Charleston car rentals

Charleston car rentals

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Cheap car rentals in Charleston

Economy$46/day
Compact$46/day
Intermediate$41/day
Standard$40/day
Full-size$36/day
Minivan$54/day
Full-size SUV$54/day
Luxury$65/day
Pickup truck$35/day
Intermediate SUV$30/day
Standard SUV$35/day
Best rates found by KAYAK users in the past 48 hours.

Top tips for renting a car in Charleston

  • Charleston city center is 20 minutes from the Charleston International airport (CHS). Join International Boulevard Road from the rental parking lot. Turn left to I-526 Street and take exit 17 to join I-26 east. Continue on I-26, which will take you straight to the heart of the city. The city center has plenty of things to explore, such as Charleston City Market. To head into the market, use Meeting Street and turn left to South Market Street. Others include The College of Charleston, The Historic Dock Street Theater, and Aiken-Rhett House.
  • If you’re not flying in, you do not have to go to CHS to get cheap car rentals in Charleston. Conveniently acquire cheap Charleston car rentals in the downtown area. Several companies like Budget, Avis, and Enterprise provide car rental services in the downtown area. The downtown car rental center is at Meeting Street, and rental companies at these locations only operate during normal business hours. Downtown rental locations provide a wide fleet of vehicles fitting every need, similar to airport locations. However, Budget and Avis do not have after-hours pick-up and return services as with airport locations, but Enterprise does provide these services at an extra charge.
  • Drivers of car rentals in Charleston are subject to the same driving laws as other drivers. First, stop and yield right of way before joining traffic flow or exiting the parking lot. Do this regardless of the presence of a stop sign. Second, your vehicle’s windshield wipers and headlights should be on when it's misty or raining. Use the turn signal at least 100 feet before your intended turn. You legally cannot right of way when another driver signals you to turn or merge in moving traffic. It is also mandatory for all vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts in a moving vehicle.
  • Charleston, like many cities in the US, is truly designed for cars over public transportation. Whether you are visiting Fort Sumter or checking out Magnolia Plantation & Gardens and Middleton Place, you simply would struggle to get around Charleston without a car. If you would like to visit Middleton Place, for instance, you would have no choice but to join a tour if you don’t have a car, as public transport doesn’t serve it.
  • Need to pick up a rental car after landing at Charleston International Airport? In that case, head on over to the Rental Car Pavilion located by Baggage Claim at the end of the airport’s main terminal, where you will find all of the airport’s rental agencies conveniently located together.
  • Jaywalking is very common in the historic part of Charleston so drivers should beware. This is partly because much of the pedestrian traffic in downtown Charleston is made up of tourists visiting the city. Another road hazard to look out for in the downtown area is the bikers -- particularly the distracted college students biking with their phones out.
  • Drivers will be happy to hear that while Charleston does experience its share of rush hour traffic, it is by no means severe. Drivers can expect the morning rush hour to start up at around 7:00 a.m. and to last until 9:00 a.m., while the afternoon rush hour starts at 4:00 p.m. and finishes up at about 6:30 p.m. I-26 is the main road to avoid during rush hour as it is one of the top highways used by commuters heading to and from work.
  • 25% of our users found rental cars in Charleston for $64 or less
  • Book your rental car in Charleston at least 4 days before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Off-airport rental car locations in Charleston are around 18% cheaper than airport locations on average
  • Standard rental cars in Charleston are around -59% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in Charleston

Charleston car rental reviews and directory

Alamo

9.3

Wonderful

163 reviews
Most popular

Cleanliness

9.4

Comfort

9.4

Pick-up/Drop-off

9.3

Value for money

8.7

One location in Charleston

Show locations
from $94/day

Locations in Charleston

5500 International Blvd

+1 833 969 2383

Monday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Tuesday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Wednesday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Thursday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Friday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Saturday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Sunday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
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Reviews

10.0 Wonderful

Apr 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

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 Wonderful

Apr 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

All of the staff I had come into contact with were phenomenal! Couldn't have asked for better service.

Cons:

If they had actually attached the invoice to to email that was sent to me.

8.0 Very good

Mar 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Easy in and out. Car was very comfortable.

