Car rental at Charleston Airport

Car rental at Charleston Airport

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Charleston, SC, United States - Charleston
5 Jul — 12 Jul
Same drop-off
Charleston, SC, United States - Charleston
Tue 5/7
Tue 12/7
Driver's age:

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Cheap car rentals in Charleston Airport

People mover
Passenger van
Pick-up truck

Charleston Airport car hire reviews and directory

Rated no. 1
Best rated
9 Excellent (150 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 9.2
  • 9.1
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8.7
Recent reviews
6.0 Good6 Jun 2022
Kristin was great getting us into a nice rental on a very busy day where our particular style was not yet available. The only problem was that after leaving the lot and arriving at our hotel a few miles away, I discovered the gas tank was only 2/5's full. Upon return, they did say they would adjust my account to make up for that. Have not seen it yet but the gentleman gave me the impression that this would be taken care of professionally.
10.0 Excellent12 Apr 2022
Both pick up and drop off (at different location) worked seamlessly. Car was in great shape. Had some air freshener smell at the beginning that was too floral/sweet for me but it either dissipated or I got used to it. I would definitely recommend Alamo based on this experience.
10.0 Excellent19 Feb 2022
Car was clean!!! Pick up and drop off we’re easy and staff was super friendly!
10.0 Excellent20 Nov 2021
Car was new and clean. Process was efficient from rental to return.
10.0 Excellent7 Nov 2021
Right now all rentals are over priced. BUT, my experience otherwise with this company was excellent. They had an upgrade available and the pick up and drop off was easy and smooth. Very friendly employees. The car was nice and everything worked well on it. I would highly recommend this crew at this airport. Excellent experience!!
5.9 Okay21 Sep 2021
Alamo generated inaccurate paperwork at pickup which had to be corrected during the rental period by phone. An unnecessary complication.
10.0 Excellent12 Apr 2021
We were treated so kindly. The young man carried our luggage to the car and even gave us a choice. Most will not do that!
10.0 Excellent10 Apr 2021
All of the staff I had come into contact with were phenomenal! Couldn't have asked for better service.If they had actually attached the invoice to to email that was sent to me.
8.0 Excellent24 Mar 2021
Easy in and out. Car was very comfortable.The battery died on me the first day, but Alamo roadside assistance was able to fix the problem and all was good the rest of the trip.
10.0 Excellent3 Jan 2021
It was a last minute decision to rent & the process was easy and the car was great
Rated no. 2
8.4 Excellent (267 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 8.5
  • 8.5
  • 8.3
  • 8.4
  • 8.1
Recent reviews
8.0 Excellent12 Jun 2022
Our customer service woman was great, very friendly & personable!! The ONLY issue we have is that she said she was upgrading us & we didn’t feel as though the car she put us in was an upgrade. Other than that everything was perfect!! Would definitely rent from Hertz again!
10.0 Excellent17 Apr 2022
Given us the plug in cord so we could have recharged. Staff was excellent at pick up and when we added a driver.
10.0 Excellent27 Mar 2022
Great experience
2.0 Mediocre22 Feb 2022
Our flight was scheduled to arrive around midnight. I called to make sure they’d be open and have our car. They said they’d be open until 1 AM. Got in early, they were closed!!!! Called customer service. Asked them to put us up for the night or pay for a ride to Myrtle Beach, where our hotel is. The only thing offered was to come back in the morning to get a car. I pleaded, “My wife just had brain surgery, all the other car companies are closed or sold out. You have to help us!” It was like talking to a robot, repeating the same lines over and over. Frustrated, I cursed—something I never do—and hung up.
8.0 Excellent22 Nov 2021
The gentleman at the rental desk was great! The car had a somewhat offensive odor in it which did not subside during the course of our 3 day rental.
10.0 Excellent8 Nov 2021
The agents were wonderful!
8.0 Excellent29 Oct 2021
Had an issue with the drop off due to a change that was made to a location which is no longer open. They charged me another day of use as I had to go back to the first place I supposed to give it back late for obvious reasons.
3.9 Mediocre10 Oct 2021
We had several negative issues, but the one that stands out is: we didn’t know the engine of a Ford Fusion automatically shuts off and restarts when idling (a fuel economy feature.) We thought it was a problem with the car, reached out to Hertz, were assigned a case number, cancelled all our plans for the day.. but Hertz never contacted us **for the remaining 4 days of the rental**. For fear a car problem may arise on a future trip, we will NEVER use Hertz again.
10.0 Excellent10 Oct 2021
Hertz check out and return was very easy and well managed. The Jetta was very good on gas. Clean and reasonably comfortable, however the drivers seat back would not adjust.
3.9 Mediocre21 Sep 2021
Our car was very clean and comfortable. Drop off was easy. Our experience with the Hertz representative was disappointing. He appeared disinterested in his job and serving us. He had air pods in and did not communicate that we would be charged a $200 security deposit. We felt like we were interrupting his day.
Rated no. 3
6.9 Good (155 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 7.4
  • 7.4
  • 6.7
  • 6.7
  • 6.8
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent26 Jun 2022
We got a flat tire and the process involved a ton of being on hold, bring transferred to the wrong department. It was a happy ending, but was hard getting there
10.0 Excellent13 Jun 2022
The only thing to comment on was that you really needed another person to help at the pick up counter inside the airport. The line was so long and although the woman behind the counter was working hard to get all the customers helped and on their way, the process took too long. Like I said, she was working hard but folks in line were frustrated to have to wait so long. An additional agent at the counter would have been useful.
10.0 Excellent12 Jun 2022
Bill J and others were very helpful. All went fine except the car alarm for lane changing continued to sound all week. Should have been disabled.
2.0 Mediocre7 Jun 2022
