Car rental Chicago

✓ No Hidden Costs ✓ No Booking Fees ✓ Free Cancellation
Country City Location
Pick-up date
Drop-off date
Driver's country of residence is United States of America (USA) and age is 30-65
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  • 23
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  • 29
  • 30 - 65
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  • 80+
500+ Trusted Providers:

Cheapest Car Rental Rates

Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Economy
Kia Rio or similar
Kia Rio
  • 5x
  • 1x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
$30.01 / per day
Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Compact
Toyota Yaris Advance or similar
Toyota Yaris Advance
  • 5x
  • 2x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
$30.01 / per day
Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Intermediate
Toyota Corolla or similar
Toyota Corolla
  • 5x
  • 1x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
$32.16 / per day
Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Standard
Honda Civic or similar
Honda Civic
  • 5x
  • 3x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
$35.37 / per day

Most Popular Car Rental Offers

Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Minivan
Dodge Caravan or similar
Dodge Caravan
  • 7x
  • 4x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
$47.95 / per day
Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Compact
Nissan Versa or similar
Nissan Versa
  • 5x
  • 3x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
FOX
$52.51 / per day
Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Intermediate
Toyota Corolla or similar
Toyota Corolla
  • 5x
  • 1x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
FOX
$54.66 / per day
Chicago O'Hare Airport Car Rental
Full-size
Toyota Camry or similar
Toyota Camry
  • 5x
  • 2x
  • 4x
  • No
  • Man.
FOX
$56.80 / per day
The above prices are approximate only. They are based on bookings made during the last 48 hours and depend on booking dates, length of rental and car class.

Travel information

Language
English
Currency
USD
Country code
1
Average car rental length
3 days
Economy car rental price
$85.58 / per day
Traffic direction
Right-hand
Speed limit out of town
72 - 120 km/h
45 - 75 mi/h
Speed limit within town
40 - 120 km/h
25 - 75 mi/h
Acceptable limit of BAC
0.05%

Why rent a car in Chicago?

Chicago, as the third most popular city in the United States, is a bustling metropolis with a dense downtown core at its heart. The city offers almost anything a traveler might have on his to-do list. This includes world-class museums, exhibitions of the finest artworks, an unending supply of entertainment possibilities, and a plethora of dining options. 

With crowded traffic and pricey parking in the downtown core, it may seem unwise to rent a car to visit Chicago. However, destinations in the surrounding suburbs and further afield are best reached with your own vehicle. It is not much of a surprise, therefore, that Chicago is Discover Car Hire’s third most popular rental destination. 

Chicago Car Rental

Top ways to enter Chicago

  • O’Hare International Airport - Most travelers will arrive at O’Hare, one of the busiest airports in the country. Unfortunately, the rental desks at O’Hare are disjoint and travelers must find the shuttle bus of their specific agency to get to their pick-up point. 
  • Midway Airport - Closer to Downtown, Midway mostly serves low-cost airlines airline in addition to some other domestic flights. Unlike at O’Hare, all of the rental desk are conveniently located together here with a joint shuttle bringing you to them.
  • Union Station - Those traveling by train with Amtrak arrive at Union Station, from which most downtown rental locations are within convenient reach.

Useful city facts

The Windy City, as Chicago is known as, is actually only slightly windier than the average American city. The city has four distinct seasons, from hot summers to cold, somewhat snowy winters and pleasant springs and falls in between.

From street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, no traveler will remain hungry for very long. Of particular culinary note is Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza. The polar opposite of thin-crust pizza, deep-dish is baked in a round pan and loaded with toppings and tomato sauce. 

Historically, Chicago was known for its music scene. Poor black workers from the South migrated to the northern cities during the first half of the twentieth century, bringing with them  their music of blues and jazz. Musicians such as Muddy Waters led the development of the Chicago Blues which is still popular today with the city hosting the annual Chicago Blues Festival.In turn, jazz musicians brought dixieland jazz from New Orleans and developed it into a unique Chicago Style.In the early 80s, underground DJs developed house music. Immensely influential for many popular musicians, house continues to have a wide following both in popular music and underground. 

Chicago, having at least one franchise in every American sports league, is a sports mecca. The city is split in half when it comes to baseball, with residents on the South Side being loyal to the White Sox and those on the North Side, the Cubs. In basketball, the Bulls are known for their historic run of six championships in the 1990s while being lead by Michael Jordan. The Blackhawks, one of the original professional hockey teams in America, continue to perform at a high level on the ice. And finally, the city becomes engrossed with Bears of the National Football League in the fall.

