San Luis Obispo car rentals

San Luis Obispo car rentals

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San Luis Obispo, CA
Oct 25 — Nov 1
Same drop-off
San Luis Obispo, CA
Mon 10/25
Mon 11/1

Search hundreds of rental car sites at once for car rental deals in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo car rental information

Pick-up locationSan Luis Obispo
Car typesCompact, Convertible, Economy, Full-size, Intermediate, Intermediate SUV, Luxury, Minivan, Premium, Standard, Standard SUV
Rental locations11
Airport locations6
Popular agenciesHertz, Avis, Budget

Cheap car rentals in San Luis Obispo

Best rates found by KAYAK users in the past hours.

San Luis Obispo car rental reviews and directory

From $33/dayRated #1
Cheapest deal
Best rated
6.9 Good (109 reviews)
2 locations in San Luis Obispo
Locations in San Luis Obispo
  • 7.4
  • 7.2
  • 6.8
  • 6.6
  • 7.2
Recent reviews
3.9 MediocreSep 11 2021
Budget took a really long time to get our check in process. Also it was super unclear where the car was parked so we walked a long ways only to turn around and walk back and the San Luis Airport
1.9 HorribleAug 5 2021
When we dropped off the car, the place was closed. No after hours key drop off either. Even thought I selected 4:00 drop off and paid for that, the place closed at 2
1.9 HorribleAug 2 2021
There was no one there when I went to pick up my car. So I never got it
2.0 MediocreJun 27 2021
I made a reservation three weeks in advance to pick up a car at 5:00 PM for a two week rental. My flight was late coming in, and when I got to the Budget counter at 5:10 PM they had already left. Needless to say, I am very unlikely to use Budget again.
10.0 ExcellentJun 22 2021
Staff was helpful. The dropoff was easy.The price of rental!
10.0 ExcellentJun 13 2021
Leti was working solo at pick up and was very quick and efficient and friendly. At drop off, she was by herself again and balancing 3 customers but handled everything again very efficiently and always maintaining friendliness and professionalism.
6.0 GoodMay 17 2021
Despite having a reservation, they didn't have a car ready for me when I arrived. I had to wait while they prepared the car and it was pretty dirty when I did receive it. As soon as I got into the car, the "needs maintenance" warning showed up on the dashboard.
10.0 ExcellentMay 8 2021
Leticia N. who works at San Luis Obispo Budget at Broad st. was awesome !! She was alone and the place was busy, she got all customers taking care of in a timely and professional manor... Neil Reali
4.0 OkayMay 4 2021
The price was about the only thing I likedThe pick up was a nightmare. I had to cross the highway with a suitcase and no sidewalks. The directions to the pick up weren't clear at all. I walked around forever before I actually found the right building. Then my car wasn't ready. The whole process took an hour and a half.
2.0 MediocreApr 26 2021
absolutely nothing.everything. a terrible experience
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From $43/dayRated #2
8.6 Excellent (51 reviews)
3 locations in San Luis Obispo
Locations in San Luis Obispo
  • 8.7
  • 8.8
  • 8.8
  • 8.5
  • 8.4
Recent reviews
1.9 HorribleSep 16 2021
The car was not available at the pickup time. I spent the money in the Uber in vain and even the rest of the day no rental car to pick up was guaranteed. And that after having gotten a confirmation and emails from you. What an unreliable service !!! I will not book cars via you and priceline anymore. At least the guy in the rental car office was honest, but that didn't give me my agreed to car. Highly disappointing!
2.0 MediocreMay 21 2021
We had a communication problem, I stated several times that I have my own Insurance, AAA and have additional coverage on my American Express Card. Very disappointed and I assure you that I will tell EVERYONE THAT I know not to use you guys!!!
10.0 ExcellentJun 22 2020
Carpet on drivers side had a worn hole under the gas pedal. Rubber mat would have been good
5.2 OkayJun 20 2020
Didn’t have the truck I reserved.
2.0 MediocreFeb 5 2020
Enterprise is the worst ever
10.0 ExcellentOct 27 2019
Staff very helpful and friendly
4.4 OkaySep 11 2019
The Enterprise did not have any vehicles available and did not honor the reservation.An integrated system so you can not make a reservation if there are no vehicles available. An integrated system where other party will have my informations that Kayak already have (email and phone number) so they can call me and let me know that they do not have vehicles available.
10.0 ExcellentMay 18 2019
Great staff
10.0 ExcellentNov 1 2018
Great peopleThe customer service reps were very friendly and helpful. They upgraded our car without us asking! They picked us up at the train depot and brought us back, no fuss no worry. It was great.
10.0 ExcellentMay 16 2017
Great service as usualCompany needs some provision for Sunday car return
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From $43/dayRated #3
8.4 Excellent (87 reviews)
2 locations in San Luis Obispo
Locations in San Luis Obispo
  • 8.6
  • 8.7
  • 8.4
  • 8.3
  • 8.2
Recent reviews
7.9 GoodSep 27 2021
They said they would email my recipe…. Called twice still no recipe
3.9 MediocreSep 19 2021