Drop off was great. Pick up in Charleston unacceptable. No one in the garage and only two people at the airport counter. 50 people in line with a very inefficient system. Waiting in line 1hour and others waited longer. Not acceptable at all. Everyone frustrated with no employees around to serve all the reservations. Drop off was easy and great. Should put the same question for both as they are completely different experiences.
4.0 Okay24 May 2022
The car was dirty .we had to get a car wash the money you charge the car should be clean
2.0 Mediocre10 May 2022
2.5 hour wait at check in counter and they didn’t have the car class that I reserved.
2.0 Mediocre6 May 2022
2.5 hour wait in line for pick up. Clerk said it is like that every day
2.0 Mediocre25 Apr 2022
I ended up cancelling the rental. Upon arrival at the rental counter there was a long line that was not moving (no motion 15 minutes) and no indication that it would improve. Not sure if it was understaffing issue or an unexpected rush. I ended up with a taxi to my destination. No real harm and perhaps not circumstances that Budget could control. Worked out fine for me, cancelation process was easy and efficient.
2.0 Mediocre23 Apr 2022
Apparently a reservation does not actually guarantee you a car on the day. So if you actually need a car don’t bother with budget!
4.0 Okay18 Apr 2022
Our air plane flight was delayed twice. After calling Budget several time I finally got ahold of someone to let them know of our delayed flight and we wouldn’t be able to pickup the car at 6:00pm and informed them the car pickup will be delayed to later that day or the next morning depending on our flight. The price got almost doubled for the delayed pickup.
Rated no. 4
6.3 Good (361 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 6.6
  • 6.6
  • 6.1
  • 5.6
  • 6.5
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent13 May 2022
There was no thrifty worker the entire time. We doubt directly with the hertz employee and she was awesome
4.0 Okay10 Apr 2022
I reserved a full-sized car, but on pickup all they had left was a Van... If there wasn' going to be a full-sized car available on pick-up I should have been informed. I had no choice but to take the van. Upset and disappointed. This was my first rental from Thrifty. For a Van, it was very nice and comfortable...for a Van. Upon drop-off, the guy was very brisk, dismissive, and unfriendly. I'm not one who needs their butt kised, and he seemed to be busy, but that's no excuse. It made my experience even less enjoyable. The price was exorbitant in my opinion. They say it's because of Covid, and I guess that's business to take atvantage of a situation, but I will be much less lilely to rent a vehicle in the future with prices that high.
10.0 Excellent23 Nov 2021
Staff was friendly and provided fast, easy service. The rental car was very clean. Overall great experience
10.0 Excellent18 Nov 2021
Best customer service she was wonderful!
6.0 Good23 Oct 2021
We had to wait 45 minutes after checking at the counter, and only a van or pick up was available. The van was fine and the drop off went fine.
1.9 Horrible15 Oct 2021
Showed up to the desk and their technology wouldn’t work so had to use Avis.
7.9 Good11 Oct 2021
Pick up took a long time, like it does for almost every rental car place. The issue this time was my driver’s license wouldn’t scan. Otherwise was awesome. Car was great. Drop off easy.
10.0 Excellent10 Oct 2021
Car was very nice, but not very clean due to our taking the wrong car by mistake. The guy at the gate made the change in our contract since this car as available.
1.9 Horrible14 Aug 2021
Overcharged me for a day and now am unable to speak to anyone to dispute these charges.
3.9 Mediocre21 Jul 2021
I was charged $124 by thrifty even though during booking Kayak indicated total price $117 Credit card machine did not work Agent was rude during car pickup Car was not clean, lot of papers lying around There was no one at car return, I had to go back inside the airport to return the key
Rated no. 5
8.4 Excellent (57 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 8.6
  • 8.4
  • 8.3
  • 8.4
  • 8.2
Recent reviews
4.8 Okay18 Apr 2017
Very expensive car rental in Charleston SCPaying for a full tank of gas upfront that I didn't use!
8.8 Excellent3 Apr 2017
Great if prices were more accurateIt was very quick and easy to pick and drop off car. The staff was very nice.I made a reservation online for $53 total which I thought I selected to include the insurance... but it was $81 when I arrived and received the car for my 2 hour rental.
7.6 Good30 Mar 2017
I'm 84 and did not like the long walk to pick up with heavy luggage and even longer walk on return.
4.0 Okay28 Mar 2017
Price changeOverall the rental was a good experience but the price was a big difference from what I was quoted. Basically double.
10.0 Excellent20 Mar 2017
Last minute decision. So glad we chose EnterpriseNeeded a one way rental at the last minute. Very pleased with our decision
2.0 Mediocre3 Mar 2017
You make a reservation and enterprise won't honorEase of reservation.Their refusal to help.
2.0 Mediocre2 Mar 2017
I was not allowed to rent the car because I was not told I needed a major credit card, ended up costing me$300 more to rent from another company.
10.0 Excellent27 Feb 2017
Easy, fast service.No complaints
3.2 Mediocre22 Feb 2017
The car was dirty - seats were all stained and itThe inside of the car was dirty - it smelled as if someone were smoking inside and they tried to cover it up by using air freshener - it made me sick.
10.0 Excellent9 Feb 2017
Great service and very friendly staff at CharlestoI rented SUV and they gave me choice of 2 different models, checkout was extremely quick and easy.
Rated no. 6
6.8 Good (43 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 7.5
  • 7.7
  • 6.9
  • 6.8
  • 7.2
Recent reviews
4.0 Okay12 Jun 2022
Huge line at pickup. Car was not very clean and controls were tough to navigate.
6.0 Good25 Apr 2022
Waited almost 3 hour to pick up the rental from Charleston airport.
2.0 Mediocre18 Apr 2022
Spend 3 hours waiting in line to pickup a vehicle. Single person was handling reservations process at the counter with large number of customers waiting in line. The second attendant didn’t arrive until 9pm. Also, didn’t receive the type of car I reserved. I either had to wait for the my reservation to get prepared (cleaned) or take what was available. Didn’t want to wait any longer do went for “what is ready” option. Daly rental rate was better than the competition, but after spending 3 hours waiting in line, one starts questioning the worthiness of the saving.