Top destinations and activities

  • Navy Pier - Chicago’s most popular tourist attraction, Navy Pier, is packed with options for dining, shopping, relaxing in the parks and gardens, family entertainment and viewing world-class exhibitions. No trip to Chicago is complete without riding its Centennial Wheel. 
  • Skydeck at Willis Tower - Still known by many as the Sears Tower, Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere after One World Trade Center in New York City. Take a trip to the 103rd floor observation deck where you can stand on glass and look straight down at the street from 1,353 feet (412m) or peer out at the vast waters of Lake Michigan or endless miles of plains.
  • 360 Observation Deck at John Hancock Center - A less crowded alternative to the Willis Tower, the John Hancock Center has an observation deck on the 93rd floor some 1,00 feet (300m) above street-level. Great views of Lake Michigan are supplemented with an attraction called Tilt, where the floor tilts 30 degrees leading to views look straight down at Michigan Avenue. 
  • Lake Shore Drive - This drive between the skyscrapers and Lake Michigan will take you past The Adler Planetarium, Navy Pier, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute of Chicago and Lincoln Zoo. 
  • Oak Park - Frank Llyod Wright began his career in this suburban village just west of Chicago. Travelers can find various buildings designed by the famous architect, including the Frank Llyod Wright Home and Museum, along with the birthplace home and associated museum of author Ernest Hemmingway. 

Traffic and parking tips

From $6.50 in the Loop to $2 in neighborhoods outside of the Central Business District. pay with either coins (usually only quarters, 25 cent coins, are accepted) or credit cards. Be sure to display the receipt on the dashboard inside your vehicle.

Parking garage rates vary throughout the city. There are apps where it is possible to reserve a parking spot in one, often at a discounted rate. Be sure to also confirm parking rates at your chosen hotels, as most will not have free parking, particularly in or near downtown. 

Toll roads

The Chicagoland area has several Interstate highways that are tolled, including portions of I-88, I-90,I-294, I-355 and IL-390. In addition, there is a connection between the northwest border of Indiana and the center of Chicago via a bridge known as the Chicago Skyway.

Tolls can be paid with either an I-Pass transponder or cash. Depending on your rental car provider, your vehicle may come equipped with an I-Pass transponder. While it is the most convenient method of payment, not requiring you to stop at a toll booth, your rental car provider will charge a convenience fee for its use (usually per day, starting from the first day that it is used). It may,therefore be preferable to make payments with cash, in which case be sure to remain in the right lanes approaching the toll booths. At the toll booths of the Chicago Skyway, drivers may also pay with a credit card.

Ideas for a day-trip

  • Galena - Located about 160 miles west of Chicago, Galena is a quaint historical town with more than a thousand buildings on the National Historic Register.  Is rich history has been preserved, with many of its historic buildings open for tours. 
  • Springfield - No, you won’t find Moe’s Tavern, the Kwik-E-Mart, or a nuclear power plant here. Instead, the capital of Illinois offers travelers an extensive history lesson based primarily on one of America’s greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln. If one has his fill of Lincoln, the city is also home to the Dana-Thomas House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and including furniture designed by him. 
  • Six Flags Great America - Open from the summer months through halloween, and since 2018 for Christmas Season, this Six Flags location is the largest theme park in Illinois. Its location in roughly halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee makes it within easy reach of Downtown Chicago by car. Enjoy the exhilarating experience of the 16 roller coasters, cool off in the hot summer weather at the attached water park, or be horrified during Fright Fest. 
  • Lake Geneva - Travel north just across the Wisconsin border to find this popular area for Chicago vacationers. Among typical lake activities, it is possible to hike the 20 miles around the lake on a public footpath. 
  • Ravina Festival - Venture out of the city to the summer residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This concert venue also hosts various other concerts throughout the summer. 
  • Oglesby - Near Oglesby, around two hours west of Chicago, are Matthiessen and Starved Rock State Parks, the latter of which is the most visited state park in Illinois.  The parks offer numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures, from hiking and camping to boating and fishing.

Most popular rental types and cars

Renters in Chicago prefer intermediate SUVs, such as the Nissan Rogue the most, followed by intermediate cars, like the Toyota Corolla, and full size SUVs, like the Jeep Cherokee. During winter, renters should be sure that their rental vehicles are able to safely handle snowy driving conditions. 

