6 Best Orlando Airport Car Rental Companies — Browse Tips on Renting a Car in Orlando in 2023
If you’re flying into Orlando International Airport, you’ll quickly realize something. Rental cars are pretty popular at this air hub. Both business travelers going to Downtown Orlando and families and other leisure travelers going to the area theme parks need a convenient way to get around and rental cars deliver. In fact, according to the airport, Orlando is the largest rental car market in the world.
When renting a car to get around Orlando, you’ll find that many rental car companies boast locations right at the airport. You don’t even need to take a shuttle to a nearby provider. Just walk from your gate and terminal, straight to the rental car counter. However, with 10 different on-airport rental car companies to choose from, how do you pick the right provider for your travel needs?
The Vacationer Tip
Here’s everything you need to know about the top six car rental companies at Orlando Airport.
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Alamo brands itself as a budget-friendly car rental provider. As such, booking and saving with Alamo is easy.
If you pick a “Drive Happy Deal” when booking your rental, you’ll receive a discount, though you won’t get to pick out your car. Alamo will just give you whatever car is available when you pull up on the lot. While this is okay for some travelers, and worth it for the extra savings, families or multiple travelers with lots of luggage may find it inconvenient.
Alamo will also give you a discount if you pay for the full cost of your rental at the time of booking, versus waiting until you arrive at the airport to pay.
Like most rental providers, Alamo offers extra add-ons such as satellite radio, GPS devices, and toll pass waivers. Alamo does have its own rewards program, Alamo Insiders, but the program isn’t that robust. You just get extra discounts on future rentals after joining.
Pros: Alamo offers budget-friendly rentals and various ways to save.
Cons: The rewards program doesn’t offer many perks or benefits and isn’t tiered, so if you travel frequently, you may find another car rental provider that will reward you more for your loyalty.
The booking process is similar when you rent a car with Avis at the Orlando Airport.
Like Alamo, Avis will give you a discount on your rental if you pay your total bill at the time of booking, versus waiting until you arrive at the airport. Do note, though, that Avis does tack on some hefty cancellation and no-show fees if you choose to pay before your arrival. For example, if you don’t show up at your reservation time, you’ll get no refund whatsoever. In this hypothetical situation, if you had not paid for your reservation upfront, you wouldn’t have received a discount, but you also wouldn’t have lost the entire cost of your rental.
Avis partners with a lot of other travel providers to give you extra perks and benefits. For example, AARP members can save up to 30% on Avis rentals. Avis also allows you to earn points with your favorite hotel or airline loyalty program.
To earn miles or points for another loyalty program, you do have to be enrolled in the Avis loyalty program, Avis Preferred, and you must choose to earn a different type of loyalty point or mile versus Avis points. Avis also charges you a fee for choosing an earning alternative (up to $1 per rental day).
Avis offers a mobile app for managing your rental and the Avis Flex program for long-term rentals of a month or more.
Pros: Avis boasts lots of partner memberships, so you can save, or earn points and miles in other areas, with other travel providers.
Cons: Avis doesn’t offer as many discounts as some of the other providers on our list, and you may see hefty fees.
This is likely one of the more well-known car rental companies that you’ll find at the Orlando airport. Enterprise offers a lot. It has one of the most robust loyalty programs you’ll find from a rental car company, with loyalty tiers and premium statuses, and lots of ways to earn both points and status. You can also earn airline miles and hotel points instead of Enterprise points if you’re working toward upping your frequent flyer miles. Enterprise travel partners range from Hilton to Amtrak.
Beyond offering traditional rental car experiences, Enterprise also boasts a nifty feature called Enterprise CarShare. Ideal for travelers who need cars at sometimes inconvenient times, for inconvenient amounts of time, and in inconvenient places, CarShare connects you to vehicles scattered throughout a geographical area. You book your car for as long as you need it — for just an hour or multiple days — and then walk to wherever the car is parked and then use the app to unlock the vehicle. It’s an incredibly easy option when you need to book a car without visiting a rental counter.
Enterprise also offers programs for commuting and business travel.
Pros: Enterprise is always upping the ante with new products and programs to help you get the most out of your rental experience. It also offers well-reviewed customer service. If you’re looking for a rental car company that you can easily be loyal to, over and over again, trip after trip, Enterprise is a good pick.
Cons: Enterprise isn’t as affordable as some of the other car rental providers on our list.
If you compare Hertz and Enterprise, you’ll see a lot of similarities. Both offer a range of vehicles, from your average SUVs and family cars to more luxurious offerings. Both also offer extensive rewards programs. Hertz offers electric vehicles and trucks and vans, beyond its typical lineup. There’s also a Hertz app, to help you more easily manage your rental.
