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Rent car at airport or downtown?

Kansas City...
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342 posts
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Rent car at airport or downtown?

We're going to be flying into O'hare and staying downtown for a few nights (without car), but need to then drive up to Madison, Wisconsin for a night. Am wondering what would work out to be easier/faster - renting a car downtown or heading back to the airport on the El and renting a car from there. After Madison, we'll be going back to Chicago for 1 night - likely late enough that we'll just stay in an airport hotel, then will fly out the next morning. Any thoughts?

Edited: 6:50 pm, September 18, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
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726 posts
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1. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

Airport car rentals are always more expensive. There are lots of places to rent downtown and several of them will even drop off the car.

chicago
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2. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

downtown will be easier, find out if you can return it at the airport

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

All of the major chains have locations downtown. You won't have a problem dropping the car off at ORD without an extra charge.

Kansas City...
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4. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

Thanks everyone. Is getting out of downtown significantly more difficult traffic-wise, though?

pgo
Chicago
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for Chicago
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5. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

Yes, but it depends on the time of day. Weekends aren't bad usually, except around 5 PM. On a weekday, try to avoid the stretches from 7:30-9 AM and 3-6 PM.

Kansas City...
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6. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

We'll be heading out mid-morning on a weekday, so I guess we should be ok with the downtown rental then. Thanks to all for your help!

Elk Grove Village...
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7. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

I agree that renting at the airport would be MUCH more expensive than renting downtown. However, I would also point out that the city of Chicago has a VERY high tax rate on rental cars(somewhere in the neighborhood of 30%). Another option to keep in mind is renting from a non-airport suburan site near the airport. At those locations, not only would you be avoiding the higher fees at the airport, but you would also avoid the higher taxes charged by Chicago. For example, there is an Enterprise location on River Rd. in Schiller Park that is about an $8.50 cab ride (3 miles) from O'Hare. The savings might be worth the little bit of an extra hassle and time to go to the suburban car rental place.

8. Re: Rent car at airport or downtown?

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