Further destinations

  • St. Louis, MO - The Gateway to the West lies a few hours drive southwest of Chicago. Millions visit every year to absorb the views of the Mississippi River from atop the Gateway Arch. Then they stick around for tours of one of the largest breweries in the world, that of Anheuser-Busch, with its included tasting and famous Clydesdale horses.
  • Milwaukee, WI - Once the brewing capital of the world, Milwaukee now bills itself as the city of festivals. One of the city’s festivals, Summer Fest, is deemed by some to be the largest music festivals in the world. In the unlikely event you were to travel to Milwaukee when a festival is not taking place, the city hosts numerous other attractions for the eager traveler. 
  • Madison, WI - The capital of Wisconsin is an easy day’s drive to the northwest of Chicago. Surrounded by five lakes, Madison has numerous opportunities for dining, shopping, and entertainment. It is situated at the heart of a vast rural are waiting for exploration. 
  • Indianapolis, IN - Located smack dab in the middle of the state of Indiana and less than 200 miles south of Chicago, Indianapolis is the metropolis of Indiana.
  • Detroit, MI - A few hours drive east on I-94 brings travelers to Detroit, with its storied music scene, much like Chicago. Once the automobile capital of the world, Detroit now has a reputation of being a shell of its former self. In recent years, however, its downtown core has been revitalized with new attractions and renovated historic buildings and now offers travelers a great experience.

Top 2 Cities near Chicago

Rockford Car Rentals from $62.81 per day
120.1 km / 74.6 miles away
Peoria Car Rentals from $62.81 per day
204.7 km / 127.2 miles away

Top 2 Locations near Chicago

Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Chicago?

Car rental prices in Chicago vary a lot according to the time of year. This graph compares month-to-month price changes to help you find the best offer.
Average Rental Price in Chicago
$47.96
January
$45.09
February
$39.46
March
$46.44
April
$40.06
May
$41.63
June
$43.95
July
$38.36
August
September
October
November
$36.04
December
The best month to rent a car in Chicago is December (when prices for an Economy class start from $36.04). This is 14% cheaper than the yearly average and 25% cheaper than renting in January (when rental prices start at $47.96 for a Compact class). Knowing this can help you find the best price.

What’s the usual rental length in Chicago?

Travel lengths vary from month to month: in May, travelers rent a car for an average of 13 days in October, the average rental period is 4 days.
Average Rental Length in Chicago
6
January
5
February
5
March
7
April
13
May
5
June
5
July
5
August
6
September
4
October
7
November
7
December

What's the most popular month to rent a car in Chicago?

While travelers visit Chicago year-round, the most popular month for renting a car is July, and the least popular is February.
Chicago Car Rental Popularity by Monthly Searches
74%
January
62%
February
74%
March
86%
April
126%
May
154%
June
163%
July
140%
August
82%
September
84%
October
80%
November
74%
December

