Drivers can rent a car in Salt Lake City from either Salt Lake City International Airport or at individual company locations throughout the city. There are approximately 193,000 people who live here, and tourism is a billion-dollar industry in Salt Lake City. The area attracts many skiers in the winter, and summer is another particularly busy season. Mid to late August is the best time to visit for a quieter trip, and guests are likely to find cheaper lodging during those months.
Rent a Car in Salt Lake City
There are several rental companies located in the downtown area, but people arriving by plane can rent a car in Salt Lake City on the airport's ground floor. Pick-ups and drop-offs can be made from the short-term parking garage — drivers can find the rental companies across from the terminal buildings.
The following agencies are available in the airport: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Firefly, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty. Drivers can also take a shuttle from the airport to one of the off-site rental companies: ACE Rent-A-Car, Advantage, Affordable, Fox Rent-A-Car, and Rugged Rental.
Some contracts stipulate that a car be returned with as much gas as when it left. Drivers approaching the airport from Interstate 80 West can take the exit for 5600 West and fill up before returning their rentals. There are also a few gas stations inside of 215 North at the intersection of North Temple and Redwood Road. These are the closest locations to the airport.
Tips for Driving in Salt Lake City
The city uses a grid system that is easy to navigate, so driving is fairly straightforward. The only major consideration is congestion on the major highways — especially Interstate 15 — during peak travel times. Traffic is better here than it is in comparable cities due to its expansive freeway system, but rush hour in Salt Lake City is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Note that traffic may also be heavier in central downtown districts.
Drivers must be careful if traveling during the winter months. The city reported a near record-breaking snowfall for 2016, and there is an influx of tourists during this season. Drivers should proceed cautiously and be prepared with the number of their rental agency and local emergency services. March to May and September to December are the wettest months of the year, so guests should plan to traverse inclement weather if visiting during those times.
Sightseeing in Utah
There are many national parks and other gorgeous sights to see in Utah. Zion National Park and Arches National Park are worth the drive, and the Rocky Mountains are also an easy day trip. The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway (Highway 92) passes between Mount Timpanogos and Mill Canyon Peak, making for a particularly beautiful and relaxing drive. Utah Lake is a short trip south on I-15. Another recommended scenic route is to take I-15 North past Layton, take the Antelope Drive exit, and head west to enjoy the short drive over Great Salt Lake before arriving at Antelope Island State Park.
A cheap rental car can get travelers anywhere they want to go in and around Utah.