Getting a Rental Car Not from
the Airport in Chicago

Debbie asks:

Re: Getting a Rental Car Not from the Airport in Chicago

I have not booked my airfare yet but I need to fly into Chicago & rent a standard size car for a week. The date/time frame is June 1, 7:30pm to June 10 at noon. I am not familiar with Chicago at all or who rents for the best price. We have a Costco card and my husband works for Boeing.

Since I need a car for a week my question is how to go about getting a rental car not from the airport in Chicago? We need to stay at a hotel Friday night. How do we get transportation from the airport to the off-site rental company?

My Response:

I recommend that people check airport vs off airport rates to see if they can save money,

 but in many instances extra transportation costs and inconvenience factors can outweigh the savings. If someone is flying into an airport, for example, to visit relatives, and someone can pick them up at the airport and then take them to a local rental place the next day and go with them to return the car and then drive them back to the airport, there's a possibility of some savings, ut when you have to pay transportation to and from the airport, in can cancel out any savings.

I did some research and couldn't find any hotels in Chicago that had on-site car rental so I did some checking with which provides shuttle service to and from Chicago Hotels and the Airports.

Trips avg about $50 each way for two people airport to hotel and back.

So then, I decided to check car rental rates with a Costco discount (I can't access the Boeing Corporate discount number without being an employee) -- Costco members get discounts with Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, Budget and Hertz.

Here's what I found for both O'Hare Airport and Midway Airport based on your dates, times and car size and a Costco discount. While I don't give specific rate quotes (they change too frequently to be accurate) here are the approximate results that I found:(car rental company links open in a new window)


ORD Cost around $360

all off airport locations are closed
on June 10th (Sundays)


MDW Cost around $440

203 North Lasalle
Chicago , IL 60601
Cost around $310

Based on these 4 locations, while
North Lasalle is the cheapest, by
the time you add in $100 for
transportation to and from the
airport you're only saving about $10

MDW Cost around $380

So, not a big difference here, but
ORD is the cheaper airport location to rent from.

ORD Cost around $420

1160 E Ogden Ave
Naperville , IL 60563
Cost around $385 (closed at 730pm on the 1st- pickup would have to be 9am on the 2nd)

For convenience sake.... I would call ORD price the cheapest for Alamo, but Enterprise at ORD is still the cheapest.


ORD Cost around $650

North Loop-Downtown,
Chicago 214 North Clark St

Cost around $350

MDW Cost around $480

3721 North Broadway Street,
Chicago, (closed Friday evening, pickup would have to be 9am on the 2nd)

Cost around $345

6501 West 95th Street
Sears Auto Center, Chicago Ridge IL
(closed Friday evening, pickup would have to be 9am on the 2nd)

Cost around $350

So, out of these locations, North Broadway Street is the cheapest, but with $100 for transportation to and from the airport, Enterprise at ORD is still the cheapest.

I continued by checking airport vs off airport locations with Budget and Hertz and a Costco discount as well, and could find nothing as cheap as the ORD rate with Enterprise (even the other company's cheapest locations, with transportation costs, still put them over $100 more than Enterprise).

Based on the research I've done, getting a rental car not from the airport in Chicago would not be cheaper... go for the airport pickup!

I would also suggest that your husband contact someone from his HR department to find out which car rental companies they offer discount codes for... and check rates with that as well. You may not find anything cheaper than with the Costco discount for Enterprise, but it never hurts to check!

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