There are many rental car companies to choose from at Tampa International Airport (TPA). Like many major airports, TPA has an on-site rental car facility with approximately 15 brands and a complimentary shuttle service for a handful of discount off-site agencies.
As a result, you have more options to choose from which can make it easier to find the best price and ideal vehicle type. Whether you’re on a budget or want the best service we rank the best Tampa Airport car rental companies.
The Vacationer Tip
Before booking your Tampa 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 Tampa, see our Best Websites to Book Cheap Flights guide.
Table of Contents
What are the Best Rental Car Companies at Tampa Airport?
In most situations, you will find competitive rates and save time by booking an on-airport rental car. The Tampa Airport is relatively big and you will need to take the SkyConnect train (it’s free) to reach the consolidated rental car facility with parking spots for over 8,000 rental cars.
Another benefit of picking up your rental at the airport is the ability to quickly drop off your car. You can also use the remote bag check station to easily get your luggage to the gate.
Enterprise usually receives high customer service reviews across the board at many of its nationwide locations. Its TPA location is no different as most renters report an enjoyable and helpful check-in experience, but there are times when the agents may not have the best customer service skills or response times.
The location is open 24/7 which makes it easy to pick up your car if you’re catching the last flight in, an early bird special, or finally arriving after extensive delays. This location offers a self-service kiosk which speeds up the pick-up process when there’s a line.
It’s possible to rent many vehicle types including electric, premium SUV, luxury cars, 15-passenger vans, pickup trucks, and exotics. Several off-site locations are nearby that may offer competitive rates too.
Pros: Wide vehicle selection, open 24/7, excellent customer service ratings
Cons: Potentially expensive
Phone: (813) 396-4000
Google Rating: 4.4
Kayak Rating: 9.5 (Wonderful)
Alamo has many happy renters as the TPA rental desk usually has short wait times and it’s open 24/7. Additionally, travelers can use the self-service kiosks or the Alamo mobile app’s “Skip the Counter” and “Accelerated Check-In” features.
You can rent luxury vehicles and families or large groups will enjoy access to pickups, minivans and 15-passenger vans. Renters can pay with a debit card or credit card.
While there is much to like about Alamo Rent a Car, its rental rates tend to be on the higher side for Tampa Airport. Unlike the well-known premium agencies, its loyalty program doesn’t offer many perks either.
Pros: Expedited check-in, good vehicle selection, friendly customer service, open 24/7
Cons: Potentially expensive, basic loyalty program
Phone: (813) 396-4140
Google Rating: 4.4
Kayak Rating: 8.9 (Very Good)
Consider Hertz if you want a free additional driver as long as you’re a Gold Plus Rewards member. Other loyalty benefits include the Ultimate Choice vehicle selection benefits and the opportunity for complimentary upgrades.
This rental agency offers many types of economy and luxury car classes. Specialty collections including sports, electric, passenger vans, and convertibles are available. Unfortunately, the average rental price is relatively expensive and the rental desk closes at 1 a.m. daily when other companies are open 24/7.
Pros: Extensive vehicle selection, robust loyalty program, free additional driver
Cons: Potentially expensive, closes at 1 a.m. (after-hours drop-offs are available)
Phone: (813) 874-3232
Hours: 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Google Rating: 3.6
Kayak Rating: 7.5 (Good)
Consider Sixt to secure competitive rates on luxury cars, convertibles, minivans, and SUVs. This agency also lets you pay with a debit card. Unfortunately, this location doesn’t offer pickup trucks or passenger vans.
Some customer reviews indicate check-in lines that are a little longer than other premium competitors but the customer service team is friendly and efficient. While you may need to wait a bit longer, the average rental rate is usually cheaper than the premium services.
Another potential downside of renting through Sixt is that the airport counter closes at midnight which can affect late arrivals.
Pros: Competitive rates, friendly customer service, offers luxury, sports and minivans
Cons: Doesn’t offer self check-in, cannot rent 12- or 15-passenger vans
Phone: (813) 666-8606
Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight (after-hours drop-offs are available)
Google Rating: 3.6
Kayak Rating: 7.4 (Good)
Travelers on a tight budget will find the prices and customer service for NextCar pleasing. Unlike some discount car rental companies, this one is located within the Tampa Airport Rental Car Facility and is accessible by riding SkyConnect.
You can rent many economy and premium vehicles including sports cars, SUVs, minivans, and 15-passenger vans. Each rental comes with unlimited free miles within the continental United States and Canada.
