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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700+ Trusted Suppliers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

San Diego Airport
Economy
Chevrolet Spark or similar
Chevrolet Spark
  • 4
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
NUCarrentals
$28.95 / per day
San Diego Airport
Compact
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Europcar
$53.24 / per day
San Diego Airport
Standard Regular Cab Pickup
Toyota Tacoma or similar
Toyota Tacoma
  • 4
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Alamo
$72.68 / per day
San Diego Airport
Intermediate
Midsize (Nissan Sentra) or similar
Midsize (Nissan Sentra)
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
SIXT
$74.27 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Deals

San Diego Airport
Full-size
Toyota Camry or similar
Toyota Camry
  • 5
  • 2
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
FOX
$75.82 / per day
San Diego Airport
Premium
Volkswagen Passat or similar
Volkswagen Passat
  • 5
  • 2
  • 3
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Budget
$79.74 / per day
San Diego Airport
Luxury
Audi A4 or similar
Audi A4
  • 5
  • 3
  • 4
  • A/C
  • Auto.
Enterprise
$84.23 / per day
San Diego Airport
Premium Elite SUV
BMW X3 or similar
BMW X3
  • 5
  • 2
  • 5
  • A/C
  • Auto.
National
$109.66 / per day
The above prices are only approximate and were last updated at 21:49 on 2024-06-20. Prices may vary based on the booking dates, length of rental, and car class.

Travel Information

Languages
English, Spanish
Currency
USD
Drive on
Right-hand side
Country code
+1
Average car rental price
$72 per day
Average car rental length
6 days
Speed limit within town
40 - 48 km/h or 25 - 30 mph
Speed limit out of town
88 - 104 km/h or 55 - 65 mph
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.08%
Rating
9.5 / 10
Average gasoline price
$1.38 per liter or $5.22 / 1 gallon
Lowest gasoline price
$1.19 per liter or $4.50 / 1 gallon
Highest gasoline price
$1.69 per liter or $6.40 / 1 gallon
San Diego Airport

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. If you only have a weekend, then make sure to check this sample San Diego itinerary for ideas of what to do with your time.

  • 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.
  • Balboa Park. This immense park is home to beautiful green spaces, gardens, museums, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Spend some time outdoors in the sun, or check out the Air & Space Museum, the Fleet Science Center, or the Museum of Art. 
  • 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

  • Las Vegas
  • San Francisco
  • Phoenix
  • San Jose
  • Denver
  • New York City
  • Sacramento
  • Seattle
  • Oakland
  • Dallas

Main airlines

Southwest Airlines is the main airline serving San Diego Airport, with more than a third of the airport’s total passengers. Its most popular destinations are San Francisco, 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.

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 $114 per day
  • Large cars - from $31 per day
  • Medium cars - from $30 per day
  • Vans - from $95 per day
  • Premium cars - from $65 per day
  • Small cars - from $29 per day
  • SUVs - from $52 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 Nu, or Ace, then the same Mobil station is the best at which to fill 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)
This information was written, fact-checked, and/or translated by our content creators.

Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Fact checked by
Megan Starr & Aram Vardanyan
Megan & Aram is a travel blog run by two friends that have been helping people travel the world since 2010. They have visited well over 100 countries together and share a special passion for lesser-known destinations, as well as the Nordics. Megan is currently based in Germany and Aram is based in Armenia. They run 4 destination-specific websites in addition to Megan & Aram.

Airport info

Rating
7.5
  • Getting to the airport 8.2
  • Check-in and departures 8.5
  • Terminal facilities 7.4
  • Wi-Fi 7.2
  • Restaurants and car rental services 6.9
  • Lounge 6.9

San Diego Airport (SAN)

  • IATA: SAN
  • ICAO: KSAN
  • Name: San Diego Airport (SAN)

Map of Car Rental Locations

When are car rental prices the lowest at San Diego Airport?

The cost of renting a car at San Diego Airport varies by season. This graph compares prices from month to month in order to help you find the best time of year.
Average rental costs per day at San Diego Airport
$36.34
January
$48.12
February
$58.07
March
$42.73
April
$44.87
May
$67.59
June
$59.34
July
$54.11
August
$49.72
September
$54.34
October
$43.73
November
$66.68
December
The cheapest month of the year to rent a car at San Diego Airport is January — when rental costs average $36.34 per day. This is 30% cheaper than the yearly average and 46% cheaper than renting a car in June (when prices average $67.59 per day).

This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.

For how long do renters keep their vehicles at San Diego Airport?

How long travelers keep their rental cars varies by the time of year: in January the average rental period is 11 days, while in March, the average rental period is only 5 days.
Average number of rental days at San Diego Airport
11
January
9
February
5
March
5
April
6
May
6
June
9
July
7
August
6
September
6
October
8
November
7
December

What is the most popular time of year to rent a car at San Diego Airport?