For what you get from Hertz, you will find that the provider is on the cheaper side. While it’s not a budget car rental company by any means, it isn’t the most expensive option on our list (that would be, in many cases, Enterprise).
It’s worth noting that the Hertz family of companies does include several other car rental brands, including Dollar, Thrifty, and Firefly. Dollar and Thrifty both boast locations at the Orlando airport, so if you like the Hertz experience, but just want even more savings on your rental, you might want to look at either Dollar or Thrifty’s offerings.
Pros: Choose from a very wide range of vehicles and take advantage of an extensive rewards program.
Cons: You’re still going to pay more at Hertz than you might at another provider — but then, you get what you pay for.
When you rent a car with any company, you’ll see that there is naturally a range of fees and additional costs that are tacked onto your final bill. From extra insurance to allowing someone else to drive the car, the provider will charge you for anything they can. However, with National Car Rental, that’s not necessarily always the case. National waives a lot of the standard fees you’ll find with other providers. You won’t pay one-way rental fees, for example, and, if you become a member of National’s loyalty program, you’ll get extra fee waivers and discounts.
Loyalty program members also enjoy extra perks such as “Aisle Service,” which allows you to avoid the counter and choose your car from the lot on your own. Drop & Go service similarly makes for more time savings, as you just drop your car at the lot and head on your way once you’re done with the vehicle.
The one downside to the loyalty program? You can’t transfer your loyalty program points to another loyalty program with another travel brand.
Pros: Avoid fees and take advantage of more perks via the National Emerald Club.
Cons: If you want to earn airline or hotel points for your car rental purchases, you’ll need to look elsewhere. These points won’t transfer.
Much like Alamo, Budget offers exactly what it sounds like — a budget-friendly rental experience. You get savings for paying for your entire rental cost upfront. There are discounts on longer-term rentals. You can take advantage of a range of seasonal offers and sales.
For a budget provider, Budget does offer an admirable number and variety of vehicles. However, it’s worth noting that the budget experience, while nice to your wallet, might not necessarily be nice overall. Looking for luxury or superior customer service? You might want to go with one of the more expensive guys. However, if that’s no worry for you and you just want to save cash however you can in this part of your travel budget? Then, you’ll be satisfied.
There’s not a Budget loyalty program per se. Instead, there’s the Fastbreak program, which just allows you to bypass the rental counter when you rent and return. Additionally, Fastbreak members get extra savings and access to sales and coupons. It’s worth joining if you rent from Budget frequently but otherwise doesn’t come with many benefits.
Pros: Find a large number of vehicles and types of vehicles, at a discount, along with frequent extra savings.
Cons: This rental car provider is no-frills, as is its “loyalty program.”
The Vacationer Tip
Tips for Renting Cars at Orlando Airport
You’ll find all of the on-airport car rental providers at Orlando Airport on Level 1, in Terminals A and B. That’s where you need to head to pick up your rental car. When returning your rental car, however, go to Parking Garage A or B (they’re on opposite ends of the airport). There, each garage offers a rental car check-in area for easy returns. These areas are on level R1 of each respective garage.
Of course, before returning your car, you’ll want to fill it with gas. Make it easy on yourself and avoid any low gas or empty tank fees! You’ll find a Shell station at the airport’s South Travel Plaza, near the south airport entrance.
Other Options in the Orlando Area
Don’t care for any of the above car rental companies? You can find even more car rental providers located off-site. Nearly all offer shuttle services between the airport and their respective lots. If you rent your vacation vehicle from one of these providers, you can find the shuttle service on Level 1 of Terminal A, in parking spaces A11-A13.
You’ll find a list of off-site providers and phone numbers for booking, on the Orlando International Airport website. However, do note that the majority of these off-site rental car companies are local or regional providers. If you want national-level service, then you’ll want to go with one of the big guys listed above.
Visiting the Beach? You Probably Need to Rent a Car
We recommend renting a car if you want to visit one of the Best Beaches in Florida. Options close to Orlando include Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach.
You’ll find all of the on-airport car rental providers at Orlando Airport on Level 1, in Terminals A and B.
Yes! If you have a friend or family member pick you up from the airport or you’re taking a ride-share to your hotel, but you still anticipate needing a vehicle to get around during your trip, you don’t need to bother with the hustle and bustle of the airport just to get to your rental. Top national providers have lots all around the city. So, you can go somewhere more convenient to pick up your rental.
Yes! Orlando is often a destination where many travelers will be visiting a range of attractions that are quite spread out from one another. Paying for a ride-share each time you visit a new attraction can be costly. Renting a car is both your more affordable and your more convenient option.
You will not need to buy extra car rental insurance when renting a car in Florida. Instead, the rental car company provides the minimum liability insurance coverage as part of your standard rental cost. There’s no need to upgrade if you don’t want to.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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