Joining the VIP Express Club lets you skip the counter and head directly to your rental car from the self-service kiosk plus enjoy exclusive discounts.
By downloading the NextCar mobile app, you can join the Touch Free VIP Club which lets you reserve a car and pick it up 24/7, even when the branch location is closed. This perk can be valuable as its TPA rental desk closes at 8 p.m. daily.
Pros: Affordable rates, wide vehicle selection, unlimited miles, 24/7 VIP Club pick-ups
Cons: Closes at 8 p.m., relatively few locations, expensive additional fees
Phone: (813) 706-6990
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (after-hours drop-offs and pick-ups are available)
Google Rating: 2.3
Kayak Rating: 8.0 (Very Good)
Avis has an extensive vehicle selection including passenger vans, hybrids, electric, and luxury cars. Customer reviews indicate that it’s best to have Avis Preferred status to check in at a dedicated service desk as the wait times can be lengthy at times.
This location is open 24/7 which is beneficial, although its rental rates tend to be relatively high. Booking directly through Avis lets you qualify for the agency’s Best Price Pledge and you may qualify for additional limited-time offers.
You may also like using Avis as you can earn rewards points on car rentals to book free rental days in the future. However, the loyalty program doesn’t offer as many perks as other competitors.
Pros: Expansive vehicle selection, expedited check-in for Preferred members, open 24/7
Cons: Potentially expensive, long wait times periodically
Phone: (813) 396-3500
Google Rating: 3.3
Kayak Rating: 6.8 (Okay)
7. ACE Rent A Car
ACE is another budget-friendly car rental agency that offers cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. This company offers some of the cheapest rates for on-location airport rentals and the customer support is usually pretty good.
Potentially the most significant drawback of this affordable rental car agency is only being able to drive your rental within Florida. Additionally, the operating hours are only from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. which suits most travelers but impacts red-eye flights.
This rental agency also offers a no-frills loyalty program to earn bonus points on rentals. However, there are no additional perks mentioned.
Pros: Affordable rates, offers cars, trucks and SUVs
Cons: Rentals cannot leave Florida, no vans, closes at 10 p.m., no after-hours drop-offs
Phone: (813) 636-8999
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Doesn’t offer after-hours drop-offs)
Google Rating: 3.7
Kayak Rating: 6.1 (Okay)
Comparing the Best Rental Car Companies at Tampa Airport
Here is a quick comparison of the best Tampa Airport rental car companies.
|Brand/Rental Provider||Google/Kayak Rating||Types of Available Services||Budget or Luxury?|
|Enterprise||4.4/9.5||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Luxury|
|Alamo||4.4/8.9||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|Hertz||3.6/7.5||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Luxury|
|Sixt||3.6/7.4||Cars, trucks, SUVs, luxury vehicles||Mid-Range|
|NextCar||2.3/8.0||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Budget|
|Avis||3.3/6.8||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury vehicles||Mid-Range|
|ACE||3.7/6.1||Cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans||Budget|
These agencies didn’t make the cut but still offer affordable rentals and an ample vehicle selection.
|Brand/Rental Provider||Google/Kayak Rating|
Types of Available Services
|Budget or Luxury?|
|Advantage||3.6/6.1||Cars, SUVs, vans, luxury||Budget|
|Thrifty||2.1/7.4||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury||Budget|
|Budget||3.1/6.4||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury||Budget|
|National||4.5/N/A||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury||Luxury|
|Easirent||3.6/5.0||Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, luxury||Budget|
Tips for Renting Cars at Tampa Airport
The greater Tampa area is an exciting place to visit for leisure and business. Whether you’re staying local or heading to a nearby beach town or even Orlando, these suggestions will help you find the best Tampa rental car deals.
Consider On-Site Rentals
Nearly every luxury, mid-range, and budget car rental agency has a check-in counter at the Tampa International Airport Rental Car Facility. It’s still worth comparing prices with off-site locations but the savings may not be worth the extra commuting time.
It takes approximately 20 minutes to reach the rental car facility from the gates, without stopping to get your luggage, as it’s the final stop on the free-to-ride SkyConnect Tram. You can follow these steps to reach the check-in desks:
- After deboarding the plane, follow the signs for the Main Terminal, Baggage Claim, and SkyConnect train (it’s accessible from the Blue and Red terminals).