I extended my reservation one more day as I was unsure I could make it back on the original date. I ended up getting back earlier. Original drop off was 12 noon. I arrived a day earlier at 4 pm, 20 hrs before the due date. I asked if I could have a cost adjustment but was told that I could not. I have had this courtesy at other car rentals so I was very disappointed. The staff was very nice & I realize she was just doing company policy but I feel that 20 hrs. earlier than scheduled drop off was certainly worth giving some amt. of cost adjustment. I will most likely not use Avis the next time I rent a car.
1.9 HorribleSep 17 2021
I had a reservation at Avis - 333 Madonna Rd. In San Luis Obispo 9/15/21. The place closes at 5:00pm. I showed up at 4:30 to pick up my car and no one was there?!! The door was locked and the woman working that day simply left early and closed up shop! I called the 800 number she posted on the front door only to be told that there was nothing they could do to help. This is so inacceptable! That woman should be fired for doing this to me… I had a reservation and she left work early completely screwing me over! I went to 2 other rental places before finally finding a car. I will not ever do business with this place again because of this woman.
10.0 ExcellentAug 30 2021
Easy pickup and drop off. No lines
10.0 ExcellentAug 29 2021
Quick pickup and dropoff, and the attendant at the SLO airport was very helpful
7.9 GoodJul 26 2021
Everything was good except when I picked up the car it was not especially clean. The passenger seat had crumbs of something on it, and there were drip marks on the headrest and seat, and also in the back seat, where I believe they sprayed cleaner or air freshener but never wiped it down. The lady at the pick-up agency immediately apologized and came out and wiped it down quickly. She was wonderful, and the problem was quickly resolved.
10.0 ExcellentJun 29 2021
Fast, no-nonsense yet courteous treatment.Nothing
4.0 OkayJun 21 2021
Car reeked of cannabis. Drop off in downtown San Diego was terrible. No staff, no drop off instructions, no one answered the phone. Lost an hour. Ended up returning it back to the airport and they charged me 75 dollars for not returning it to the right location. Total mess.Pretty much everything. Not using Avis again.
6.0 GoodJun 19 2021
Car was upgraded Could drop off the car after business hours with the key dropboxCar was ready for pickup later than the reservation was made for
10.0 ExcellentApr 27 2021
Staff was great. pickup and drop off 75 feet from luggage pickup.everything was great
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From $46/dayRated #4
Most popular
7.6 Good (49 reviews)
3 locations in San Luis Obispo
Locations in San Luis Obispo
  • 7.8
  • 7.9
  • 7.5
  • 7.6
  • 7.2
Recent reviews
1.9 HorribleSep 27 2021
Please note there are two Hertz locations - one at the airport and one down the road. There was a lack of communication between them both and they each seem to be staffed by just one person.
1.9 HorribleJul 12 2021
Upon the recommendation of my significant other, we called Hertz to verify our reservation for a car with pickup set for July 9, the original reservation was made in January 2021. We called the Hertz location we were picking up from directly. The representative we spoke with told us someone had called and cancelled the reservation on July 5. When we questioned the person who had cancelled the car as neither of us had called Hertz to cancel she responded "the cancellation came from central reservation." She then told us they did not have the car we reserved and would not provide any alternatives other than giving us the number for Avis. I continued to ask who cancelled the reservation and she kept attempting to gaslight us and explain to us how we had cancelled the reservation. Rather than find a solution she then hung up on us. The fact we reserved the convertible for an affordable price months in advance, coupled with the fact Hertz had no convertible leads me to believe Hertz merely cancelled our reservation without any notice and rented the convertible for a higher price. This caused us to rent the car for a higher price since it was last notice. I will never rent from Hertz again.
10.0 ExcellentMay 27 2021
Staff was wonderful, easy to work with. Excellent experience
4.0 OkayMay 24 2021
There was no radio No way to hook up my phone to Bluetooth
10.0 ExcellentMay 23 2021
Super helpful and friendly staff. Easy drop-off. Very clean and new car. Loved the car!Nothing. It was my first time renting a car and they made it so easy. You will remain my first choice should I need another rental car.
2.0 MediocreOct 30 2020
Lady was horrible when I dropped off the car
5.2 OkaySep 11 2020
Customer service on drop off could have been better
8.4 ExcellentJul 29 2019
Windows were very dirty on the inside. The film on the windows made it very hard to see at night at was hard to clean with just water at a gas station. Food left in glove box and a melted chocolate bar.
10.0 ExcellentMar 25 2019
Staff friendly, vehicle clean, good price.
9.2 ExcellentJan 3 2019
I liked all of our encounters with the service staff from the folks working behind the counter to the complementary ride from the airport to the train station. Excellent service.The car I rented needed some attention, for example the alignment was off.
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1 location in San Luis Obispo
Locations in San Luis Obispo
Recent reviews
297 travelers who rented a car in San Luis Obispo gave the car agency they used an average rating of 7.8