Based on how many users search for a car in at San Diego Airport, travelers are most likely to rent a car at San Diego Airport in April, while they are least likely to rent in in December.
Monthly searches at San Diego Airport by pick-up date relative to the average
94%
January
80%
February
198%
March
274%
April
256%
May
46%
June
74%
July
51%
August
34%
September
25%
October
43%
November
24%
December

Car Rental Information

Popular suppliers FOX, Dollar, Thrifty, Payless, Alamo
Popular car categories SUVs, Large cars, Small cars, Medium cars
Lowest price $29 per day
Cheapest supplier NUCarrentals

Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers

Rental Supplier Model Doors Luggage Type
FOX Kia Sportage 5 2 SUVs
FOX Toyota Corolla 4 1 Large cars
FOX Mitsubishi Mirage 4 2 Small cars
FOX Nissan Altima 4 2 Large cars
FOX Chrysler Pacifica 5 2 Vans
FOX Hyundai Santa Fe 5 2 SUVs
FOX Nissan Versa 4 2 Medium cars
FOX Toyota Camry 4 2 Large cars
Payless Toyota Corolla Sedan 4 2 Large cars
Dollar Hyundai Accent 4 2 Medium 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 car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.

United States of America (USA)
Kia Sportage
March 15, 2024
Our trip was amazing touring the San Diego area.
United States of America (USA)
Buick Encore
August 19, 2023
Padres game, beach, hiking mission trails
Netherlands
Nissan Rogue
February 24, 2023
We did a roadtrip of western USA. Loads of nature and mountains.
Canada
Mazda 3
August 19, 2021
Good service and friendly service reps.
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!
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Car Rental Statistics

Highest rated company
Alamo
9.1 / 10
)
Lowest rated company
NUCarrentals
6.8 / 10
)
Total number of reviews
8
Total rental companies
15
Average daily price
$72.33
Lowest daily price
$28.95
Total cars available
700

Top 15 Suppliers at San Diego Airport in 2024

Alamo
Exceptional 9.1 / 13 reviews
+18888266893 / +18337631741
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$73 - $197
Working hours
Mon:05:30-23:59
Tue:05:30-23:59
Wed:05:30-23:59
Thu:05:30-23:59
Fri:05:30-23:59
Sat:05:30-23:59
Sun:05:30-23:59
SIXT
Very good 8.4 / 9 reviews
+18887498227
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$74 - $152
Working hours
Mon:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-01:00; 07:00-23:59
Enterprise
Very good 8.4 / 2 reviews
+16192943313 / +18337631739
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$76 - $217
Working hours
Mon:05:30-23:59
Tue:05:30-23:59
Wed:05:30-23:59
Thu:05:30-23:59
Fri:05:30-23:59
Sat:05:30-23:59
Sun:05:30-23:59
National
National
Very good 8 / 2 reviews
+18888266890 / +18337631740
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$77 - $203
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
Payless
Payless
Good 7.7 / 3 reviews
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
Dollar
Good 7.6 / 14 reviews
8664342226
3355 Admiral Boland Way
$76 - $104
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
Advantage
Advantage
Good 7.6 / 6 reviews
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
Budget
Budget
Good 7.6 / 2 reviews
+16192945921
3355 Admiral Boland Way
$80 - $205
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
Hertz
Hertz
Good 7.6
+16197675700
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
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
Good 7.4 / 41 reviews
+16194320620
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$75 - $141
Working hours
Mon:07:00-00:30
Tue:07:00-00:30
Wed:07:00-00:30
Thu:07:00-00:30
Fri:07:00-00:30
Sat:07:00-00:30
Sun:07:00-00:30
Thrifty
Thrifty
Good 7.4 / 8 reviews
+18772830898
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101, United States
$73 - $105
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
York Car Rental
York Car Rental
Good 7.1
+18589999066
2548 Kettner Blvd San Diego, CA 92101
Working hours
Mon:08:00-18:00
Tue:08:00-18:00
Wed:08:00-18:00
Thu:08:00-18:00
Fri:08:00-18:00
Sat:08:00-18:00
Sun:08:00-18:00
Avis
Good 7 / 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
Europcar
Good 7 / 3 reviews
+16194320620
3355 Admiral Boland Way, San Diego, CA 92101
$49 - $95
Working hours
Mon:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
Tue:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
Wed:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
Thu:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
Fri:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
Sat:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
Sun:00:00-00:30; 07:00-23:59
NUCarrentals
NUCarrentals
Satisfactory 6.8
+18442702377
2269 Pacific Hwy San Diego, CA 92101
$29 - $389
Working hours
Mon:08:00-19:00
Tue:08:00-19:00
Wed:08:00-19:00
Thu:08:00-19:00
Fri:08:00-19:00
Sat:08:00-18:00
Sun:08:00-18:00
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