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Experience seamless car rental services in Traverse City. Our team is dedicated to providing a hassle-free transaction and exceptional customer service. Discover the charm of Old Mission Peninsula or drive down to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Explore the unique beauty of Traverse City in the comfort and convenience of our first-rate vehicles.

Car Rental in Traverse City

Immerse Yourself in Wine, Water and Natural Wonders

City car nestling in Traverse City's cherry bloom beach sunset

Welcome to the hidden gem of Traverse City, Michigan. Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan, this bustling city is known for its lush cherry orchards and vibrant downtown. The city follows a peninsula where you can visit the region's numerous vineyards offering a wide variety of wines, showing the city's deep commitment to viticulture.

Traversing through Traverse City in a car is an experience of a lifetime. Cruise through its scenic byways especially Old Mission Peninsula, a narrow finger of land that juts into Lake Michigan ending up at the historic Old Mission Point Lighthouse. The drive is about 37 km long and is characterized by lush rolling vineyards and some of the most picturesque landscapes in the area. Not forgetting the pure beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore which is 35 miles west of Traverse City.

For the ardent road travelers, it's worth noting that Detroit, the state's largest city is about a 5-hour drive from Traverse City while the Windy City, Chicago, is approximately 6 hours by car. These routes offer quintessential American road trips around the stunning Great Lakes region. So, gear up and jump in your car for an exhilarating exploration of the breathtaking natural beauty, delightful vineyards and the rich history that Traverse City has to offer.

Car Rental in Traverse City

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does it cost to rent a car in Traverse City?

Prices for car rentals in Traverse City vary depending on the type of car, rental period, and the rental company. On average, you can expect to pay between $30 and $60 per day for a basic sedan. Luxury cars and SUVs cost more.

2. What car model is most popular for rent in Traverse City?

Compact cars and sedans like the Ford Fusion and Toyota Corolla are the most popular rentals in Traverse City. Many visitors prefer them because their size makes them easy to drive in the city's narrow streets and they are fuel-efficient, perfect for trips around the beautiful Traverse City area.

3. Where are the most popular locations to rent a car in Traverse City?

Most visitors prefer to rent their vehicles at the Traverse City Airport (TVC) for ease and convenience. Besides, there are numerous car rental companies downtown.

4. Is there a 24-hour pickup and dropoff service?

Yes, most car rental companies in Traverse City provide a 24-hour pickup and dropoff service.

5. What is the minimum rental period?

The minimum rental period typically ranges from one day to one week, depends on the car rental company’s policy.

6. What is the minimum age to rent a car in Traverse City?

The minimum age to rent a car in Traverse City is usually 21 years. Some companies may charge an additional "young driver" fee for renters under 25 years old.

7. What documents do I need to rent or drive a car in Traverse City?

To rent a car in Traverse City, you will need a valid driver's license, proof of insurance (if you opt out of the rental company's coverage), and a valid credit card.

8. What is the best time of the year to visit Traverse City by car?

The best time to visit Traverse City by car is between late spring and early fall, when the weather is warm and dry. However, the winter can also be a magical time to visit if you're prepared for snow driving.

9. What are the main airports in Traverse City?

The main airport in Traverse City is the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC).

10. Can I pick up the car in Traverse City and drop it off in another city?

Yes, most car rental companies offer one-way rentals allowing you to pick up the car in Traverse City and drop it off in another city, though this typically comes with an additional fee.

Car Rental Reviews


Traverse City – 29-11-2023. Our weekend getaway to the vineyards at Traverse City was absolutely delightful. The rental car from this company only enhanced the experience. The process was smooth, concise and the rate was within my pensioner budget. Kudos for getting my holiday off to a rolling start.


Traverse City – 24-11-2023. As a student on a budget, I was stoked to discover this rental company. Man, they offer some of the best prices in town. My friends and I had a great time cruising around Traverse City in that cool sedan.


Traverse City – 02-11-2023. Had a great experience with this car rental company. Customer service was excellent, and the car was clean and ready for me when I arrived. Being able to explore Traverse City on my own terms made my business trip much more enjoyable. Will certainly use them again!


Traverse City – 24-08-2023. Renting a car from this company is a breeze, they got an easy online reservation system and their staffs are courteous at the counter. Driving around the cherry capital of the world, Traverse City was a memorable journey for my wife and me. Highly recommended!


Traverse City – 21-06-2023. Just got back from Traverse City, had a wonderful time! The car we rented was in superb condition and drove smoothly the whole trip. Prices were reasonable, too, making it easy for us fresh grads to afford.


Traverse City – 23-11-2022. For our 30th anniversary, my wife and I decided to drive around Traverse City. This rental company gave us a well-maintained car that took us through snow flurries and sunny weather alike. The drive around Grand Traverse Bay was the highlight of the trip!