Car rental locations in or near San Luis Obispo

Good to know

Most popular agency


Most popular car type


Average price


Good deal


When to book a rental car in San Luis Obispo

Average daily price per month
Rental car prices as pick-up date approaches

Car rental insurance in San Luis Obispo

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) & Theft Protection Waiver

Some San Luis Obispo car providers already include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Protection Waiver into the rental price but not all of them. We recommend always be aware of your coverage when renting a car in in San Luis Obispo.


Keep in mind that car rental insurances often have a deductible clause, which is the amount you’ll have to pay if something happens during the time of your rental. If you want to avoid unwanted surprises, you should consider adding a no-deductible option to your San Luis Obispo car rental.

Top tips for renting a car in San Luis Obispo

  • Renting a car in San Luis Obispo is a convenient and flexible means of visiting the city and getting a feel of the culture. Several airports are remotely far from the town center, such as the Santa Barbara Airport, approximately 75.8 miles away, and the Los Angeles International Airport, 158.9 miles away, thus it is more ideal and cheaper to opt for rental cars in San Luis Obispo. There are also several sandy beaches, hot springs, and beautiful landscapes located a few miles out of town, easily accessible using a personal vehicle. 
  • Some of the car rentals in San Luis Obispo are conveniently situated at the San Luis Obispo County (SBP) Airport, including Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, and Easier, which can be found at the baggage claim area at the Car Rental Center with the cars parked around 260 feet from the terminal. Off-site rentals, such as Budget, can be accessed via the airport shuttle, which is located on the east side of the terminal and are cheaper than taxis. 
  • Like other major cities, visitors are advised to be cautious while on the road and observe traffic rules. There are a few intersections in San Luis Obispo which are known to be hazard zones, especially to speeding drivers, such as the Santa Rosa and Foothill intersection and Los Osos Valley and Calle Joaquin intersection. There are also a few cases of distracted driving, as well as jaywalkers and cyclists who fail to observe traffic laws. While selecting a vehicle in one of the car rentals in San Luis Obispo, it advisable to get GPS to be able to navigate through unfamiliar roads.
  • The rush hour in San Luis Obispo is pretty short-lived, with commuters spending an average of around 15 to 20min on the road, but is usually extended on roads undergoing construction. Rush hour in the morning is usually between 7:30am and 8:30am when people are leaving for work and school, and picks back up at 6pm to 7pm when people are heading back home. Heavy rains are also known to extend commute times in San Luis Obispo.
  • 25% of our users found rental cars in San Luis Obispo for $41 or less
  • Book your rental car in San Luis Obispo at least 1 week before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Intermediate rental cars in San Luis Obispo are around 16% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in San Luis Obispo