- Board the SkyConnect train
- Ride SkyConnect to the Rental Car Center (it’s the next stop after the Economy Parking lot)
- Walk to the on-site rental car desks to board a courtesy shuttle for off-site agencies
- After checking in, you will walk to Level 1, 2, or 3 to pick up your rental
Further, you will return your rental to the same location at 5405 Airport Service Rd., Tampa, FL 33607. You will follow the signs to return your car at the appropriate level where the rental car agency’s designated parking area is.
The Vacationer Tip
In addition to comparing numerous rental car options, using the best credit card for rental cars can help you unlock complimentary insurance coverage, loyalty perks, and earn the most travel rewards.
Compare Rental Car Offers
With so many agencies, finding the lowest price for your desired vehicle type may take a little longer. You may also decide to use one of the best websites to book cheap car rentals as there are more opportunities to find exclusive offers.
As a reminder, verify the unlimited mileage policy and geographic restrictions if you’re researching discount agencies. It’s not uncommon for budget-priced rentals to require vehicles to remain within the state of Florida. Additionally, Florida residents may have a daily limit of free miles, even on unlimited mileage bookings.
Bring a Toll Pass From Home
Unfortunately, the Tampa area has several toll roads that are challenging to avoid if you’re driving outside of town or to St. Petersburg. However, they are more common in Orlando and Miami.
Opting for the rental car agency’s toll responder can be a good idea but this add-on is expensive and costs more than the electronic tolls.
Instead, you may consider bringing your E-Z Pass or a similar interstate transponder from home if you have one. It’s also possible to go online and register the license plate to your credit card for the rental period to avoid surprise charges.
Other Options in the Tampa Area
Tampa is crawling with ground transportation options if you don’t want to book a car directly from the local airport and pay expensive surcharges.
Most rental car agencies offer rental car kiosks at the airport rental car center and off-location. These agencies don’t have a location at TPA but provide a courtesy shuttle from the Commercial Curb at the rental car facility to their service area:
- Carl’s Van Rentals
- Florida’s Van Rentals
- GreenMotion Tampa
- One Switch Rent A Car
- Priceless Car Rental
- Via Car Rental
You will need to hire an Uber or Lyft to be transported to and from the terminal for other agencies not offering shuttle service.
Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals
Turo car rentals are available in the Economy Parking Garage which is accessible from the same SkyConnect train that takes you to the consolidated rental car facility. Clients can also pick up and drop off renters at the Remote Curb at the rental car center too.
Uber and Lyft
If you don’t anticipate needing a daily driver during your visit, hiring an Uber or Lyft rideshare can be more cost-effective. You can also avoid parking fees at downtown hotels if that’s your destination.
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) offer public bus service between the airport and various landmarks.
Do you need a rental car in Tampa?
Most visitors need a rental car to visit Tampa and the surrounding area. A car is necessary to visit Orlando, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or another nearby beach destination. A notable exception is if you’re staying in downtown Tampa which is walkable. See our Best Beaches in Florida guide for additional information on location near the Tampa area.
Where are the Tampa Airport rental cars?
All of the on-site car rental agencies are at the Rental Car Center which is accessible by riding the SkyConnect from the main terminal. Locals can be dropped off at the center to pick up their rental.
What are the Tampa Airport rental car hours?
Several agencies are open 24/7 for pick-ups and drop-offs while others close earlier from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. after most people have arrived. Locations that close early typically offer after-hour drop-offs if your return flight happens before the agency opens in the morning.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
This airport is a popular gateway to Florida’s Gulf Coast and renting a car is a travel necessity.
Thanks to the many on-site and off-site rental options, there are many options of economy and multi-passenger cars. You also have many agencies with competitive prices and high-quality customer service.
Using one of the recommended car rental agencies and these tips for finding cheap car rentals will help you get the car you need to visit Tampa at a great price.
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.
7 Best Tampa Airport Car Rental Companies — Browse Tips on Renting a Car in Tampa (June 2023) - The Vacationer? ›
As part of your trip, you may be looking to rent a car in another city. But, you may have noticed the price is a bit more than you're used to. That's because the pandemic has caused auto manufacturing delays, meaning there are fewer cars for buyers of new cars.What car rentals are on site at the Tampa International Airport? ›
- ACE Rent a Car (877) 822-3872. ...
- Advantage Rent a Car (813) 414-5980. ...
- Alamo Rent a Car (844) 370-9187. ...
- Avis Rent a Car (813) 396-3500. ...
- Budget Car Rental (813) 396-3126. ...
- Dollar Rent a Car (813) 396-3640. ...
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car (833) 892-9213. ...
- Fox Rent a Car (813) 337-0950.
