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Best & Easiest 6 Car Rental Companies at Birmingham, Alabama Airport: A Complete Guide to the BHM Rental Car Center 

Planning a trip to Birmingham? If you’re looking to rent a car, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll provide a complete guide to car rental at Birmingham Airport (BHM).

We’ll cover everything from the different car rental companies that operate at BHM to how to get to the rental car center from the airport terminals. We’ll also give you some tips for saving money on your car rental.

Map of the Birmingham Alabama Airport With Directions to the Car rental Center

The Birmingham, Alabama Airport has 1 location for car rental Companies where Alamo, Avis, National, Budget, Enterprise, Payless, Sixt are located. The Birmingham, Alabama Airport car rental center is located at 5900 Messer Airport Hwy, Birmingham, Alabama, AL 35212.

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Teacher Tip: Before securing your car rental, make it easy on yourself and visit Rentalcars.com to ensure you get the best deal! 🌍🚗🔑 Ah, Rentalcars.com! That site has been my go-to, whether I’m zooming down the Autobahnen in Germany or Navigating the endless theme park parking lots in Orlando. The deals and options are as varied as the roller coasters at Universal Studios. It’s the simplest way to ensure you’re not overpaying or missing out on hidden gems.

My top 6 Rental Car companies at Birmingham, Alabama airport.

With the lessons learned from our national & international car rental experiences, it becomes easier to identify what makes for a smooth car rental process. So, keep reading for those looking for the easiest & Best car rental experience at Birmingham, Alabama Airport.

I’ve tried several car rental companies, and here are my recommendations:

  1. SIXT Rental Cars is a great option for car rental. SIXT is my favorite because they have the best customer service and always have the car I want ready for me. I love their SUVs, but they also have great economy cars, luxury cars, and vans. Their prices are competitive, and their staff is friendly and helpful. I’ve rented from SIXT several times and have always had a good experience, and I’m sure you will too. Check SIXT Car Rental’s best deals.
    • 4.0 Stars, 6,766 Google reviews
    • SIXT: opening time 6:30 a.m to 11:30 p.m.
    • Call 888-749-8227 to Contact SIXT Car Rental.
  2. National Car Rental: I’ve rented from National several times and have always been happy with their service. They have many cars to choose from, and their prices are competitive. The staff is always friendly and helpful. Check National Car Rental’s best deals.
    • 4.0 Stars, 374 Google reviews
    • National: opening time 7 am to 11:59 pm
    • Call 833-886-0849 to Contact National Car Rental 
  3. Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Enterprise is another excellent option. They have a large fleet of cars, and their prices are very reasonable. They also offer a variety of discounts and promotions. We had family from out of town, and they had a fantastic Chevrolet Suburban ready for us, which was terrific. Check out Enterprises cars.
    • 4.1 Stars 899 Google reviews
    • Enterprise: opening times are 7 am to 11:59 pm.
    • Call +1 833-886-0848 to Contact Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  4. Alamo Rent-A-Car is a good choice for travelers seeking a more affordable option. They offer a variety of car classes, and their prices are typically lower than other car rental companies in Birmingham, Alabama Airport. Check out, Alamo.
    • 3.8 Stars, 214 Google reviews
    • Alamo: Opening times 7 am to 11:59.
    • Call +1 833-866-0850 to Contact Alamo Rent-A-Car.
  5. Hertz is a well-known car rental company that offers a variety of car classes and amenities. They have a large fleet of cars, so you’ll find the perfect vehicle for your needs. Hertz is also a good option for travelers looking for rewards programs. Hertz car rental at Birmingham, Alabama airport Check out, Hertz.
    • 2.9 Stars, 355 Google reviews
    • Hertz: Opening Times 7 am to 11 pm.
    • Call 205-591-6090 to Contact Hertz.
  6. Avis is a good car rental company because it offers a variety of cars to choose from, including economy cars, SUVs, minivans, luxury cars, and even trucks, but their vehicles are top-of-the-line. Avis is a good choice for travelers seeking a luxurious car rental experience, Avis car rental at Birmingham, Alabama Airport. Check out what vehicles Avis has ready for you.
    • 3.1 Stars 550 Google reviews
    • Avis: is open 8 am to 11:59 pm
    • Call (1) 205-599-0685 to Contact Avis.

