Airport Car Rental: How To Do It Without A Flight




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Traveling can be a fun way to learn about new cultures and find some quality relaxation, and renting a car can be a quick and convenient way to navigate. While it may be normal for some, the rental process can be tricky for first-timers due to some common misconceptions.

You can rent a car from an airport without flying. While many airport rental locations will let you rent from their lot, they often come with extra fees. If you’re looking to save money, renting from a dealer closer to the city is recommended. 

In the rest of this article, I’ll provide useful information, such as the benefits of pre-booking, what information you need to provide for a rental, and ways to save money at different steps of the rental process. Let’s get started!

Can You Rent a Car From an Airport Without Flying?

While you can rent a car from an airport without flying, you’ll find that it is more expensive. 

Like most businesses, the car rental industry is dominated by competition. Pricing can be inconsistent and often bend to a variety of external factors: 

  • Location
  • Time of the year
  • Lot availability
  • Booking time 

When renting from an airport, there are even more factors to consider. 

Airport rentals know that a large portion of the airport’s patrons will need to arrange some form of transportation and, as such, can be priced for this convenience. 

Not to mention, many airports will charge car rental locations on their property in some form of an extra fee. These charges cover convenience-based services such as on-site shuttling and security. 

Is It More Expensive if You Don’t Pre-Book?

It is more expensive if you don’t pre-book. In most circumstances, booking your rental ahead of time will be cheaper, as there are likely more vehicles and discounts available. Still, there are ways to make even last-minute bookings more affordable.

When you pre-book your car rentals, you open yourself to a few advantages, the biggest one being discounts. As mentioned, renters often base rental prices on availability and will be influenced by any perceived rush or holiday season. Booking ahead of time allows you to avoid any unnecessary upcharges and ensures you have the vehicle you want. 

Booking early also allows you to make proper comparisons with the competition. Varying locations will come with their unique pricing influences, and you have more chances to find the best price with more time. There are also plenty of third-party sites that you can book through that come with various discounts and purchasing incentives. 

However, even if you need to book months ahead, there are still ways to lower your booking costs. Remember, car rental prices are influenced by availability. Finding dealers in less competitive areas or purchasing from lesser-known companies can do wonders for pricing. 

Buying in person also gives you a chance for more effective negotiation. Again, car rental prices are rarely ever complex numbers. While (most of the time) this allows companies to increase the cost for the consumers, there are chances for it to work in your favor.

What ID Do You Need in USA?

Another essential part of proper rental planning is knowing the appropriate identification to bring. If you don’t have the right identification, you won’t be able to rent a car.

When renting a car in the United States, you will always need to get some form of photo identification (passport, driver’s license, etc.) and a valid driver’s license. Your ID assures the lender you are not a scammer and they can trust you to drive their merchandise. 

It’s also important to note you must be 25 years or older to rent a vehicle at most locations in 

the USA. Also, even though you may have the cash to rent, most places require a credit card or at least a debit on file. 

My Hire Car From Alamo Orlando International Airport 2022

How Can I Save Money on My Next Rental?

Now that you understand the basics of renting, I can teach you the ins and outs of cutting costs. The best way to save money on rentals is to plan properly and understand insurance.

Plan To Pre-Book Your Rental

As previously stated, pre-booking your rental is the easiest way to access exclusive deals you won’t typically find if you wait around. Besides discounts, it also gives you more chances to find the right vehicle to fit your space and pricing needs. 

It’s important to note that different vehicles are split into four categories. These factors range from size, cost, and fuel type to chaise style, transmission, and luxury factors. How they’re broken will set their rate or price you pay per day.

You can find an excellent guide for finding what size vehicle fits your travel needs here.

Planning early also provides a great chance to take note of any company policies you need to know regarding returning the rental. These extra fees can add up, which is ultimately why they want a card on file. 

Understand Insurance Costs 

The highest cost to the rental itself will always be the insurance. If you’re coming from a state that doesn’t require auto insurance, you may be required to purchase some form of coverage before leaving the lot. 

Even if you’re currently insured, you should still consider more coverage. While your insurance may cover liability, many renters will require you to come out of pocket for any damages to their property while in your possession.

There are four types of coverage renters carry. Each comes with its price and the types of damage it covers. Finding the correct insurance to match your unique needs is essential for getting a price you’re comfortable with. 


While not recommended, renting a car from an airport is possible, even without flying. Compared to other locations, airport rentals tend to:

  • Charge higher rental prices and fees.
  • Have limited inventory.

However, by planning correctly and understanding your travel needs, you can ensure your next rental is quick and easy and keeps your budget intact.

About the author

Hi, I’m Paul Stamp, the adventurer behind this site! I’m in charge of all content and editing. 

I went on my first adventure in 1989 aged just 12 when I flew from the UK to Walt Disney World in Florida with my friend and his family.

Latest posts

  • Do Public Beaches Close at Night? Essential Facts Explained

    Do Public Beaches Close at Night? Essential Facts Explained

    Many people enjoy visiting beaches for various activities, but a common question arises: do public beaches close at night? The answer varies depending on location. In the United States, most beaches have regulated opening hours, with some closing at night and others remaining open 24 hours a day. To know the accessibility of a specific…

    Read more

  • Do Beaches Close at Night in California: Essential Information for Visitors

    Do Beaches Close at Night in California: Essential Information for Visitors

    California’s coastline offers a vast array of picturesque beaches, attracting tourists and locals alike to enjoy the surf and sand throughout the year. With the variety of activities and events taking place at these beaches, a common question is whether or not they close down at night. While some beaches may have specific hours of…

    Read more

  • Does Viva Aerobus Provide In-Flight Entertainment

    Does Viva Aerobus Provide In-Flight Entertainment

    Viva Aerobus is a Mexican low-cost airline known for providing affordable travel options within Mexico and to select international destinations. While the carrier strives to maintain low fares, it’s important to understand the in-flight experience, specifically related to the amenities provided, such as headphones and entertainment options. Travelers flying with Viva Aerobus can expect a…

    Read more