Cons:

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 Wonderful

Jan 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

It was a last minute decision to rent & the process was easy and the car was great

10.0 Wonderful

Jun 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was super friendly and efficient, pick up was quick

10.0 Wonderful

May 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Very efficient staff. The entire process was painless

1 out of 30

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Cleanliness

8.1

Comfort

8.4

Pick-up/Drop-off

7.7

Value for money

7.6

5 locations in Charleston

Show locations
from $71/day

Locations in Charleston

2004 Savannah Hwy

+1 843 556 7889

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday09:00 - 12:00
Sunday09:00 - 12:00
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2440 Savannah Hwy

+1 843 766 5160

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday00:00 - 01:00
Sunday00:00 - 01:00
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398 Meeting Street

+1 843 723 6215

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday00:00 - 01:00
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5500 International Blvd

+1 833 969 2385

Monday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Tuesday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Wednesday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Thursday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Friday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Saturday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Sunday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
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619 Marina Dr

+1 843 800 3074

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday00:00 - 01:00
Sunday00:00 - 01:00
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Reviews

8.0 Very good

Jun 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

They had car ready for me when I showed up.

Cons:

I didn't realize that the pickup was several miles away from airport which was inconvienent and expensive taking an Uber to and from location to pick-up and drop off car.

8.0 Very good

Jun 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff was helpful

Cons:

Price

10.0 Wonderful

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Pick up and drop off of the car took less than 5 minutes. Super friendly staff!

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

The location was not at the airport, we didn't know that when booking and then there were no cars available!

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

To have had the car we reserved be at the Charleston airport where we requested instead of an offsite location that we were unaware of and unable to get to because they closed early! Therefore, we had to obtain a car at the Enterprise location at the airport for a far more expensive rate than we had been quoted originally.

4.0 Mediocre

Apr 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

Car smelled of cigarette smoke. It was overwhelming

1 out of 33

Hertz

Cleanliness

6.5

Comfort

6.7

Pick-up/Drop-off

6.0

Value for money

6.3

3 locations in Charleston

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from $119/day

Locations in Charleston

3025 Ashley Town Center Drive

+1 843 459 2839

Monday07:30 - 18:00
Tuesday07:30 - 18:00
Wednesday07:30 - 18:00
Thursday07:30 - 18:00
Friday07:30 - 18:00
Saturday09:00 - 12:00
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4565 Gaynor Ave

+1 843 767 4554

Monday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Tuesday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Wednesday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Thursday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Friday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Saturday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Sunday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
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6060 S Aviation Ave

+1 843 767 4554

Monday00:00 - 01:0004:00 - 23:59
Tuesday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Wednesday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Thursday00:00 - 01:0004:00 - 23:59
Friday00:00 - 01:0004:00 - 23:59
Saturday00:00 - 01:0004:00 - 23:59
Sunday04:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
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Reviews

6.0 Okay

Nov 2021

KAYAK
Pick up was great. Drop off was terrible. Awful customer service

2.0 Poor

Oct 2021

KAYAK
They didn't have a car after taking a prepaid reservation and I still haven't gotten my refund after several calls

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

I was called a few minutes before my pickup time to be told the car was not available

Cons:

You tell me as for now, I will never use Hertz again

8.0 Very good

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff at airport corrected the problem

Cons:

I booked a pick up time at a location that was closed. I should not have been allowed to book at that time. Called Hertz and the wouldn’t find me a similar car anywhere near for my family of 6 stranded travelers.

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Cons:

They canceled on us with about 90 minutes notice before the reservation started. They said sorry but did nothing to help redress situation (eg % off next time or some token like that)

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Nothing. There was no car available the entire time we were in Mt Pleasant, Sc from 14 May thru 17 May. I had previously made a confirmed reservation on 4 May and my credit card account had the amount posted already.

Cons:

Arrangements should have been made when it was evident that no car was available at the appointed time.

1 out of 28

Budget

Best rated
Cheapest deal

Cleanliness

6.5

Comfort

6.9

Pick-up/Drop-off

6.1

Value for money

6.2

3 locations in Charleston

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from $66/day

Locations in Charleston

2070 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard

+1 843 573 9144

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 14:00
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390 Meeting Street

+1 843 577 5195

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 14:00
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5500 International Blvd

+1 843 552 1771

Monday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Tuesday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Wednesday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Thursday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Friday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Saturday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Sunday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
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Reviews

6.0 Okay

Oct 2022

KAYAK
The car was filthy, inside and out.

10.0 Wonderful

Aug 2022

KAYAK
Picking up the car took under 10 minutes. Dropping off took about 5 minutes. So easy! I really appreciated that. I thought it was a bit expensive though.