Ultimately, the best car rental company for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the most important factors to you, such as price, car class, amenities, and rewards programs. Then, compare the different companies to find the best one for you.

Pro Tip for the Savvy Traveler: Don’t settle for just any car rental deal. Compare the different Car Rental companies to find the best one below.

When it comes to renting a car, your choices can sometimes seem endless, especially in a place as bustling as Birmingham, Alabama Airport. But sometimes, it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. Speaking of journeys, let me share with you an experience that starts in Miami and spans continents, teaching some crucial lessons about car rentals, both domestic and international.

Our Transatlantic Journey: Miami to Salzburg

My husband and I booked flights from Miami to Munich with a connecting flight in Lisbon. After a physically and emotionally draining journey that seemed to last an eternity, we landed in Munich. I was riddled with worries about the road ahead: unfamiliar traffic laws, not speaking the language, and handling jet lag, to name a few. My husband, a European native, assured me everything would be fine.

From Munich to Salzburg: An Unexpected Lesson in Culture and Courtesy

We breezed through the car rental process in Munich, even scoring an unexpected car upgrade. From the impeccable German organization to navigating tight European parking spaces, every moment was a lesson in contrasts for my South American soul. Yet, the true eye-opener was an accident we had in a Salzburg roundabout.

While my American mindset screamed “Call the police! Insurance!” and anticipated the worst-case scenario, things played out quite differently. Simple conversations, an exchange of insurance details, and everything was sorted—no drama, no extra bills. It was a reminder that sometimes, things are just simpler than they appear.

Lessons Learned: What to Look for in a Car Rental Company

This experience had me thinking about what I value in a car rental company:

  • Efficiency: Like our seamless experience in Munich, a quick and hassle-free service is a must.
  • Customer Service: Being able to sort out issues, like our minor accident, quickly and courteously.
  • Transparency: No hidden fees or surprises. What you see should be what you get.
  • Insurance: Pay for peace of mind, Collision Damage Protection from Rentalcars.com

Pro Tip for the Savvy Traveler: Don’t settle for just any car rental deal. Compare the different Car Rental companies to find the best one below.

Different types of car rental companies that operate at Birmingham, Alabama International Airport (BHM):

  1. Budget-friendly Companies:
    • Enterprise: Known for its vast fleet and affordable rates, it’s one of the more popular options for budget-conscious travelers.
    • Alamo: Offers competitive rates and often has special deals, especially for online bookings.
    • Budget: As the name suggests, this company typically offers competitive prices, especially for travelers who book in advance.
    • Thrifty: Offers value-based rental options and frequent promotions.
  2. Luxury Companies:
    • Hertz: While Hertz caters to a wide range of needs, they also offer a “Prestige Collection” which features luxury vehicles.
    • National: National offers the “Emerald Club,” where members can often select premium or luxury vehicles from the aisle in certain locations.
    • Avis: Avis has a “Signature Series” fleet, which includes luxury sedans, SUVs, and sports cars.
  3. Eco-friendly Companies:
    • Most major rental car companies have begun to integrate hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles into their fleets, responding to the increasing demand for environmentally-friendly options.
    • Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis, for example, have “Green Traveler Collections” or similar categories that offer hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles.
    • Budget and Alamo also often have fuel-efficient vehicles available, though they might not be specifically categorized as “eco-friendly.”

It’s always a good idea to check the specific offerings of each company at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport either on the airport’s official website or on the car rental companies’ respective sites. This ensures that you get the most accurate and up-to-date information, as fleets and offerings can change based on demand and availability.

How do I get to the rental car center at Birmingham, Alabama Airport?