Our Customers Reviews

May 14, 2019
Rent a car only if you need it as there are numerous ways to get around town and the traffic is horrid! Chicago is a great town with many sites to see. We were visiting family in Indiana and Chicago and went to the Garfield Park Conservatory and Indiana Dunes. If you plan in advance, the Chicago Cultural Center will provide a volunteer tour guide for any neighborhood in the city. Internet search - free things to do in Chicago. Love Cafe Lula in Logan Square.
May 7, 2019
If you will be downtown, no need to rent a car. I was in the suburbs on business and pleasure where a car is necessary.
April 24, 2019
Parking is a challenge but there are ways to get good deals with parking apps.
April 9, 2019
Downtown Chicago is the Paris of the Mid-West. Lakefront, Botanical Gardens, Museums, shopping, great restaurants.
March 8, 2019
If you stay within the city, you don't really need a car. I needed a car because I was also visiting the suburbs outside of the city.
October 29, 2018
While not necessary downtown, a rental car makes it much easier to get to the surrounding area.
October 21, 2018
Chicago is a massive city with lots of traffic, so be prepared and give yourself plenty of time. Also, most interstates outside of the city limits (to/from the suburbs) are toll roads. You can take note of the toll plaza and the time and day as well as the license plate of the vehicle you're driving and pay these online within 7 days.
October 8, 2018
Chicago is a great city with many attractions and food options. Though it was a quick weekend getaway, enjoyed my time previewing the new musical "Tootsie".
October 3, 2018
We had a pleasant experience since we knew the Chicago area and did not have to go to the downtown area. There’s quite a bit more traffic in Chicago then in Colorado.
September 13, 2018
Have lots of quarters for tolls. Otherwise the rental place will charge you $10.00 per day for a pass.
September 12, 2018
Chicago is pretty spread out so renting a car is very useful to get around to all the sites.
September 7, 2018
Chicago is a nice place to visit, NOT in winter.
September 6, 2018
Car is not one hundred percent needed w public transit but very convenient if you really want to explore
September 2, 2018
I rent a car most of the time I spend here in Chicago. Last year I was in Chicago for 8 months and rented the entire time. I will likely spend the rest of the year here and maybe even into the first part of 2019 and will most likely be back by the late spring or early summer of 2019 if I leave at all. I am not sure if I'll continue to rent, but I find renting in Chicago is very easy and convenient. However, I will not be renting again from Routes and would not recommend using them to any friends, family, or business associates.
August 31, 2018
Yah, Chicago's a great town in the summer.
August 24, 2018
Shoreline Express Architectural Boat tour was amazing
August 13, 2018
The toll situation is a little complicated in the Chicago suburbs and unlike other parts of the country. You have to pay close attention if you don't have technology in the car, because those without the technology (it wasn't EZ Pass in my case), have to literally get off the highway and drive down a parallel road. The signage isn't always the best, either.
August 13, 2018
Avoid tollways if possible. If you wind up on one by accident, you need to quickly locate the what is called "Plaza number", a number located at the at of the toll booth. You will need to know this number in order to quickly pay the toll online within a 7 day grace period, or risk being billed as much as $50 dollars if you don't.
August 10, 2018
Chicago is beautiful and green. The drivers are friendly, the streets are fairly easy to navigate, and the weather was very kind to us. We visited the SMART Museum of Art and the Oriental History Museum in Hyde Park, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art. Parking in the city is extremely expensive though. But luckily we were able to avoid toll roads.
August 9, 2018
Chicago is cool.
August 2, 2018
Chicago roads are rough, literally. Potholes are everywhere. The lanes are barely wider than your car. Drivers are extremely aggressive. If there's construction on a road, be prepared to sit still for a while. Traffic is very heavy until you get off of the major roadways. Parking can be very difficult to find; be sure to book parking online if you can (it's far less expensive than just driving up to the garages). Downtown Chicago (near Millenium Park) is packed with fun things to see and do. Keep your eye out for hole-in-the-wall joints: they have the best food.
July 20, 2018
Chicago was wonderful. I stayed out in Des Plaines, so a car to get in and out of the city was essential.
July 8, 2018
We got in the rental and used the GPS and we were on our way. We went to Wisconsin to visit family this trip, looking forward to coming back and will definately be using this rental again!
July 1, 2018
You got to see Chicago 100%! I was surprised how good Chicago is!
June 29, 2018
The E-Pass for the tollways is a bit confusing so I tried to avoid them.
June 19, 2018
So much better than my original trains/buses plan, especially for the cost. Didn’t use the iPass much on toll roads, but glad I had it for convenience. Parking downtown can be a little pricey, but renting was still the best option for us. City driving was a blast for this country girl!
June 16, 2018
Chicago is beautiful and if you are mindful of traffic it is easy to navigate. The streets could use some repair however.
June 14, 2018
We flew to Chicago and drove to Milwaukee but overall it was great in both places
June 11, 2018
I was there on business but I have been many times before. Downtown Chicago is full of excellent shops and restaurants . There are many sites to see and it is very pleasant.
June 11, 2018
If you're unfamiliar with the Chicago area, you need two things: a reliable GPS and an unlimited Toll Transponder. Traveled to Skokie, Schaumburg, Oak Brrok, and Algonquin areas.
June 10, 2018
We actually did not travel into downtown Chicago. we needed the car to travel north from the airport to visit family.

Top 10 Suppliers for Chicago in 2019

National
National
Exceptional 9.2
001 7 734 713 450
5150 W 55th St, Chicago, IL 60638
NuCarrentals
NuCarrentals
Exceptional 9.1
1-847-671-4000
3901 N MANNHEIM RD SCHILLER PK
Alamo
Alamo
Excellent 8.8
8004625266
203 N LA SALLE ST,
SIXT
SIXT
Excellent 8.7
+1-3124291140
10255 West Zemke Blvd
Dollar
Dollar
Excellent 8.5
8664342226
5150 W 55TH STREET
FOX
FOX
Excellent 8.5
001 312 741 0788
10256 W Zemke Blvd Suite 830, Chicago
Advantage
Advantage
Excellent 8.5
001 8 007 775 500
10255 W Zemke Rd, Chicago, IL 60666
Europcar
Europcar
Excellent 8
001 8 476 358 031 / 001 8 007 775 500
10255 W Zemke Rd, Chicago, IL 60666
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
Routes Car & Truck Rentals
Excellent 8
001 844 377 9987 / 001 847 671 4000
3901 Mannheim Rd, IL 60176
NuCarrentals
NuCarrentals
Very good 7.6
708 9249780
7250 S. CICERO AVENUE SUITE G

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