Skip to content

The complete guide to renting a car with Uber

May 02, 2021
8 min read
Rental cars parked in a lot
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Following Lyft's lead, Uber recently started offering rental cars in the Uber app through its new service called Uber Rent. The company doesn't rent cars directly but instead lets you book cars with major rental car companies like Hertz and Budget. In some cities, Uber will even deliver your rental car to your door.

Here, I'll show you how to use Uber Rent to rent a car through the Uber app. I'll also discuss why you might want to rent with Uber instead of renting direct with a rental car company.

Let's get started!

For more TPG news and deals delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Why you might want to rent a car with Uber

(Photo by Sundry Photography/Shutterstock)

So, you can rent a car with Uber, but why would you want to? After all, you're essentially using Uber as a broker to link you with a local rental car company that will actually rent you the car. That said, there are a few benefits with renting through Uber — let's take a closer look.

Easier rental experience

Frankly, renting a car is a confusing experience. Rental car companies aren't known for having the best websites, so Uber attempts to fix this through its app. As you'll see in the next section, renting a car with Uber is nearly as simple as requesting an Uber ride. Just input your pickup and drop-off locations, and you can rent a car with a few taps.

Uber Cash promotion

Through September 1, you'll earn 10% back on all rental cars in the form of Uber Cash. You can use this credit toward Uber rides and Uber Eats deliveries, so it can be more valuable than rental car points in many cases.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Further, Uber will give you a $10 ride credit to help you get to your rental. Uber states that this promotion is for a "limited time" but doesn't specify an end date for the promotion. Just note that this is limited to rentals in the U.S., and you're only eligible for the $10 credit once per month. This is a nice touch, especially if you need to go to a local airport to pick up your rental.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Ability to pay with Uber Cash coming soon

Currently, you can book your rental through the Uber app but must pay for most rentals at the rental counter. The company told TPG that it plans to add the ability to pay for rentals with Uber Cash by the summer, which can be a great way to use Uber Cash offered by select American Express cards.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Uber Valet in Washington D.C., more cities soon

Uber also launched a new feature called Uber Valet that will drop off and pick up your rental car at your home, hotel room or wherever else you need a car. This lets you completely skip the rental car counter and makes the rental process more seamless than ever. The Uber Valet feature is launching in Washington D.C. this May and will expand to other cities throughout the year.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Related: Why renting a car may now be the hardest part of your journey

How to rent a car with Uber

(Photo by Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

To rent with Uber, launch your Uber app and click the Rent button at the center of the homepage. This will take you to the booking screen.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

From here, enter your pick up and drop off locations and when you want to pick up and drop off your car. Then, tap the Find cars button at the bottom of the screen.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

You can see all rental options at the center of the screen. There are filtering options at the top of the screen that you can use to sort rentals by price and distance.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Tap on a car to view rental details. You can see car specs, cancellation policy and equip your rental with add-ons like a booster seat or a ski rack. When you're ready to book, read and agree to the terms and conditions and tap the Reserve button. Uber will then confirm your rental with the rental car company.

(Screenshot courtesy of Uber)

Related: Here’s everything you need to know about the revamped Uber Rewards program

How do prices compare with booking direct?

I've found that prices in the Uber app are largely consistent with booking directly with the fulfilling rental company. For example, a Sixt SUV weekend rental near New York-JFK costs $382.74 in late May when booked through the Uber app. I found that Sixt charges the same price if you choose to pay for your rental at pick up.

(Screenshot courtesy of Sixt)

The same goes for a week-long rental near Miami (MIA). Uber quotes $569.43 for a mystery rental through Thrifty, which is the same price as booking directly with Thrifty if you pay at the airport.

(Screenshot courtesy of Thrifty)

Don't forget that your rental also includes a $10 Uber ride credit and — through September — 10% back in Uber Cash. These perks actually make it beneficial to book through Uber instead of directly with the rental car company. That said, a downside is that you may not be eligible to earn rental car points or use your rental car elite status benefits if you book with Uber.

Another thing to keep in mind is corporate and university codes. If you're eligible, you may be able to reduce the cost of your rental when you add one of these codes at booking. Further, you may be able to score a discount by using Autoslash to find a better rate. Always cross-compare the price in the Uber app with the cost of renting direct and using any available discounts.

Related: How to never pay full price for a rental car

Can I use my credit card's rental car damage waiver?

Many credit cards will cover damage incurred to your rental car so long as you pay for the rental with said card. According to Uber, this coverage is available on rentals booked through the Uber app. This makes sense since you still need to pay at the rental car counter for most rental cars booked through Uber.

If you're in the market for a credit card that offers a rental car damage waiver, consider applying for one of these Chase cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve – Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Related: Can’t find a car rental? Here are 7 secrets that may help

Bottom line

It's great to see Uber add new features to the Uber app — especially when travel needs are changing and rental cars are harder to find. I'm excited to see how Uber changes the rental car business for the better with Uber Valet. These days, rental car lines are long, so the ability to have a car delivered to your home or hotel will be a gamechanger for frequent renters.

That said, always cross-compare pricing with booking direct and with services like AutoSlash. You may be able to get a better deal this way, especially if you can use a corporate or university code to reduce the cost of a rental. That said, the current Uber Cash promotions may make booking with Uber more cost-effective if you can use the credit for rides or Uber Eats deliveries.

Feature photo by Fahroni / Shutterstock.com

Featured image by Rental cars parked in lot (Photo by Fahroni / Shutterstock.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more