South Dakota

South Dakota, located in the heart of the United States, is a state known for its breathtaking natural beauty, iconic landmarks, and rich Native American history. Renting a car in South Dakota allows you the freedom to explore its vast landscapes, visit national parks, and experience the unique culture of the region. In this article, we will guide you through the process of car rental in South Dakota, including an overview of the rental options available, popular car rental companies, types of rental cars to choose from, rental requirements, popular destinations to visit, scenic drives to embark on, and essential tips for a smooth rental experience. Get ready to hit the road and discover the wonders of South Dakota!

  1. Car Rental in South Dakota

1.1. Overview

South Dakota offers a range of car rental options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you’re arriving at the major airports in Sioux Falls or Rapid City, or exploring the towns and cities across the state, you’ll find reliable car rental services available. Renting a car provides the flexibility to explore South Dakota’s diverse attractions, from the majestic Mount Rushmore to the serene Badlands National Park.

1.2. Popular Car Rental Companies

Several well-known car rental companies operate in South Dakota, ensuring a convenient rental experience. National Car Rental, Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, and Budget are among the popular choices. These companies offer a wide selection of vehicles, competitive rates, and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the state.

  1. Types of Rental Cars

2.1. Economy Cars and Sedans

Economy cars and sedans are suitable for individuals or couples looking for fuel-efficient and affordable transportation options. These vehicles are ideal for exploring South Dakota’s towns and cities, allowing you to navigate through urban areas comfortably and economically.

2.2. SUVs and Crossovers

If you’re planning to venture into South Dakota’s vast wilderness or embark on outdoor adventures, renting an SUV or crossover is a great choice. These vehicles provide ample space for passengers and their gear, making them perfect for exploring the state’s national parks, such as Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park.

2.3. Trucks and Vans

For those traveling with a larger group or needing extra cargo space, renting a truck or van is a practical option. Trucks are suitable for off-road explorations and outdoor activities, while vans offer comfortable seating for multiple passengers. These vehicles are ideal for family vacations or group trips to destinations like the Black Hills or the historic town of Deadwood.

  1. Rental Requirements

3.1. Age Restrictions

The minimum age to rent a car in South Dakota is typically 21 years old, although some rental companies may have higher age requirements or additional fees for drivers under 25. It’s important to check with the specific rental company for their age policies.

3.2. Driver’s License and Insurance

To rent a car in South Dakota, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. International visitors should present a valid license from their home country along with an International Driving Permit (IDP) if required. It’s also recommended to have car insurance coverage, either through your personal policy or by purchasing coverage offered by the rental company.

  1. Popular Destinations

South Dakota is home to several must-visit destinations that are best explored by car. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, with its iconic presidential sculptures, is a top attraction. The Badlands National Park offers unique rock formations and stunning vistas, while the Black Hills region is renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Other notable destinations include the historic city of Deadwood and the charming town of Sioux Falls.

  1. Scenic Drives

South Dakota boasts scenic drives that showcase its natural wonders and panoramic landscapes. The Needles Highway, with its narrow tunnels and granite spires, offers breathtaking views in Custer State Park. The Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway takes you through picturesque canyons, waterfalls, and forests. The Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park allows you to observe bison herds and other wildlife up close.

  1. Tips for Renting a Car

Before renting a car in South Dakota, keep these tips in mind:

  • Make a reservation in advance to secure the best rates and availability.
  • Familiarize yourself with the rental company’s policies, including fuel options and mileage restrictions.
  • Inspect the car for any existing damages before driving off.
  • Plan your itinerary and consider road conditions and distances between destinations.
  • Observe speed limits and road signs, especially in rural areas.


Renting a car in South Dakota opens up a world of exploration and adventure, allowing you to discover the state’s captivating landscapes, historic landmarks, and cultural treasures. From the awe-inspiring Mount Rushmore to the rugged beauty of the Badlands, a rental car offers the flexibility to experience the best of South Dakota. Follow the tips provided, choose the ideal rental car for your journey, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the breathtaking state of South Dakota.