1
  • Departure and check-in 8.0
  • Terminal facilities 6.3
  • Wi-Fi connectivity 5.4
  • Restaurants and car rental services 5.6
  • Lounge 4.4

San Diego Airport (SAN)

  • IATA: SAN
  • Name: San Diego Airport (SAN)
  • Size: Large Airport
  • Phone: (619) 231 2100

Top 20 Locations near San Diego Airport

  1. 149.0 km / 92.6 miles away
  2. 150.5 km / 93.5 miles away
  3. 177.5 km / 110.3 miles away
  4. 178.7 km / 111.0 miles away
  5. Car Rental in Westchester from $45.94 per day
    203.9 km / 126.7 miles away
  6. 204.4 km / 127.0 miles away
  7. 224.2 km / 139.3 miles away
  8. 338.0 km / 210.1 miles away
  9. 374.1 km / 232.5 miles away
  10. Car Rental at Fresno Airport from $70.60 per day
    532.8 km / 331.1 miles away
  11. 589.7 km / 366.5 miles away
  12. 632.6 km / 393.1 miles away
  13. 700.1 km / 435.0 miles away
  14. 747.0 km / 464.2 miles away
  15. 747.6 km / 464.5 miles away
  16. 752.3 km / 467.4 miles away
  17. 800.5 km / 497.4 miles away
  18. 847.1 km / 526.4 miles away
  19. 1131.5 km / 703.1 miles away

Map of Car Rental Locations

When are car rental prices cheapest at San Diego Airport?

The cost of renting a car at San Diego Airport depends on the time of year. This graph compares month-to-month price changes to help you find the best deal.
Average Rental Price at San Diego Airport
$30.95
January
$35.16
February
$33.39
March
$27.41
April
$30.14
May
$32.48
June
$32.57
July
$43.17
August
$32.65
September
$25.73
October
$28.25
November
$25.11
December
The cheapest time of the year to rent a vehicle at San Diego Airport is December when prices for an Economy class start from $25.11. You can see that this is 20% cheaper than the yearly average and 42% cheaper than renting a car in August (when rental prices start at $43.17 for a Compact class). Knowing this can help you find the best price. But remember that these are average numbers. The exact cost of your rental will depend on your rental length and on how far in advance you book the car. Enter your travel dates at the top of the page to see exact prices and offers!

What’s the most popular rental length at San Diego Airport?

Travel length differs from one month to another: in January the average rental period is 6 days, while in March, the average rental period is only 5 days.
Average Rental Length
6
January
6
February
5
March
6
April
5
May
6
June
6
July
6
August
5
September
5
October
5
November
5
December

Which is the busiest car rental month at San Diego Airport?

Travelers are most likely to rent a car at San Diego Airport in July, while the fewest number of travelers rent in September.
Popularity by Monthly Searches
101%
January
83%
February
93%
March
87%
April
104%
May
125%
June
128%
July
110%
August
80%
September
96%
October
95%
November
97%
December

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Agency Model Doors Luggage Type
MEX RENT A CAR Kia Rio 4 1 Small cars
Ace Rent a car Hyundai Accent 4 1 Small cars
Ace Rent a car Kia Sportage 5 2 SUVs
Ace Rent a car Toyota Rav4 4 2 SUVs
MEX RENT A CAR Nissan Versa 4 2 Large cars
Ace Rent a car Toyota Corolla 4 3 Large cars
MEX RENT A CAR Volkswagen Vento 4 2 Medium cars
MEX RENT A CAR Nissan Kicks 5 2 SUVs
Ace Rent a car Hyundai Elantra 4 2 Large cars
Thrifty Mazda 3 5 3 Large cars

FAQ

Can I cross the border into Mexico with a rental car?
Yes, some companies allow crossing the border into Mexico but usually require the purchase of additional insurance to do such. You may also be restricted to only be able to drive in Baja California. An alternative, particularly if a longer trip is planned, is to drop off your rental car at the border and pick up another one on the Mexican side of the border (of course, this requires renting from a company that has a rental office at the border).
What if I incur a traffic fine?
If you have been fined during your rental, you will usually receive a notification of the fine from the rental company which will automatically bill your credit card for it along with an administrative fee.
What coverage is included in the rental rate?
Mandatory insurance is not included for residents of Canada and the USA. If you wish to use your own insurance, you may be asked to provide an insurance ID card with the coverage shown and the same name and address as listed on your driver's license. Insurance from outside of the USA and Canada is not accepted.
Can I pick up the car after 11:30 PM?
Yes, some of the car rental companies are open until 12:30 AM at San Diego Airport. To see which, be sure to use your desired drop off time when searching for a car.