2.0 Mediocre28 Mar 2022
My pick up - I had a reservation - required my standing in a line in the Charleston airport for over 2 1/2 hours . The process was tiring - lots of unhappy customers . When we finally were assigned a car - we went to the lot to pick up , whereby things were even more confusing . Employees were not accommodating and did not seem to know what was going on . It was an extremely frustrating experience , which I have never encountered with a rental car company - ever - I’m sad to say . The only downside of our entire trip .
4.0 Okay27 Mar 2022
The staff were friendly and the car was nice. However, I had to wait over two hours in line to get my rental car.
4.0 Okay25 Mar 2022
When I picked up the car, the car I booked and was assigned at the counter was not available when I got to the garage. The attendant then stated that he had rented it to someone else and tried to give me a pickup truck. I explained that I wouldn’t be able to afford the fuel in a truck for the length of my trip. I was then given a mid size sedan (I originally booked a hybrid), and the smell of cigarette smoke was absolutely overwhelming. I was already behind schedule due to the car mix up, so I accepted the car, but I had to drive with the windows down for the duration of my trip. I called Avis and got a partial refund, but I would consider this a poor to mediocre experience all the way around. Customer service on the phone was very good, but the pick up location service was terrible.
2.0 Mediocre27 Feb 2022
The line to pick up the car took 45 minutes because only one person was working the desk, even after pre-registering. The car assigned to us smelled like cigarettes and marijuana smoke, and changing was not possible because when I returned to the desk, the line was twice as long and still only one person was working. The car had almost 60,000 miles on it, tires that were nearly bald and no windshield washer fluid, which we found out at night with wet roads. I will do everything possible to avoid renting from Avis again.
2.0 Mediocre30 Jan 2022
Found out when I got there I needed a credit card for the security deposit; and I do not have a credit card. I was not aware of that restriction; and if you visit the Avis website, it will say "in most cases" but never mentions which locations require a credit card. So I ended up taking a Lyft to my destination; which in turn cost me more money.
10.0 Excellent22 Oct 2021
Fast and easy
5.9 Okay13 Sep 2021
No cruise control or could not get it to work.
Rated no. 7
6.1 Good (93 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 6.3
  • 6.7
  • 6
  • 5.6
  • 6.2
Recent reviews
1.9 Horrible28 Aug 2021
We never got the car. Dollar had no cars available when we arrived. The attendant kept saying they were washing the cars and one gentleman in line had been waiting for over 2 hours for his car. I will not recommend Dollar to anyone.
7.9 Good27 Jul 2021
The car could have been cleaner
2.0 Mediocre1 Jul 2021
We reserved a car rental 3 months out from our trip. When we arrived, the staff at Dollar said there were no cars available and could not guarantee us a vehicle until another was returned. They couldn't say how many vehicles were scheduled to be returned and when. They placed us on a waiting list and said they would call. Then, I was informed that because we were "late" for our reservation (plane was delayed) we were bumped to the bottom of the waiting list. They said they couldn't tell us until 5pm if they had any vehicles turned in. That was 4 hours to wait with our luggage! Then we called back at 5pm they said that they had nothing available and no other Dollar rentals had cars. They said it was in the fine print that this could happen. We ended up booking a car rental through Hertz for 2x the quoted rate but at least they were willing to help us salvage our vacation. Not booking through Dollar ever again.
2.0 Mediocre27 Jun 2021
Nothing to like when you get to the airport and the Dollar rental company tells you you have to pick up your can on an off- site location which closes at 1pm and my reservation was for 1pm and I was standing on line since 12pm and there was nothing they could do, no other cars available only in 24 hoursHorrible experience - how can you accept a 1pm reservation if the place close at 1pm ? Kayak should know it better
8.0 Excellent22 Jun 2021
Great staff. Very helpfulWe arrived on Saturday to a closed office. Would have been helpful to be altered to the business hours
2.0 Mediocre8 Jun 2021
Better communication about the $90 "Airport fee" they don't tell you about until you're there at the counter, the first car we got in hadn't been cleaned yet, they called us about getting something refunded & need our card info again but haven't been answering and their voicemail is we definitely will never rent through dollar again.
2.0 Mediocre5 Jun 2021
Staff was courteous and helpful.If a client wanted to extend a rental for another day, I don’t believe they should be charged more of the same airport fees. There could be some, but not all of them that are charged for one day. I was forced to walk all the way back to the terminal to return the keys and check the mileage because there wasn’t any representative at the booth to drop off the car. I do realize it was rather cheap to rent from your company, but a representative should be there to check in and check out guests by the cars.
10.0 Excellent2 Jun 2021
Staff was very friendly, and took great care of us with an UPGRADE! Yay. Also... the check-in line for Dollar at the Charleston Airport was so much shorter than the others, so we zipped in and out.Nothing really.
2.0 Mediocre31 May 2021
Requested large SUV. Kayak said that the reservation was for a Nissan Armada. On arrival , no armadas or similarly sized vehicles were ever available at location. FIX THIS
8.0 Excellent27 May 2021
Fast and easy service
Rated no. 8
9.1 Excellent (4 reviews)
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
  • 10
  • 8.5
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
Recent reviews
10.0 Excellent31 May 2020
Great car cleanNothing
2 locations in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
Recent reviews
1 location in Charleston Airport
Locations in Charleston Airport
Recent reviews
1130 travellers who rented a car in Charleston Airport gave the car agency they used an average rating of 7.4