You can use one of the 3 Bridges connecting the airport with the BHM parking Garage where the Birmingham Car Rental Center is Located. Alamo Rent A Car, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz, National Car Rental and Thrifty, operate at the airport and are located at the car rental center.

Map of the Birmingham Alabama Airport With Directions to the Car rental Center
Map of the Birmingham Alabama Airport With Directions to the Car rental Center, Source: www.openstreetmap.org

Source: www.openstreetmap.org

Check here for the best prices on Flights

Is there a rental car shuttle at Birmingham, Alabama Airport?

No, there is no Shuttle as the Car rental center connects to the main airport building.

How late can you pick up a rental car at Birmingham, Alabama airport?

The hours of operation for the rental car center at Birmingham, Alabama International Airport (BHM) vary depending on the rental car company. However, most companies are open until 2 am. Some companies, such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, are available 24 hours daily.

Here are the rental car companies that operate at BHM and their hours of operation:

  • Alamo:5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., 7-days a week, Local Counter: (205) 591-4395
  • Avis: 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sunday, 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday
  • Local Counter: (205) 592-8901
  • Budget: 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sunday, 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Saturday, Local Counter: (205) 322-3596
  • Dollar:6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Local Counter: (205)-591-8666
  • Enterprise:  6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., 7-days a week, Local Counter: (205) 591-1927
  • Hertz:6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Local Counter: (205) 591-6090
  • National:  5:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., 7-days a week, Local Counter: (205) 592-7259
  • Thrifty: 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday, Local Counter: (205) 510-0026
  • SIXT 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. call : 888-749-8227

Pro Tip for the Savvy Traveler: Don’t settle for just any car rental deal. Compare the different Car Rental companies to find the best one below.

Common mistakes that travelers make when renting a car at BHM

While many of the common mistakes travelers make when renting a car are universal regardless of the airport, there may be specific nuances to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) that travelers should be aware of. Here are some general and potential BHM-specific mistakes:

  1. Not Booking in Advance: Especially during peak times or special events in Birmingham, rental cars can get booked quickly. It’s wise to reserve a car ahead of time to ensure availability and potentially better rates.
  2. Failing to Check Local Rental Locations: Sometimes, off-airport rental locations might offer better deals than those directly at the airport. However, ensure you factor in the transportation cost to and from these locations.
  3. Overlooking Discounts: Always check if you’re eligible for discounts through memberships like AAA, AARP, or frequent flyer programs.
  4. Neglecting to Review Fuel Policy: Ensure you understand the rental agency’s fuel policy to avoid unexpected refueling charges.
  5. Not Checking Insurance Coverage: Before opting for the rental agency’s insurance, check your personal auto insurance and credit card benefits to see if you already have coverage.
  6. Skipping a Vehicle Inspection: Before driving off, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any damages or abnormalities. Take photos as proof to avoid potential disputes during the return.
  7. Unfamiliarity with Local Traffic Laws: Every state might have slight variations in their traffic rules. Familiarize yourself with Alabama’s driving regulations.
  8. Not Comparing Prices: Don’t settle for the first price you see. Use online platforms to compare prices and find the best deal.
  9. Over-relying on GPS: While GPS devices or apps like Google Maps are invaluable, they aren’t infallible. Having a general sense of the area or a backup map can be beneficial, especially if you encounter areas with weak signals.
  10. Not Considering Traffic and Delays: Birmingham, like any city, can have traffic congestion during peak hours. Plan your trips accordingly, especially if you have to return the car by a specific time.
  11. Overlooking Hours of Operation: Some rental counters may have specific hours of operation. Make sure you’re aware of these, especially if you have early morning or late-night flights.
  12. Not Reading the Fine Print: Ensure you thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of your rental agreement, including fees, mileage limits, and other potential charges.
  13. Ignoring Toll Systems: While Birmingham doesn’t have as many toll roads as some other major cities, if you’re traveling around Alabama or to neighboring states, be aware of any tolls and the payment methods available.
  14. Renting a Larger Vehicle Unnecessarily: Larger vehicles generally cost more to rent and consume more fuel. Rent a car that suits your needs to avoid unnecessary expenses.