As part of your trip, you may be looking to rent a car in another city. But, you may have noticed the price is a bit more than you're used to. That's because the pandemic has caused auto manufacturing delays, meaning there are fewer cars for buyers of new cars.What is the most rented vehicle in Florida? ›
Most popular rental car
The most popular rental cars in Florida are the Nissan Versa, the Nissan Altima, and the Hyundai Altima.
SkyConnect is TPA's newer people mover that runs between the main terminal, economy parking garage, and rental car center. Trains operate every 2 minutes, and the entire journey takes under 5 minutes.How do you beat the high price car rental? ›
- Know What You Need. ...
- Book Early, Especially During Peak Travel Times. ...
- Take Advantage of Discounts. ...
- Join a Loyalty Program. ...
- Compare Prices. ...
- Check Smaller Car Rental Companies. ...
- Look for Coupon Codes. ...
- Read the Fine Print.
Rental car costs have dropped slightly in 2023 compared to 2022. However, most industry experts predict that rental car rates will, unfortunately, remain high for the foreseeable future. It may be a while before we see rental car prices return to normal.How much is it to rent the most expensive car? ›
This is the most expensive car to rent in America—it's $20,000 a day. A Bugatti – the French luxury car — isn't cheap to own. There are only three models — Veyron, Chiron and Divo — and the prices range from $1.7 million to $3 million.What car rental company is known to try harder? ›
In the early sixties, Avis launched the slogan "We try harder", positioning ourselves as the world's number two car rental company.
To be 25 years old (if you're under 25, you may be required to pay a young driver's fee, which varies by rental location) A valid driver's license with a photo. A photo ID (For example: a driver's license or passport) Credit or debit card (check the acceptable forms of payment at the location you're renting from)What is the number 1 car rental company in the US? ›
Winner: Enterprise Plus
Once again, Enterprise comes out on top. Enterprise Plus offers the most traveler-friendly loyalty program of the three major car rental companies because: It offers members a straightforward earning rate. It has the lowest-cost redemptions.
Showing 10 out of 17 companies. Enterprise Holdings Inc, ALD SA, Avis Budget Group Inc, Hertz Global Holdings Inc, and Sixt SE are the top 5 car rental companies in the world in 2021 by revenue.What are the most famous rental car companies? ›
- Our Top Picks.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
- National Car Rental.
- Alamo Rent a Car.
- Avis Car Rental.
- Budget Car Rental.
- Lyft Rentals.
Who is the largest car rental company? Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental company in the U.S. Enterprise Holdings has 6,000 locations across the U.S. with 1.1. million cars in service. Their estimated revenue for 2022 is $30 billion.How early should you get to Tampa airport? ›
Passengers should plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to scheduled departure to allow themselves adequate time for check-in, security screening, and food/beverage or merchandise purchases and be at the gate approximately 30 minutes before scheduled flight departure.How do I return my car to Tampa airport? ›
How do I do it? Enter the Airport through the main entrance and follow the signage for the Rental Car Center. The Rental Car Center is located just south of the Economy Parking Garage. Once you return your vehicle, you will board the SkyConnect train bound for the Main Terminal.Are there shuttles to Tampa Airport? ›
At SuperShuttle Express, we believe your trip to Tampa Bay should be as stress-free as it possibly can be. When you ride with us, we'll pick you up and drop you off right at your airport terminal, so you won't have to walk long distances like you might using other transportation services.Can you negotiate buying a rental car? ›
Most rental car sales lots offer no-haggle pricing, which makes shopping less stressful. However, if you have an appetite for negotiating and want to go back and forth for a few hours at a used-car lot, you might save more money at a traditional dealership, Brauer suggests.Is Turo car rental legit? ›
Ultimately, Turo is a safe and legitimate way to rent a car from a local host. Since 2010, Turo has grown into a popular service with more than 332K total app ratings and an “Excellent” ranking on Trustpilot from consumers. To get started, you can download the app for iPhone or Android or visit the company's website.