Traverse City Road Connections

Essential Guide for Road Trips from Traverse City

  1. Traverse City to Grand Rapids: Covering 176km via US-131 S, it approximately takes 2 hours. Roads are well-maintained with scenic views.
  2. Traverse City to Detroit: A 398km journey via I-75 S, typically takes about 4 hours. Highways are generally in good condition.
  3. Traverse City to Chicago: A longer trip of 550km via I-94 W takes around 5 hours. Highways are busy but well-maintained.
  4. Traverse City to Milwaukee: Spanning 557km via I-43 S, it's an approximately 6-hours drive. The journey includes a ferry ride across Lake Michigan.
  5. Traverse City to Mackinac Island: At a distance of 178km via I-75 N and includes a ferry ride to the island. The drive is about 2.5 hours.
  6. Traverse City to Petoskey: A short drive of 105km taking 1.5 hours via US-31 N with magnificent views of the Michigan Lake.
  7. Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes: Closest at just 39km, a 45-minute drive via M-72 W. Roads are smaller but in good condition with wonderful nature views.

Driving Q&A

Traverse City Insights

1. What is the speed limit in Traverse City?

The standard speed limit in most urban parts of Traverse City is 25 miles per hour, but there are certain areas, such as highways that may allow higher speed limits up to 70 miles per hour. Always obey posted signs to be sure.

2. Do I need an international driving license to drive in Traverse City?

Non-residents of the US are advised to have an international driving license, along with a valid license from their home country.

3. Are there many speed cameras in Traverse City?

There are indeed speed cameras in and around Traverse City. To avoid fines, equipment points, and incidents, abide by the speed limits.

4. Are toll roads common in Traverse City and the surrounding areas?

There are no toll roads in Traverse City or the state of Michigan, so you can enjoy your drive without worrying about extra charges.

5. Are there any specific driving rules I should be aware of in Traverse City?

Most common driving rules apply here, such as obeying traffic signs and signals, keeping to the right side of the road etc.

6. How is the traffic condition typically in Traverse City?

Traverse City, being a smaller town, doesn't generally suffer from severe traffic congestion. Of course, during peak tourist season, there may be slightly more traffic than usual.

7. On which side of the road do we drive in Traverse City?

In Traverse City, as is standard across the United States, one drives on the right-hand side of the road.

8. How frequent are the radar checks in the city?

Radar checks are common in Traverse City, as police strive to manage speeding and maintain road safety.

9. What are the safety regulations while driving in the city?

Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers and the driver. Additionally, use of turn signals for lane changes and turns is compulsory. Distracted driving, especially texting while driving, is prohibited.

10. Can I use a digital license while driving in Traverse City?

Currently, a physical driving license is required while driving.

11. What are the penalties for speeding in Traverse City?

Speeding can result in fines, points on your license, and possibly even court appearances for severe offences.

12. Are children required to use a car seat in Traverse City?

Yes, children under 4 years must use a child car seat. Children must be in a booster seat until they are 8 years old, unless they have reached 4'9" in height.

13. What's expected of pedestrians in Traverse City?

Pedestrians are expected to abide by traffic signals and crosswalks. Cars have the obligation to yield to pedestrians who are lawfully within the crosswalk.

14. Are U-turns allowed in Traverse City?

U-turns are generally allowed at intersections unless signs state otherwise. However, U-turns on freeways are not allowed.

15. Is honking allowed in Traverse City?

Honking should be used sparingly and only to alert others to a potential danger. Excessive honking without a valid reason may be considered a traffic violation.

Explore Traverse City

Top 8 Must-See Attractions

  1. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: Witness breathtaking dunes along Lake Michigan's northeastern coastline.
  2. Traverse City State Park: A popular site for camping, picnics, and swimming.
  3. Mission Point Lighthouse: Explore this historical place offering splendid waterscape views.
  4. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons: A historic site with dining, shopping and entertainment facilities.
  5. Front Street: Traverse City's main shopping district with a variety of shops and restaurants.
  6. Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail: Perfect for wine lovers, featuring numerous wineries and vineyards.
  7. Interlochen Center for the Arts: Highly recommended for art enthusiasts, offering performances and exhibitions.
  8. Centre ICE Arena: Home to local ice sport events and public skating sessions.

Roadtrips from Traverse City

Exploring Michigan by car

  1. Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes: A short but scenic 45 km drive, passing vineyards and cherry orchards. Stop at Suttons Bay, a charming village along the route.
  2. Old Mission Peninsula: 44 km round-trip showcasing Traverse City’s wine country with numerous vineyards and wineries along the way.
  3. Traverse City to Mackinac Island: A 190 km drive through the heart of Michigan with stops at Charlevoix and Petoskey, known for their pristine beaches and historic architecture.
  4. M-22 Scenic Drive: A 185 km route offering breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Manistee National Forest.
  5. Traverse City to Detroit: This 400 km journey takes you through Michigan’s vibrant lower peninsula with stops in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.
  6. Traverse City to Pictured Rocks: A 370 km roadtrip with stunning views of waterfalls, sand dunes, and colorful cliff walls along Lake Superior.
  7. Traverse City to Tahquamenon Falls: 360 km drive north allows you to witness one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.