2.0 Poor

Aug 2022

KAYAK
Will never use them again

2.0 Poor

May 2022

KAYAK
2.5 hour wait at check in counter and they didn’t have the car class that I reserved.

7.9 Good

Jun 2021

KAYAK
It was a quick and easy in-and-out experience. It was not personable but that is okay.

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

Booked a rental car for my trip to Charleston. Thankfully, I saw the scathingly terrible reviews and decided to call ahead to make sure my reserved car was there. Very rude woman said "no cars here" and when I asked if there was another place that had some (even though I already had a reservation) she just hung up. Terrible experience.

Cons:

Actually honoring your customers reservations and coming through with a promised vehicle rental. Or, just a thought, do not allow bookings when you know there are not vehicles available!

1 out of 66

Avis

Cleanliness

5.9

Comfort

6.3

Pick-up/Drop-off

5.5

Value for money

5.7

3 locations in Charleston

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from $68/day

Locations in Charleston

2070 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard

+1 843 402 9626

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 14:00
View deals

390 Meeting Street

+1 843 577 9705

Monday08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday08:00 - 18:00
Thursday08:00 - 18:00
Friday08:00 - 18:00
Saturday08:00 - 18:00
Sunday10:00 - 14:00
View deals

5500 International Blvd

+1 843 767 7030

Monday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Tuesday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Wednesday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Thursday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Friday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Saturday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Sunday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
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Reviews

2.0 Poor

May 2021

KAYAK

Pros:

should’ve have been more courteous send us an email explaining the company has no vehicles before the date of pickup, I lost a day of work thinking my reservation was good but I was told “Life happens “

Cons:

Notifications or warnings before the date of pickup

8.0 Very good

Sep 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

We received an upgrade car from the one we reserved. Drop off at ATL airport rental car center was quick and convenient.

Cons:

Pickup at CHS was a little slow. Car had a strong smoker smell, but we didn’t want to delay our trip any further by going back to ask for another one.

6.0 Okay

Jun 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Pick up and drop off was quick and easy.

Cons:

Car smelled of cigarette smoke.

6.4 Okay

Nov 2019

KAYAK

Cons:

The car was givenTo us with only a quarter of a tank of gas. The clerk said that he would put this in the computer and we would not be charged for a full tank upon return. He did not document this in the computer. Upon pick up, we noticed several ants crawling out of the ventilation system. When trying to phone Avis to tell them about this and for the potential of exchanging the car, the agent was unable to help us in anyway. She would not put us through to any other customer service agent, And she indicated that she was unable to document this in our record. So, in essence we picked up a car that had only a quarter of a tank of gas and was crawling with ants.

9.6 Wonderful

Aug 2019

KAYAK

Pros:

Staff at both pick up and drop off were excellent, very polite and helpful. Drop off location in Charlotte was a little difficult to find/notice due to location and store frontage, but figured it out after calling that office.

Cons:

Drop off location signage.

6.8 Okay

Jul 2019

KAYAK

Pros:

Check in process fairly quick.

Cons:

Chose to return car with gas full with gas I bought. In the check in process in rental return they added $15.88 for gas. He could not remove it in the lot. Had to go inside and wait in line. She said that because I drove less than 74 miles, it adds that charge no matter. This is not right.

1 out of 23

National

7.3

Cleanliness

7.3

Comfort

7.3

Pick-up/Drop-off

9.3

Value for money

8.0

One location in Charleston

Show locations
from $120/day

Locations in Charleston

5500 International Blvd

+1 833 969 2384

Monday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Tuesday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Wednesday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Thursday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
Friday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Saturday07:00 - 23:5900:00 - 01:00
Sunday00:00 - 01:0007:00 - 23:59
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Reviews

10.0 Wonderful

May 2020

KAYAK

Pros:

Great car clean

Cons:

Nothing

2.0 Poor

Apr 2023

KAYAK
Car was horrible

1 out of 1

Sunnycars

No score available yet

2 locations in Charleston

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Locations in Charleston

2039 Savannah Highway

Opening times not available

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5500 Interbnational Boulevard

Opening times not available

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No reviews available

Easirent

No score available yet

One location in Charleston

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Locations in Charleston

Charleston International Airport

Opening times not available

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No reviews available

886 travelers who rented a car in Charleston gave the car agency they used an average rating of 7.0

Car rental locations in or near Charleston

Good to know

Most popular agency

Turo

Most popular car type

Standard

Average price

$74/day

Good deal

$64/day

When to book a rental car in Charleston

Average daily price per month
Rental car prices as pick-up date approaches