Our Customers Reviews

Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

United States of America (USA)
Kia Rio
July 3, 2020
Great service
Canada
Kia Rio
March 25, 2020
Beautiful place to visit and great roadway system
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai Accent
February 12, 2020
Friendly honest staff....
United States of America (USA)
Hyundai Accent
July 16, 2018
Great car... great price... great service... definitely would recommend and use again!

Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
Alamo
9.12 / 10
Lowest rated company
MEX RENT A CAR
7.31 / 10
Total number of reviews
4
Total rental companies
14
Average daily price
$99.60
Lowest daily price
$24.83
Total cars available
141

Top 14 Suppliers at San Diego Airport in 2022

Alamo
Exceptional 9.1 / 8 reviews
+18888266893 / +18337631741
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$113 - $188
National
Excellent 8.7 / 2 reviews
+18888266890 / +18337631740
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$123 - $199
SIXT
Excellent 8.6 / 2 reviews
+18887498227
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$85 - $413
Enterprise
Excellent 8.6 / 1 reviews
+16192943313 / +18337631739
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$118 - $212
Budget
Budget
Excellent 8.5
+16192945921
3355 Admiral Boland Way
$95 - $336
Working hours
Mon:00:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-23:59
Advantage
Excellent 8.4
8007775500
3355 Admiral Boland Way
Working hours
Mon:05:00-23:59
Tue:05:00-23:59
Wed:05:00-23:59
Thu:05:00-23:59
Fri:05:00-23:59
Sat:05:00-23:59
Sun:05:00-23:59
Dollar
Excellent 8.3 / 5 reviews
8664342226
3355 Admiral Boland Way
$81 - $125
Working hours
Mon:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Payless
Payless
Excellent 8.3
6192964966
3355 Admiral Boland Way
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:00
Tue:06:00-23:00
Wed:06:00-23:00
Thu:06:00-23:00
Fri:06:00-23:00
Sat:06:00-23:00
Sun:06:00-23:00
Thrifty
Thrifty
Excellent 8.3 / 1 reviews
+18772830898
3355 Admiral Boland Way
$96 - $168
Working hours
Mon:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-01:00; 06:00-23:59
FOX
FOX
Excellent 8.2 / 17 reviews
+16194320620 / +18002254369
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego.
$118 - $156
Working hours
Mon:00:00-00:30
Tue:00:00-00:30
Wed:00:00-00:30
Thu:00:00-00:30
Fri:00:00-00:30
Sat:00:00-00:30
Sun:00:00-00:30
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Excellent 8.1
+18442702377
2269 Pacific Hwy San Diego, CA 92101
Working hours
Mon:08:00-17:00
Tue:08:00-17:00
Wed:08:00-17:00
Thu:08:00-17:00
Fri:08:00-17:00
Sat:08:00-15:00
Sun:08:00-15:00
Avis
Very good 7.9 / 7 reviews
+16196885000
3355 Admiral Boland Way
Working hours
Mon:00:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-23:59
GreenMotion
Very good 7.4 / 19 reviews
+18772473362
San Diego International Airport, Rental Car Center, 3355 Admiral Boland Way
Working hours
Mon:06:00-23:59
Tue:06:00-23:59
Wed:06:00-23:59
Thu:06:00-23:59
Fri:06:00-23:59
Sat:06:00-23:59
Sun:06:00-23:59
MEX RENT A CAR
Very good 7.3 / 362 reviews
+16192559094
1002 West Juniper Street. San Diego, CA 92101
Working hours
Mon:08:00-16:00
Tue:08:00-16:00
Wed:08:00-16:00
Thu:08:00-16:00
Fri:08:00-16:00
Sat:08:00-16:00
Sun:08:00-16:00
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