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Best & Easiest 6 Car Rental at Phoenix International Airport: A Complete Guide 

Planning a trip to Phoenix? 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 Phoenix International Airport (PHX).

We’ll cover everything from the car rental companies operating at PHX 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 Phoenix Airport with directions to the Car rental Center
Map of Phoenix Airport with directions to the Car rental Center: Source: www.openstreetmap.org

The Phoenix Airport has 1 location for car rental Companies where Alamo, Avis, National, Budget, Enterprise, Payless, and Sixt are located .The Phoenix Airport car rental Center is Located at 1805 E Sky Harbor Cir S, Phoenix, AZ 85034, and is open 24/7.

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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 Phoenix 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 Phoenix International Airport.

Phoenix International Airport Night time overview of the airport
Phoenix International Airport Night time overview of the airport

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.

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.
    • 4.1 Stars, 3,911 Google reviews
    • SIXT: opening time 7:00 a.m to 1:00 a.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.
    • 4.5 Stars, 5,360 Google reviews
    • National: opening time 24/7
    • Call 844-370-8285 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 Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
    • 4.3 Stars 7,192 Google reviews
    • Enterprise: opening times are 24/7.
    • Call +1 844-816-4387 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 Phoenix Airport. Alamo Rent A Car car rental at Phoenix. Check out, Alamo Rent-A-Car.
    • 4.4 Stars, 3,493 Google reviews
    • Alamo: Opening times 24/7.
    • Call +1 844-370-9817 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 Phoenix airport Check out, Hertz.
    • 3.3 Stars, 2,353 Google reviews
    • Hertz: Opening Times 24/7 
    • Call 602-267-8822 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 Phoenix Airport. Check out what vehicles Avis has ready for you.
    • 3.2 Stars 3,201 Google reviews
    • Avis: is open 24/7
    • Call (1) 602-261-5900 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.

Phoenix International Airport Day time overview of the airport
Phoenix International Airport Day time overview of the airport

When it comes to renting a car, your choices can sometimes seem endless, especially in a place as bustling as Phoenix International 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 Phoenix International Airport (PHX):

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is the primary airport serving the Phoenix metropolitan area and is one of the busiest airports in the United States. As such, it hosts a wide array of car rental companies to cater to the diverse needs of its travelers. As of my last update in January 2022, here are some types of car rental companies that operate at or near Phoenix Sky Harbor:

Major National and International Brands:

  1. Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Widely recognized and offers a broad range of vehicles.
  2. Alamo Rent A Car: Popular among tourists and provides competitive rates.
  3. National Car Rental: Often used by business travelers, especially those enrolled in their loyalty program.
  4. Hertz: A longstanding company offering everything from budget-friendly options to luxury vehicles.
  5. Avis Car Rental: A major brand that offers various cars and services.
  6. Budget Rent A Car: Catering to travelers looking for affordable rental options.
  7. Dollar Rent-A-Car: Another option for those seeking cost-effective rentals.
  8. Thrifty Car Rental: Provides a range of vehicles at competitive prices.

Local or Specialty Rental Companies: Phoenix Sky Harbor, due to its large volume of travelers, also has a mix of other companies that might cater to specific needs or niches.

Ride Share Rentals: Some companies, like Turo, operate under a model where individuals rent out their personal cars. While not traditional car rental companies, platforms like these can provide additional options for travelers at PHX.

Luxury and Exotic Car Rentals: There might also be specialty companies in the Phoenix area that offer luxury or exotic car rentals for those looking for high-end vehicles.

Always remember that available car rental companies and their specific offerings might evolve over time. When planning to rent a car at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, it’s advisable to:

  • Check the airport’s official website for the most current list of car rental operators.
  • Book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Compare prices, read reviews, and consider any special requirements you might have for your trip.

By doing so, travelers can ensure a seamless car rental experience when arriving at PHX.

How do I get to the rental car center at Phoenix Airport?

The PHX Sky Train is a free train between the main terminal and the Rental Car Center. It’s the most convenient way to get to the Rental Car Center, and it only takes about 5 minutes. 

You can take a Taxi: Taxis are available at all terminals. The fare to the Rental Car Center is typically around $15. A cheaper option is Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, also available at all terminals. The fare to the Rental Car Center is typically around $10.

Map of Phoenix Airport with directions to the Car rental Center

Source: www.openstreetmap.org

Check here for the best prices on Flights

Is there a rental car shuttle at Phoenix Airport?

The PHX Sky Train is a free train between the main terminal and the Rental Car Center. To get to the Sky Train, follow the signs from the terminal to the ground transportation level. Look for the SkyTrain signs once you are on the ground transportation level. The SkyTrain stations are marked with signs and blue and white striped canopies.

The PHX Sky Train has Six stops: at the Terminals, 24th Street, and one at the Rental Car Center. More info

Here are the hours of operation for the PHX Sky Train:

The PHX Sky Train operates at Phoenix International Airport 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It departs every 4 minutes, so you can immediately get a ride. The PHX Sky Train connects the Airport and the Rental Car Center. It’s a great way to get around the airport quickly and easily.

How late can you pick up a rental car at Phoenix Airport?