Car rental locations at Charleston Airport

Good to know

Most popular car type


Top tips for renting a car at Charleston Airport

  • Charleston Airport is about a 15min drive from the city center via I-26E and US-78 E. Bus service from the airport is limited to downtown and the North Charleston areas. Therefore, car rental at Charleston Airport is the easiest and the quickest way to get to your hotel or vacation rental. Although you can book a rental car when you land, if you're traveling from Monday through Thursday during business hours, it is recommended that you make a reservation. This is because airport traffic can be busy during these hours.
  • You can rent a car at the airport from numerous national brand companies. Some car rentals at Charleston Airport are convenient because they are in the terminal, such as Budget and Avis. Look for signs pointing you to the rental car area. Other rental agencies, such as Dollar, Sunnycars, and Thrifty, are offsite. These agencies, however, will shuttle you from the airport to their offices. To catch the shuttle, follow the signs located outside of the baggage claim. Note that Dollar and Thrifty share a shuttle because they are in the same location.
  • Most of the car rentals at Charleston Airport are open seven days a week. They open at around 7 am and close at midnight. If, however, you need to return your car outside of those hours, you can do so. Simply lock the vehicle and leave both your contract and key in dropbox. For agencies with kiosks at the airport, there is a dropbox right by the desk. Dollar and Thrifty, who are offsite, are also open from 7 am until midnight. Although you can return the car after hours, it could be a problem getting back to the airport if the shuttle is not running.
  • Rent a specialty vehicle, such as a sporty convertible or an open-air jeep, to drive during your beach vacation to South Carolina. SUVs or sedans with large trunks are available for travelers who plan to drive to nearby Myrtle Beach for a day of shopping or golfing and need extra space for their bags or sporting equipment. Check out Alamo, Hertz, Dollar, or Budget to rent one of these car types.
  • Book your rental car at Charleston Airport at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price

FAQs about renting a car at Charleston Airport