By being aware of these common pitfalls and planning in advance, travelers can have a smoother experience when renting a car at BHM or any other airport.

Here are the steps on how to return a car at Birmingham, Alabama Airport:

  1. Check your rental agreement. Make sure you know the exact location of the rental car return lot, the hours of operation, and any special instructions.
  2. Fuel the car. If you are required to return the car with a full tank of gas, you can do this yourself or have the rental company do it for you.
  3. Clean the car. Make sure the car is clean inside and out. If you have any trash or personal belongings in the car, remove them.
  4. Return the car to the rental car return lot. If you are returning the car to a different location than where you picked it up, follow the signs to the correct lot.
  5. Go to the rental car return counter. At the counter, you will need to present your rental agreement and driver’s license. You will also need to pay any outstanding charges, such as fuel charges or late fees.
  6. Get your rental agreement stamped. Once you have paid all of your charges, the rental agent will stamp your rental agreement. This is your proof of return.
  7. You can then leave the Rental Car Center and head to your terminal.

Here are some additional tips for returning your car at Birmingham, Alabama Airport:

  • Allow plenty of time to return your car. The Rental Car Center can get busy, especially during peak travel times.
  • If you return your car after hours, follow your rental car company’s instructions. Some companies have after-hours drop-off locations, while others require you to leave the keys in a designated box.
  • Be sure to scrutinize the car before you return it. If you see any damage, report it to the agent immediately.

Saving Money on Your Car Rental at Birmingham, Alabama Airport

  • Book your car rental in advance. This will give you more time to compare prices and find the best deal. You can use a website like Kayak or Expedia to compare prices from car rental companies.
  • Consider renting a car during the off-season. This is when car rental rates are typically lower. For example, Birmingham, Alabama is a popular tourist destination during winter, so car rental rates will be higher if you can. Try to rent a car during the summer or fall months when rates are typically lower.
  • Be flexible with your pick-up and drop-off times. You can save money by picking up your car in the morning or late at night. Car rental companies typically charge higher rates for pick-up and drop-off during peak hours.
  • Join a car rental loyalty program. This can give you access to discounts and other perks. For example, many car rental loyalty programs offer free upgrades or waived fees.
  • Consider renting a car from an off-airport location. Off-airport car rental locations are typically cheaper than on-airport car rental locations. However, it would help if you took a shuttle bus to get to the rental office.
  • Read the fine print before you book your car rental. Be sure to understand all of the terms and conditions of your rental agreement, including the cancellation policy and any additional fees that may apply.

Here are some additional tips that you can follow to save money on your car rental at Birmingham, Alabama Airport:

  • Use a credit card that offers travel rewards. Many credit cards offer points or miles that can be redeemed for car rentals. This can help you save money on car rental, especially if you rent cars frequently.
  • Check with your insurance company to see if they offer rental car insurance. Many insurance companies offer rental car insurance as part of their policies. This can save you money on the insurance that you purchase from the car rental company.
  • Be sure to inspect the car carefully before you drive it away. Please take note of any existing damage to the vehicle so that you are not responsible for it when you return the vehicle.

What are the different types of airport car rental places? 

There are two main types of airport car rental places: on-airport and off-airport. On-airport car rental places are located directly at the airport, while off-airport car rental places are located a short distance away from the airport.

What are the pros and cons of on-airport and off-airport car rental places?

On-airport car rental places are more convenient, as you can pick up and drop off your car at the airport. However, they are also typically more expensive than off-airport car rental places. Off-airport car rental places are less convenient, as you must take a shuttle bus to the rental office. However, they are often much cheaper than on-airport car rental places.

What are the different factors that affect the cost of a car rental? 

