Renting a car as a visitor to D.C. can be a convenient way to get around and explore the city. D.C. has an excellent public transit system, but there are still parts of town that aren’t accessible via the metro or bus. Having access to a car while visiting D.C. can be a significant advantage for locals and visitors.
Renting a car in Washington, D.C., doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, though. There are many car rental places throughout the city to accommodate the needs of both visitors and locals. You’ll likely be able to find a car rental agency near where you live or where you’re staying.
It can be tricky to find parking in an urban area such as D.C., whether you’re searching for a spot near your home or trying to find a space near a downtown destination. Many locals choose not to own a car and take public transit instead. This guide will help you find a car rental agency in several D.C. neighborhoods, whatever your reason is for needing one.
Car Rental Companies by Neighborhood
Car rental offices are spread out all over the city, but many of them are concentrated in the denser neighborhoods close to downtown. Here are some of the most popular D.C. neighborhoods and where you can go to rent a car in each one.
Avis and Budget (1908 L Street N.W.)
You’ll get two car rental companies in one at this busy L Street garage since both Avis and Budget offer car rentals here. You’ll be close to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the National Geographic Museum, Lafayette Square, and the White House. You can choose to drop off your car at the Dulles Airport or Reagan National Airport if that’s more convenient than returning it to L Street.
Zipcar (925 25th Street N.W.)
Zipcar rents cars by the hour or the day, making it a good option for shorter trips around the city or taking a day trip in the greater metropolitan area. Zipcar is a membership service, so if you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to sign up before renting a car. Zipcar’s website states that most applicants are approved within minutes and can begin renting cars the same day. You’re right across the street from the George Washington University and just southeast of historic Georgetown, with its cobblestone streets and landscaped Riverwalk.
- Circle Arms
- Dupont Circle
Hertz (1919 Connecticut Avenue NW)
Dupont Circle refers to a neighborhood, but also a traffic circle with a park and historic fountain at its center. This Hertz location north of the traffic circle is just east of Embassy Row. It’s a good starting point if you’re looking to explore the northern neighborhoods of D.C., such as Cathedral Heights (home of the Washington National Cathedral). You’ll also be near Rock Creek Park, a natural wonderland with hiking trails, picnic areas, horse stables, sports courts, and more.
Zipcar (1320 19th Street N.W. and 1618 19th Street N.W.)
These two Zipcar locations border the Dupont traffic circle at the southern and northern end. Dupont Circle is a neighborhood densely populated with students, young professionals, and longtime locals, so it’s not surprising to find two Zipcar locations here.
Enterprise (1110 14th Street N.W.)
This centrally located Enterprise office is steps away from both Thomas Circle and Logan Circle, as well as the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Washington Post newspaper office. You have the option to return your car at the Dulles Airport, Reagan National Airport, or even the Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Hanover, Maryland.
Enterprise (2730 Georgia Avenue N.W.)
This car rental location is just east of the Columbia Heights metro station and slightly north of the downtown bustle in an area with a more residential feel. You’re right next to historic Howard University, and the Petworth neighborhood is just north on Georgia Avenue. You’re also close to Rock Creek Park if you’re in the mood for outdoor adventures. You may return your car to one of the area’s airports if that’s more convenient, as with the other Enterprise location.
Zipcar (3024 14th Street N.W.)
This Zipcar pickup location, which you’ll find steps from the Columbia Heights Metro station, is a great starting point for exploring the greater D.C. area. You’re just south of Silver Spring and Bethesda in Maryland, or if you head west toward Great Falls, you can view stunning waterfalls and several hiking trails. Don’t forget that Zipcar rents cars by the hour or day, so it’s better for short jaunts rather than overnight excursions.
Woodley Park / Van Ness
Enterprise (2601 Calvert Street N.W.)
This car rental location is inside the Marriott Hotel, a convenient option if you’re staying at the hotel or nearby. You’re in an excellent spot to explore northern D.C. neighborhoods from here, such as Adams Morgan to the east or Arlington to the west. You’re also close to the Smithsonian National Zoo, located inside Rock Creek Park on the southern end.
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