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      7 Best Atlanta Airport Rental Car Companies – Browse Tips on Renting a Car in Atlanta (January 2023)

      Josh Patoka
      Best Atlanta Airport Car Rental

      A-Town, Hotlanta, The ATL…no matter what you call it, Atlanta is a bustling city in the southeastern United States and home to one of the world’s busiest airports for leisure and business travel. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL) is home to approximately 12 on-site rental car agencies and a few off-site options.

      Comparing the best Atlanta airport car rental companies will help you find the best rates and customer reviews for a pleasant experience.

      The Vacationer Tip

      Before booking your Atlanta rental car, browse our Best Websites to Book Cheap Car Rentals guide and our How to Find and Book Cheap Car Rentals tutorial. Our recommendation is to use RentalCars.com. And, if you’re flying to Atlanta, see our Best Websites to Book Cheap Flights guide.

      What are the Best Car Rental Companies at Atlanta Airport?

      You can easily reach the Atlanta Airport Rental Car Center (RCC) by riding the free SkyTrain from the domestic terminal and the ride time is approximately five minutes. A free shuttle bus runs approximately every 15 minutes from the international terminal too.

      Thankfully, the best rental car companies at ATL are on-site which can make it easier to pick up your ride on busy travel days or after a late-night arrival. However, there are multiple ways to quickly reach off-site locations when you find a better deal.

      1. National Car Rental 

      National Car Rental Atlanta

      National Car Rental is the best overall option for many at Atlanta’s airport but in other popular destinations too, including Phoenix. The two primary reasons are the agency’s competitive pricing and the friendly staff at the Atlanta Rental Car Center.

      Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to join their Emerald Club loyalty program where even entry-level Club members can enjoy these benefits:

      • Emerald Checkout: Skip the check-in counter and choose your own car from the pickup lot.  
      • Emerald Aisle Access: Choose any mid-size car or larger and only pay the mid-size rate.
      • Drop & Go: Simply drop off your car and leave the keys by receiving an e-mail receipt.
      • No second driver fees: Family members and business associates won’t incur additional driver costs.
      • Free rental days: Receive one credit per qualified rental and get a free rental day after collecting seven credits.

      It’s possible to rent budget, premium, luxury, and sports vehicles from this location. 

      Pros: Competitive pricing, Emerald Aisle quick check-in, Drop & Go drop-off, positive customer service review

      Cons: Closes at 11:45 p.m. nightly, potentially long lines at times

      Phone: (833) 315-5895

      Hours: 4:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. (after-hours return is available)

      Google Rating: 4.4

      Kayak Rating: 8.5 (Very Good)

      The Vacationer’s Tip: You can enjoy automatic National Car Rental Emerald Club and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards with The Platinum Card® from American Express. This premium travel credit card also offers complimentary airport lounge access and other travel perks.

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at National

      2. Alamo Rent a Car

      Alamo Car Rental Atlanta

      Alamo is a consistent favorite for deal seekers and travelers that want to enjoy rental car perks that make the check-in and return process more manageable.

      Many customer reviews for the Alamo Atlanta Airport location report that the check-in desk usually has short wait lines. You can skip the counter by selecting the “Accelerated Check-In” option with the agency’s mobile app or using the self-service kiosk.

      As Atlanta is a dense-urban city, you may appreciate the ability to rent a full-size hybrid, an intermediate electric rental car, or an electric luxury sedan during your visit to minimize gas expenses. 

      The agency also rents American muscle cars, performance sports cars, and luxury cars if that’s more like your style.

      One of this location’s downsides is that it closes at 11:45 p.m., when some agencies are open 24/7.

      While rental car loyalty elite status may not be as valuable as airline or hotel elite perks, it’s worth noting that the Alamo Insiders loyalty program doesn’t offer many benefits. However, you may be able to save 5% off base rates on Pay Later reservations. 

      You can also earn Delta SkyMiles, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, or other loyalty points on qualifying rentals.  

      Pros: Competitive prices, Skip the Counter options, offers luxury and electric vehicles

      Cons: Closes at 11:45 p.m., minimal loyalty program perks

      Phone: (833) 315-5893

      Hours: 4:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. (after-hours return is available)

      Google Rating: 4.2

      Kayak Rating: 8.6 (Very Good)

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at Alamo

      3. Enterprise Rent-A-Car

      Enterprise Car Rental Atlanta

      While Enterprise Rent-A-Car tends to be on the expensive side, the rental experience is usually better. It also has an exciting Enterprise Plus loyalty program that can provide car rental privileges with National Car Rental as well.

      The vehicle selection is extensive and includes budget, sports, premium, convertible, SUV, and trucks. You may also be able to rent minivans and 15-passenger vans but going to an off-site location for this vehicle type is possible due to limited inventories.  

      One common suggestion from many customer reviews is to use the self-service kiosk when possible as it can reduce the check-in experience to as short as five minutes. 

      The rental agency also offers Advance Check-In that allows you to start the pick-up process up to 48 hours ahead.

