Why Are Minivan Rentals So Expensive? (The Cheapest Way To Rent One)


Why Are Minivan Rentals So Expensive?

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Minivans are spacious and large vehicles that can seat 7-8 people comfortably with space left over for luggage as well. Because of all of this space these cars are in high demand by large families to rent them. 

However, most minivans aren’t too much more expensive than a regular vehicle so to many people it doesn’t make sense that they are more expensive to rent. But there are actually quite a few good reasons that these minivans are so expensive when you go to rent them. 

This higher rental price for minivans is because of the higher demand for larger vehicles at those vacation destinations. Minivans are also more expensive to purchase originally which in turn means the cost to rent them is more than a smaller cheaper car. 

There are some other reasons that renting minivans can be more expensive in some specific areas as well. 

For instance, if you are traveling outside the USA then a minivan might not be made in the country at all which drives up its cost to even get it there. For example, if you are renting minivans in Mexico then the rental cost will be higher since rental cars there tend to be assembled from the sub-compacts. 

It’s also seen that vehicles that do get assembled there don’t have the kind of emission controls or safety gear that US cars are mandated to have which in turn makes them cheaper for the rental companies to purchase them which again, drives up the price of the minivan. 

Another reason that minivan rentals are more expensive is that minivans (or any kind of larger vehicle for that matter) are expensive and have high insurance costs attached to it as well. 

Since minivans tend to be used by large families for trips with a whole lot of luggage they also require more upkeep and also tend to depreciate faster. This depreciation happens within a couple of years and very soon rental companies find that this to be a bigger expense. Also, since these are larger vehicles they will often have to have parts repaired or replaced because people haul too much weight in them and something gets damaged. 

Ultimately, minivans are more expensive to rent because that’s what the rental companies can get. If no one wanted to rent minivans then the prices of them would be much more in line with the smaller cars. However, since they are popular rental vehicles they will likely stay more expensive in the future as well. 

What is the cheapest way to rent a minivan? 

Since minivans are typically more expensive to rent than other vehicles many people wonder what the cheapest way to rent a minivan is. Saving money on your rental minivan means you have more money to have fun on your trip, but how can you do that? 

The cheapest way to rent a minivan is to check all of the options available in that location. In many places it is far cheaper to rent a minivan from a place like Turo rather than from a traditional car rental company. 

Turo (and other similar companies) operate by allowing individuals to rent out their personal vehicles so you can often save a significant amount of money renting one from there rather than off a rental lot. 

A couple of years ago I had family in town and we needed to rent a minivan. All of the traditional rental companies were over $50 a day after fees to rent a minivan while Turo cost about $30 a day. Over the 10 days that we rented the minivan, we saved $200 by renting from Turo rather than a national car rental chain. 

Checking out all of the options at the place you are going to be visiting is the absolute best way to keep your minivan rental costs to a minimum. 

How much is it to rent a minivan from Enterprise?

The price to rent a minivan can vary substantially depending on your location, the demand for when you are traveling, as well as where you book the rental from. 

After all fees and taxes you can generally expect to spend somewhere between $60-$80 a day to rent a minivan from Enterprise. However, if you are between the ages of 21-24 then you will have to pay an additional “young renters fee” which can increase the cost even further. 

Again, these costs will vary depending on your location, when you book, etc. but that is a good general amount that will be pretty accurate most of the time. 

What is the best minivan to rent?

There are a lot of amazing minivans that you can try out that you have to choose from when renting a minivan. It is important to know some of the pros and cons of all of the different minivans before settling on one to rent. 

I will cover some features of the different minivans that you might find for rent and then after that give you which one I feel is the best to rent. 

Toyota Sienna

This minivan comes loaded with a purring V6 engine that will keep your journey smooth. As for storage space, it’s large so that you can tuck your luggage inside without any issue. 

The Sienna is an incredibly reliable minivan so you shouldn’t have to worry about breaking down when you rent it. It also has some of the best features in the base models so you will typically find more features on this vehicle than on the other minivans.

Nissan Quest

The Nissan Quest is rarely seen on rental car lots anymore in the USA since it was last produced in 2016. 

If this is an option on the rental lot that you are at then you know that it is an older model which means it won’t have any newer features and will likely be higher in mileage as well. 

It’s for those reasons that I would recommend avoiding the Nissan Quest even if it is an option at the rental lot you are at. 

Chrysler Pacifica 

This car will give you the handling and power that you need and will have many higher end features similar to the Toyota Sienna. That’s not all as you will also find a very well equipped vehicle as well as a flexible cabin as you can fold down seats wherever you need to or use the extra storage space that is in the floor under the second row of seats. 

The extra storage space that this model offers makes it a great choice for a rental minivan. 

Mercedes-Benz Metris 

This rental minivan comes with 8 seats and as such this car is perfect for large families. That’s not the only thing this minivan offers however. It has also been built like a tank to withstand different kinds of surfaces and terrains. 

So you will get space, safety as well as durability all in one vehicle. 

Because of the increased cost of regular maintenance on this minivan you will rarely find them on rental lots but if you do then they are a great option.

Dodge Grand-Caravan

This minivan is reliable as well as a proven hauler. It is essentially the generic version of the Chrysler Pacifica which means that it won’t clone with as many features or as nice of a ride as the Pacifica will. 

However, you will find that it will give you amazing overall utility since the seats fold flat in this model as well just like they do in the Pacifica. 

This certainly isn’t a bad choice for your rental minivan as it’s still very comfortable and you will get where you are going without any issue.

Honda Odyssey

If you want efficiency from your rental minivan then the Honda Odyssey is the answer to that. You will get high-quality interior features all along with multiple user-friendly features as well.

 As such this is pretty much the perfect family car. Everyone will be able to stretch their legs out easily and you won’t have to worry about breaking down while you are on your trip. 

The best minivan to rent

Okay, so I’ve covered some different information about most of the minivans that you will encounter on the rental lot, but which one is the best? Which minivan should you always try to rent if you have a choice. 

I 100% would recommend renting either a Chrysler or Dodge minivan if at all possible. This is because ALL of the rear seats in these models fold flat into the floor which gives you a lot more options. 

Being able to fold the seats down that you choose while leaving others up offers you a ton more versatility and allows you to easily fit a variety of “stuff” in the rental minivan along with still having plenty of passengers. 

For instance, when we go on a road trip in my Chrysler minivan we will often fold down one of the seats in the second row and put a cooler snacks, blankets, etc. in its spot and then put the kids in the back seat. This makes it much easier to reach things than having everything all the way in the back! 

Since the only models that currently offer the option of having the second row fold into the floor is a minivan made by Dodge or Chrysler then those are the ones I would recommend renting.

Conclusion

Overall, rental minivans tend to be quite expensive for a variety of reasons. It could be because of faster depreciation when compared to other cars or because of a lack of home ground production in other countries. But whatever may be the reason for the high rental price; if you compare costs, then you will find that the price is generally 2-3 times higher than the rental price of another car. 

For a car that can seat upwards of 7-8 people as well as hold heavy luggage, that price seems justified to many people and so it remains pretty expensive to rent a minivan. But if you don’t like the price then you can always keep your options open and look for other rentals cars or just look around for alternative car rental places such as Turo or ZipCar. 

Matthew Robbs

I have been working on cars since I was a kid and I love taking a vehicle that isn't working and bringing it back to life. I have owned quite a few cars over the years and looking for information about different vehicles is still hard online so that is why I started this website.

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