The cost of car rental can vary depending on several factors, including the type of car you rent, the length of your rental, and the time of year you rent. Other factors that can affect the cost of car rental include your age, your driving record, and whether you have any insurance.

Different types of car insurance are available when renting a car

When renting a car, various types of insurance and protection options may be offered to you. It’s important to understand what each type covers to make an informed decision:

  1. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) / Loss Damage Waiver (LDW):
    • This covers the cost of repairs to the rental car if it’s damaged in an accident or stolen, minus any deductible.
    • Some policies might not cover damages sustained during reckless driving, driving on unpaved roads, or driving out-of-country.
    • Remember, this is a waiver. This means the rental company waives its right to pursue you for damages.
  2. Liability Insurance:
    • This covers the costs if you injure someone or damage someone else’s property while driving the rental car.
    • It provides a set amount of liability coverage for third-party injury and property damage claims.
  3. Personal Accident Insurance (PAI):
    • Covers medical costs for you and your passengers if you’re involved in an accident.
    • This can include ambulance, medical care, and death benefits.
  4. Personal Effects Coverage (PEC):
    • Protects you from loss or damage to personal items that might be in the rental car.
    • It’s a good idea to check if your home or renter’s insurance might already cover this.
  5. Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP):
    • Offers additional liability protection over what the standard liability insurance provides.
    • It increases the limits on liability.
  6. Gap Insurance (also known as “Drop Off” or “Walk-Away” insurance):
    • Covers the difference between what you owe on a rental car (if you’re renting for a long term) and the car’s actual cash value in case it’s totaled or stolen.
  7. Tire and Windshield Coverage:
    • Specifically covers damage to the tires or windshield, which might not be covered under a standard CDW/LDW.
  8. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
    • Protects you if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damage they caused.
  9. Towing/ Roadside Assistance:
    • Provides assistance if the rental car breaks down or you need towing services.
  10. Miscellaneous Coverage:
    • Some rental companies might offer niche coverage for specific scenarios, like “admin fee” coverage, which would handle any administrative fees associated with claims.

Before purchasing any insurance from the rental car agency, you should:

  • Check Your Personal Auto Insurance: Your existing car insurance policy might already offer coverage for rental cars.
  • Check Your Credit Card Benefits: Many credit cards offer rental car insurance as a perk when you use the card to book and pay for the rental.

It’s crucial to understand what you’re covered for, so you don’t end up buying redundant insurance or missing out on essential coverage. Always read the fine print and ask the rental company for clarifications if needed.

What are the different fees that I may be charged for car rental?

 In addition to the rental price, you may also be charged for several other fees, including fuel charges, airport fees, and drop-off fees. Fuel charges are typically based on the fuel the car has when you return it, and the airport charges airport fees for the privilege of renting a car there. Drop-off fees are charged if you return the vehicle to a different location than where you picked it up.

We have provided a comprehensive guide to car rental at Birmingham, Alabama Airport. We have covered everything from getting to the rental car center to saving money on your rental. This information will help you plan your next car rental at Birmingham, Alabama Airport.

  • The Birmingham, Alabama Airport car rental center is located at 5000 W International Airport Rd, Birmingham, Alabama, AK 99502. It is open from 5:30 am to 2:00 am.
  • There are 8 major car rental companies at the Birmingham, Alabama Airport: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty.
  • You can get to the rental car center from either terminal by taking the BHM Shuttle, which departs every 5 minutes.
  • The hours of operation for the rental car center vary depending on the rental car company. However, most companies are open until 2 am.
  • Here are some tips for saving money on your car rental at Birmingham, Alabama Airport:
    • Book your car rental in advBHMe.
    • Consider renting a car during the off-season.
    • Be flexible with your pick-up and drop-off times.
    • Join a car rental loyalty program.
    • Consider renting a car from an off-airport location.
    • Read the fine print before you book your car rental.
    • Use a credit card that offers travel rewards.
    • Check with your insurBHMe company to see if they offer rental car insurBHMe.
    • Be sure to inspect the car carefully before you drive it away.