      Pros: Big vehicle selection, self check-in kiosk, benefit-rich loyalty program

      Cons: Potentially expensive, can be challenging to rent vans

      Phone: 833-315-5894

      Hours: 4:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. (after-hours return is available)

      Google Rating: 4.1

      Kayak Rating: 8.4 (Very Good)

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at Enterprise

      4. Hertz

      Hertz Car Rental Atlanta

      The Hertz Atlanta Airport rental location receives many accolades for its quality customer service and extended 2 a.m. closing time. They also offer a wide variety of compact, full-size, and electric cars. SUVs, sports cars, and luxury vehicles are available too.

      The contact-free convenience of picking up your rental with the Gold Choice feature is another customer favorite as it’s possible to avoid the long check-in lines that most Atlanta airport rental car companies suffer from. With this perk, you can enjoy the privilege of picking your own car from the available inventory as a Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program member. 

      However, it’s best to get an advanced reservation instead of waiting until the last minute as this is a busy location. As a result, the best and most affordable cars usually go first.

      Pros: Competitive prices, Gold Choice express check-in, wide vehicle selection

      Cons: Advance reservations are usually needed, potentially long check-in times

      Phone: (404) 530-2925

      Hours: 5 a.m. – 2 a.m. (after-hours return is available)

      Google Rating: 3.8

      Kayak Rating: 7.1 (Good)

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at Hertz

      5. Sixt

      Sixt Car Rental Atlanta

      Many travelers like Sixt because of its excellent vehicle selection including luxury cars and minivans at competitive prices. 

      The Atlanta International Airport location offers many vehicles and a self-service kiosk which can make it a lot easier to reach your car. Checking in through the Sixt App is also helpful as the average check-in time for standard renters can be long.

      This location’s customer service team receives mixed reviews at times. On a positive note, the rental counter agents receive many remarks for being helpful. However, several customers report having to wait up to one hour at opening as the agent may not arrive on time for 7 a.m. pick-ups.

      Another negative drawback is the reduced operating hours which are only from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. when the majority of agencies operate from 5 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. 

      Pros: Extensive vehicle selection, self check-in, friendly agents

      Cons: Reduced operating hours, check-in times can exceed an hour

      Phone: (888) 749-8227

      Hours: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. (after-hours return is available)

      Google Rating: 3.5

      Kayak Rating: 6.9 (Okay)

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at Sixt

      6. Avis

      Avis Car Rental Atlanta

      Consider Avis if you want a diverse vehicle selection as you can rent a budget-priced compact, eco-friendly hybrid or electric, or an SUV, minivan, truck, or a passenger van to haul a large party or plenty of luggage. 

      As a forewarning, you should book in advance to secure less-common vehicles such as a premium rental or a 15-passenger van.

      This location also receives consistent customer reviews for being relatively understaffed and the wait times can be longer than competing agencies. Thankfully, it’s possible to avoid or reduce your wait time by joining Avis Preferred to qualify for self check-in using a mobile app.

      You may also consider this rental location as it’s one of the few that’s open 24/7 and you need to pick up between midnight and 5 a.m. when most companies are closed.

      Pros: Open 24/7, Avis Preferred self check-in, rents large and premium vehicles

      Cons: Can be understaffed during busy periods, potentially more expensive

      Phone: (404) 763-6333

      Hours: 24/7

      Google Rating: 3.1

      Kayak Rating: 5.8 (Fair)

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at Avis

      7. Budget

      Budget Car Rental Atlanta

      Consider Budget for 24/7 operating hours and competitively priced rentals for many car types. This agency rents cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks. 

      Becoming a Budget Fastbreak member is recommended as it’s easier to avoid the long check-in times that plague this agency and many others. However, there are relatively few loyalty perks and other programs are better at recognizing customer loyalty.

      Self check-in is valuable with any car rental company at Atlanta airport as most agencies are busy due to high passenger volumes. 

      This particular location receives many positive customer reviews for having friendly and responsive counter agents. 

      However, there are several reviews where customers with advance reservations either wait several hours for their reserved vehicle to become available. In other situations, they may get switched to a different vehicle class such as getting a van. 

      Pros: Open 24/7, Fastbreak self check-in, friendly customer service

      Cons: Vehicle may not be ready at check-in, few loyalty program benefits

      Phone: 404-530-3000

      Hours: 24/7

      Google Rating: 2.8

      Kayak Rating: 6.1 (Okay)

      Click Here to See the Best Car Rental Deals at Budget

      Comparing the Best Rental Car Companies at Atlanta Airport

      Below is a quick comparison of the best rental car companies at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

      Brand/Rental ProviderGoogle/Kayak RatingTypes of Available VehiclesBudget or Luxury?
      National4.4/8.5Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesMid-Range
      Alamo4.2/8.6Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesBudget
      Enterprise4.1/8.4Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesLuxury
      Hertz3.8/7.1Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesLuxury
      Sixt3.5/5.6Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesMid-Range
      Avis3.1/5.8Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesMid-Range
      Budget2.8/6.1Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesBudget

      As inventory and rental car rates are competitive at this busy airport and bustling metropolis, you may also compare prices during your travel dates at these agencies.

