How much are Phoenix car rentals right now? Super Bowl, Phoenix Open are pushing prices up

Super Bowl 2023 is less than two weeks away and the teams are set. That means the travel rush is coming, and it will squeeze the availability of rental cars in metro Phoenix.

With the big game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale coinciding with the WM Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale, car rental companies at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport are seeing high demand for the week of Feb. 6-13.

Reservations are still available on many rental companies' websites as they work to increase their inventory of vehicles for the week. But consumers should book as early as possible to avoid paying absolute top dollar or being shut out entirely.

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How much are Super Bowl car rentals? What is availability like?

More than 1,000 rental cars sit in a parking lot near Priest Dr. and Van Buren St. in Phoenix, Ariz. on April 6, 2020.
More than 1,000 rental cars sit in a parking lot near Priest Dr. and Van Buren St. in Phoenix, Ariz. on April 6, 2020.

Because of high demand, you can expect to pay higher rates. Here's what agencies at the Phoenix airport's Rental Car Center are offering at publication time for a Feb. 6-13 rental period. Prices and availability are subject to change.

Fox Rent A Car: Fox was advertising the lowest rate for Super Bowl week, with a compact SUV such as a Chevrolet Equinox available for $446.31, including taxes.

Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty: Hertz offers rentals under its flagship brand, plus Dollar and Thrifty. Between the three, the lowest available rate was $569.30, including taxes, for a midsize sedan with Dollar. Hertz also has two types of electric vehicles available for rent, a standard range and long range Tesla Model 3. Standard range is $696.63 for the week; long range is $724.89.

Enterprise, Alamo and National: Enterprise Holdings offers rentals with its flagship brand Enterprise Rent-A-Car, plus Alamo and National. Interestingly, the lowest available rates for Enterprise and Alamo were for pickup truck rentals rather than sedans. Alamo had a standard pickup available for $655.99 including taxes and a half-ton pickup, like the Ford F150, for $687.35 including taxes. Enterprise had a half-ton pickup for $720.37. The least expensive class with National was a midsize sedan, advertised at $907.87 for Super Bowl week.

"We encourage people to check back if their desired reservation is not available, as travel plans and reservations often change and bookings might become available," said Michael Wilmering, spokesman for Enterprise Holdings. "Additionally, providing flexible dates and branch pick-up locations in your search may help to increase your options."

Avis, Budget and Payless: Avis Budget Group offers car rentals with the brands Avis, Budget and Payless. The lowest rates for all three were for a midsize car; Avis currently advertises the lowest rate, $657.78 for the week including taxes. They also offer different classes of SUV rentals and Avis again advertised the lowest SUV rate, $792.08 including taxes.

Sixt Rent-A-Car: Sixt has rates starting at $657.24 for a Nissan Versa or similar sedan.

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What rental cars are in greatest demand for Super Bowl week?

Enterprise staff is seeing the greatest interest in large-capacity vehicles such as SUVs and minivans, Wilmering said.

What are the busiest days for Super Bowl car rental pickups?

The busiest days across Hertz's brands will be Thursday and Friday, Feb. 9 and 10, company spokeswoman Lauren Luster said.

Hertz ramped up its staffing with the expectation of serving "thousands of customers in the Phoenix metro area" who are visiting for the Super Bowl and Phoenix Open, she said.

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How do I return my car to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport?

Travelers wait in a snaking line at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport rental car center on Dec. 27, 2022.
Travelers wait in a snaking line at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport rental car center on Dec. 27, 2022.

Wilmering, of Enterprise, encouraged renters to allow plenty of time for the return process because of increased airport traffic. He recommended that people returning cars arrive at the Rental Car Center at least three hours before their plane is scheduled to take off.

Sky Harbor Airport spokesman Eric Everts was more conservative in his suggestion. He recommended that travelers allow at least four hours to return their rental cars, ride the PHX Sky Train to their terminal and get to their gate.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Super Bowl 2023 car rentals in Phoenix: Prices up, availability down