Inventory levels at some automakers are moving back up above pre-pandemic normal, suggesting that overall demand has slowed in some corners of the market.” Fleet sales for the full year of 2023 are forecast at 2.2 million, up 23% from 2022, when 1.8 million units were sold to commercial buyers.What to expect from car prices in 2023? ›
Used car prices have likely peaked, but new car prices are expected to remain high. In 2023, prices are expected to decline by roughly 10% for used cars and by 2.5% to 5% for new cars.Is it cheaper to rent a car longer or shorter? ›
In many cases, rental companies will provide a lower rate on a long-term rental compared to a short-term one, and they sometimes also offer unlimited mileage.Where is the most expensive place to rent a car in the US? ›
Anchorage, Alaska, and Lihue, Hawaii, lead the ranking as the most expensive destinations to rent a vehicle. Compared to August 2020, average rental car rates have doubled in some cities including Boston, Minneapolis and Seattle.Why are rental cars so expensive all of a sudden? ›
Demand for rental cars is outpacing the supply of available vehicles, so rental car prices have gone sky high. If you have been surprised by unusually high rental car rates, or by rental cars being generally unavailable, read on.What are the top 3 car rental companies in the world? ›
1900s. The earliest records of car hire can be traced as far back as 1904, when a bicycle shop in Minneapolis started offering cars for rent. A few years later, the German company Sixt was established in 1912. It first started off with three cars for rent and quickly expanded.Is it better to rent a car in Florida? ›
Should I rent a car in Florida? Many of the beaches in Florida are in small towns with no public transportation system. Renting a car will make it easy to go on a Florida beach road trip. Even in large Florida cities like Jacksonville and Miami, a rental car is essential.What are the rules about renting a car in Florida? ›
The minimum age is 21 although under age 25 drivers will be subject to a surcharge payable on collection (see below). If you choose our Young Driver's Package with Alamo or National then up to 3 drivers age 21-24 can drive the car with no additional charges on collection.Do you have to clean a rental car before returning it Hertz? ›
No. You don't need to clean or wash a rental car before returning it. However, ensure that you return the car in the same condition you received from the rental company or haven't made it too untidy.
Enterprise ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction for the second year in a row, followed by National and Alamo in third place.What is the best way to rent a car in USA? ›
Shop around online. Look at sites like Kayak, Priceline and Cheapcarrental.com to compare your options and narrow in on the best deal. Then go directly to the car rental company's site. You might find an even steeper discount that way, particularly with “Pay Now” options.Which rental car company has the most locations? ›
Largest Car Rental Companies FAQ
Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental company in the U.S. Enterprise Holdings has 6,000 locations across the U.S. with 1.1. million cars in service. Their estimated revenue for 2022 is $30 billion. Is the car rental industry profitable?
Renters without a ticketed return travel itinerary will need to provide a credit card with sufficient available credit to cover the estimated total amount for the rental and a deposit between $300-$400 depending on the rental location and class of vehicle rented.Can I leave my car at the car rental place? ›
Keep it at the rental car lot
Many do let you leave your own car on-site, but they won't be held responsible for any damage or theft that occurs when you're gone.
By almost all metrics, National Car Rental was the most expensive, followed by Alamo Rent a Car. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Budget, Hertz and Dollar ranked among the cheapest.Do you need a credit card to rent a car? ›
The short answer is no, a credit card is not required to rent a car, but it may make things easier. Most of the major rental agencies will accept debit cards for initial deposits and final payments. A credit card is usually encouraged because it tends to be the easiest way to pay.Can I use someone else credit card to rent a car? ›
CAN I PAY FOR THE RENTAL OF A CAR FOR ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL? The renter of the vehicle must be present to sign the rental agreement and provide their credit card at the time of pick up. The renter cannot provide a credit or debit card belonging to someone else for their use.Is it worth it to rent a car? ›
The monthly cost is often lower than a traditional auto loan payment. You are (usually) not responsible for repairs needed on your car for the length of the lease or rental. Renting or leasing a new-model car is cheaper than buying one.Can I pick up and drop off at different Hertz locations? ›
If you need to pick up your rental car at one location and return to another, choose Hertz! Book online today or contact the Hertz location nearest to you and take advantage of our great rates and more: Pick up and return your vehicle at one of our 4,000 US locations! Unlimited mileage available on most rentals.
Yes, the parking rate is as follows: First 15 minutes - free parking; $9 for the first hour and $7 for each 30 minutes thereafter up to the maximum daily rate of $60 per day. How long may someone park in the parking structure? Up to a maximum of 30 days.Why did Turo deny me? ›
Requirements with regard to age, license, identification, and communication differ by region. If you don't meet the eligibility requirements in your area, you'll be unable to book a car. Check the age requirements for the car you're trying to book. You must meet established age requirements to book certain vehicles.Is there good money in Turo? ›
Yes, renting on Turo can be profitable. The key is using strategies that help you get more bookings and earn consistent income. There are many, but a big one is to acquire one of the best cars on Turo, and optimize for popularity and utility.