      Brand/Rental ProviderGoogle/Kayak RatingTypes of Available VehiclesBudget or Luxury?
      Advantage3.1/5.6Car, minivan, SUV, sportsBudget
      Thrifty2.8/5.5Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehiclesBudget
      Routes Car & Truck Rentals (off-site)3.2/5.4Cars, SUVs, minivansBudget
      Dollar2.4/4.8Cars, trucks, SUVs, luxury vehiclesBudget
      Payless2.3/4.0Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles Budget

      Tips for Renting Cars at Atlanta Airport

      These suggestions can help guide you through booking a rental car when you’re flying into Atlanta and are staying locally or traveling to a nearby city.

      Take the SkyTrain

      Atlanta has an on-site rental car facility with 12 brands but it’s not within walking distance. You will need to take the free SkyTrain from the domestic terminal or a free shuttle bus from the international terminal.

      It’s only a five-minute ride once you’re aboard the tram but there can be a line as it’s a busy airport. The check-in counters for each on-site agency are in the Rental Car Center.

      Off-site car rentals are also available but you will either need to hire an Uber/Lyft or ride the MARTA commuter train. Either option costs money, can take more time, and have limited pick-up hours.

      Make Advance Reservations

      It’s smart to reserve your desired vehicle in advance as there are many walk-up renters with the various on-site rental agencies. Advance reservations can also be necessary for specialty vehicles such as premium SUVs, passenger vans, or pickup trucks.

      Since there are many car rental agencies to choose from, spend a few minutes comparing rates and recent customer reviews to find your best option.

      Consider Self Check-In

      Atlanta had the world’s busiest airport for passengers from 1998 to 2019, according to World Atlas. With air travel back at pre-pandemic levels, ATL is still busy which means there is plenty of demand for rental cars.

      To avoid the long check-in lines, consider downloading the rental agency’s app and using its self check-in feature when possible. This capability makes it possible to avoid lines that can easily be up to two hours.

      Use Secured Parking Garages

      Atlanta is a big city and small crimes such as car break-ins and vandalism are common. If you’re staying within the city, consider using a hotel with a secured garage.

      Verify that the garage can hold larger vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, and vans inside the secure garage. While this question seems redundant, some hotels have limited garage parking for big vehicles and park them in an outdoor, less-secure lot.

      Regardless of where you stay, always hide valuables out of sight and keep them near you or in a room safe when you’re not using them.

      Consider booking your rental using a credit card with rental car insurance for additional peace of mind. 

      Same Drop-Off Location

      You will return your rental at the same location as picking up your rental as the agencies offer 24-hour drop-offs. The physical address is 2200 Rental Center Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30337.

      Follow the rental car return signs to find your agency’s respective parking area. Most agencies offer easy drop-offs with digital receipts so you can get to the gate sooner.

      After dropping off your car, you can take the SkyTrain to the passenger terminal to board your flight.  

      FAQs

      Do you need a rental car in Atlanta?

      A rental vehicle isn’t necessary if you’re only going to metro Atlanta as you can use the MARTA public transit system or Uber and Lyft to reach the various tourist attractions, stadiums, and restaurants. 

      Skipping the car can be worth it as hotels in midtown Atlanta may charge up to $50 per day.

      However, you will need a car if you plan on driving outside the metro area to surrounding cities like Athens, Savannah, or even a nearby suburb. 

      Where is the Atlanta Rental Car Center?

      The GPS-friendly address for the Atlanta Airport RCC is 2200 Rental Car Center Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30337. From the Domestic Terminal, follow the rental car center signs that go to the west end of the domestic terminal. Then, ride the SkyTrain (it’s free) to the center.

      Passengers from the International Terminal will follow signs to the shuttle bus which picks up approximately every 15 minutes.  

      Does the Atlanta airport have Turo?

      Yes, peer-to-peer carsharing services like Turo are available on-site at the various garages. However, this isn’t a designated parking area and the renter or host must pay for parking.

      Does Atlanta have toll roads?

      The Express Lanes on I-75, I-85, and I-575 are optional toll roads that flow in one direction to ease congestion during rush hour. You can avoid these tolls by staying within the regular lanes. There are no additional tolls within the state of Georgia at this time.

      The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

      You can find almost any budget-priced, mid-range, luxury, or large-passenger vehicle from the many on-site Atlanta Airport rental car companies. Consider using advance reservations and self check-in for your visit as you’re more likely to avoid long delays at pick up which is when most problems occur for travelers at this airport.

      If you’re staying locally or are on a tight budget, you may also compare the off-site rental agencies. There are several to choose from as this is a major airport and you can enjoy similar cars, trucks, and vans at a lower cost.

      Josh Patoka The Vacationer Bio

      By Josh Patoka

      Josh Patoka writes about maximizing travel rewards for The Vacationer. As well, he contributes to several personal finance sites specializing in making money, paying off debt, and investing.