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

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

  • Alamo:  is open 24/7. Call +1 844-370-9817 to Contact them 
  • Avis: is open 24/7 Call (1) 602-261-5900 to Contact them
  • Budget: is open 24/7 Call 602-261-5950 to Contact them
  • Dollar: is open 7 am to 11 pm  Call  800-800-4000 to Contact them
  • Enterprise: is open 24/7. Call +1 844-614-4387 to Contact them 
  • Hertz: is open 24/7 Call 602-267-8822 to Contact them 
  • National: is open 24/7 Call +1 844-370-8285 to Contact them 
  • Thrifty: is open 24/7. Call 877-283-0898 to Contact them. 
  • SIXT: 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. call 888-749-8227 to contact them

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.

Here are the steps on how to return a car at Phoenix Airport:

  1. Check the rental agreement. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your rental agreement, including the mileage allowance, fuel policy, and any other applicable fees.
  2. Empty the car. Remove all of your personal belongings from the car, including any trash.
  3. Fill up the gas tank. If your rental agreement includes a fuel policy, you must fill the gas tank before returning the car.
  4. Check the car for damage. Inspect the car for any damage, both inside and out. Report any damage to the rental company before returning the car.
  5. Drive to the rental car return area. The rental car return area is at the Rental Car Center, just east of the airport terminals.
  6. Follow the signs to the return area. The return area is divided into different sections for different rental companies.
  7. Pull up to the return booth. A representative from the rental company will meet you at the booth to inspect the car and process your return.
  8. Return the keys and paperwork. Give the representative the car keys and any paperwork you were given when you picked up the car.
  9. Pay any outstanding charges. If you have any outstanding charges, such as fuel or late fees, you must pay them now.
  10. Receive a receipt. The representative will give you a receipt for your return.

Here are some additional tips for returning your car at Phoenix Airport:

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

Different types of car rental rates

Car rental companies offer a variety of different rates, depending on the length of your rental, the type of car you rent, and the location where you rent from. Here are some of the most common types of car rental rates:

  • Daily rate: This is the most common type of car rental rate, and it is charged for each day that you rent a car. Daily rates typically range from around $20 for a basic economy car to over $100 for a luxury car.
  • Weekly rate: Weekly rates are typically discounted compared to daily rates, and they are a good option if you are renting a car for more than a few days. Weekly rates typically range from around $100 for a basic economy car to over $500 for a luxury car.
  • Monthly rate: Monthly rates are typically the most discounted type of car rental rate, and they are a good option if you are renting a car for more than a week. Monthly rates typically range from around $300 for a basic economy car to over $1,500 for a luxury car.

In addition to these basic rates, many car rental companies also offer a variety of other rates, such as:

  • Airport rates: Airport rates are typically higher than regular rates, due to the higher costs associated with operating at airports.
  • Weekend rates: Weekend rates are typically higher than weekday rates, due to the increased demand for rental cars on weekends.
  • One-way rental rates: One-way rental rates are typically higher than regular rates, because the car rental company has to pay to transport the car back to its original location.

Common mistakes that travelers make when renting a car at PHX

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is a major transportation hub, and many travelers rent cars upon their arrival. Here are some common mistakes that travelers make when renting a car at PHX:

  1. Not Booking in Advance: Especially during peak seasons, cars can be in high demand. Booking ahead ensures availability and might secure better rates.
  2. Not Using the Rental Car Center Shuttle: PHX has a designated Rental Car Center away from the terminals. Complimentary shuttle buses transport passengers between the terminals and the Rental Car Center. Some travelers aren’t aware of this and might waste time or money finding their way.
  3. Failing to Check Fuel Policies: Some rental agencies might charge high rates for refueling if the car isn’t returned with a full tank. Refilling it yourself before returning is typically cheaper.
  4. Overbuying Insurance: Before opting for the insurance offered by the rental agency, check if your personal car insurance or credit card benefits already provide coverage for rentals.
  5. Not Inspecting the Car: Always inspect the car for pre-existing damages before leaving the lot. Document any damages, preferably with photos, to avoid disputes when returning the car.
  6. Forgetting About Peak Traffic Times: Phoenix traffic can be dense, especially during rush hours. Be aware of peak times to avoid getting stuck in traffic.
  7. Overlooking Local Traffic Rules: Ensure you’re familiar with Arizona’s traffic laws, like the state’s specific rules about HOV lanes.
  8. Not Considering the Climate: Phoenix can be extremely hot. Ensure your rental car’s air conditioning works properly before departing.
  9. Renting a Larger Vehicle Than Necessary: Larger vehicles can consume more fuel and might be harder to maneuver or park.
  10. Not Reviewing the Agreement: Always read the rental agreement carefully to understand all terms and potential charges, like late fees or mileage limits.
  11. Ignoring Customer Reviews: Before choosing a rental company, checking reviews can give insights about their service quality at the PHX location.
  12. Forgetting to Check Drop-off Locations: Some agencies might charge extra if you drop off the car at a different location than where you picked it up.
  13. Not Researching Potential Tolls: While Arizona doesn’t have many toll roads, if you plan to travel out of state, be aware of potential tolls and the rental company’s toll policies.
  14. Not Asking About Early Return Policies: Some companies might charge fees for returning the vehicle earlier than agreed.

By being mindful of these potential pitfalls and planning ahead, travelers can have a smoother and more cost-effective car rental experience at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Saving Money on Your Car Rental at Phoenix 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, Phoenix 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 Phoenix 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 scrutinize the car 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.

Different types of car insurance that 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 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.

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.

To Conclude, We have covered everything from how to rent a car at Phoenix Airport. We have covered the different ways to get to the Rental Car Center, the hours of operation for the rental car companies, and how to return your car. We have also provided some tips on how to save money on your car rental.