  • Some car rental companies in San Luis Obispo which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Hertz, Budget and Avis

  • On average a rental car in San Luis Obispo costs $55 per day.

  • In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Hertz ($42/day), Budget ($50/day) and Avis ($60/day). In the last 72 hours the cheapest rental car price was found at Hertz 4554 Broad Street Suite #130 93401 (3 miles from city center).

  • Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in San Luis Obispo are Avis (8.4, 91 reviews), Enterprise (7.9, 95 reviews), and Hertz (7.7, 58 reviews).

  • The average gas price in San Luis Obispo is $3.55 per gallon over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between $43 and $57, depending on the car size.

  • Intermediate (Toyota Corolla or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in San Luis Obispo.

  • Car rental companies onsite at County airport include Hertz, Budget, Avis and Enterprise.

  • Car rental companies that offer shuttle or pick-up services from County airport to off-airport locations include Hertz, Budget, Avis, and Enterprise.

  • Take a look at our extensive car rental location map to find the best rental cars near you.

  • A Intermediate car rental in San Luis Obispo costs $51 per day, on average.

  • A Economy car rental in San Luis Obispo costs $52 per day, on average.

  • A Compact car rental in San Luis Obispo costs $54 per day, on average.

  • In San Luis Obispo, cars are most frequently rented at Budget 4554 Broad Street (3 miles from city center).

  • On average a rental car in San Luis Obispo costs $383 per week ($55 per day).

  • On average a rental car in San Luis Obispo costs $1,641 per month ($55 per day).

  • There are several options to choose from at San Luis Obispo car rentals, depending on whether you’re considering a solo trip or planning to explore the Central Coast area as a group. Compact vehicles are recommended for when your visit to San Luis Obispo is concentrated in the town, while large SUVs are more ideal for large numbers of people and are a more comfortable option for those who visit the landscape in the outskirts of town.

  • The statutory speed limit in San Luis Obispo is set at 50mph. School zones have a set speed limit of between 15mph and 40mph at specific times of the day, while the speed limit in the business district is 25mph. There are also a couple of speed traps set up on Foothill Ave between Casa St and California Blvd, as well as Northbound Hwy 1, thus motorists are advised to drive with caution.

  • Gas prices in San Luis Obispo are relatively high, an average of $3.60 per gallon. Multiple gas stations are scattered around the city, with prices ranging between $2.99 to $4.20 at Costco, Shell, Southern Counties Oil, Speedway, among others. Cheaper gas can be found in the general areas of Froom Ranch Way, and you can expect steeper prices along Santa Rosa St.

  • There are several parking options available while on your stay in San Luis Obispo. There are parking garages such as the City of San Luis Obispo Parking as well as the Marsh Street Parking Structure, which closes at around 6pm and provide 1h free parking on weekdays, 2h free parking on Saturdays, and all-day free parking on Sundays. The municipal lot on Marsh St provides free parking for up to 2h. Parking is free in Downtown San Luis Obispo.

  • Finding the right price, understanding the add-ons and staying up to date with policy changes can be a challenge. That’s why KAYAK has produced the ultimate guide to renting a car to help you cut though the jargon and make the right choice for your rental car. Find tips and insights for how to book your rental, what car rental insurance you’ll need, how to deal with a car rental agency and what extra fees to expect (and avoid!).