Charleston car rentals

Charleston car rentals

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Charleston, SC
May 24 — May 31
Same drop-off
Charleston, SC
Tue 5/24
Noon
Tue 5/31
Noon

Search hundreds of rental car sites at once for car rental deals in Charleston

Charleston car rental information

Pick-up locationCharleston
Car typesCompact, Economy, Full-size, Intermediate, Intermediate SUV, Luxury, Standard, Standard SUV, Supplier choice
Rental locations21
Airport locations8
Popular agenciesAvis, Budget, Enterprise

Cheap car rentals in Charleston

Economy$54/day
Compact$54/day
Intermediate$56/day
Standard$57/day
Full-size$57/day
Luxury$71/day
Intermediate SUV$60/day
Supplier choice$60/day
Standard SUV$63/day
Best rates found by KAYAK users in the past hours.

Charleston car rental reviews and directory

From $151/dayRated #1
Alamo
Best rated
9 Excellent (149 reviews)
1 location in Charleston
Alamo
Locations in Charleston
  • 9.2
  • 9.1
  • 9
  • 9.1
  • 8.7
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentApr 12 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 ExcellentFeb 19 2022
Car was clean!!! Pick up and drop off we’re easy and staff was super friendly!
10.0 ExcellentNov 20 2021
Car was new and clean. Process was efficient from rental to return.
10.0 ExcellentNov 7 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 OkaySep 21 2021
Alamo generated inaccurate paperwork at pickup which had to be corrected during the rental period by phone. An unnecessary complication.
10.0 ExcellentApr 12 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 ExcellentApr 10 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 ExcellentMar 24 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 ExcellentJan 3 2021
It was a last minute decision to rent & the process was easy and the car was great
10.0 ExcellentJun 9 2020
Staff was super friendly and efficient, pick up was quick
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From $97/dayRated #2
Enterprise
7.9 Good (139 reviews)
5 locations in Charleston
Enterprise
Locations in Charleston
  • 8.2
  • 8.2
  • 7.8
  • 7.7
  • 7.8
Recent reviews
2.0 MediocreMay 14 2022
We were given a car with a nail in the tire. The tire pressure warning light was already on, but they simply wrote me a pink slip showing that they knew and understood that the tire was low pressure. I had to leave a work appointment to get the tire fixed
8.0 ExcellentMay 5 2022
The staff was great but location was out of the way. The car we got died on 3rd day. Enterprise replaced it but it took several, 3hours and us having to wait for tow truck, then Uber to airport and wait for another car. Enterprise did give us a small discount. It all worked out but the first car should not have had a bad electrical system.
8.0 ExcellentApr 1 2022
The first two cars smelled like smoke and finally the third was clean enough
10.0 ExcellentMar 20 2022
Excellent
10.0 ExcellentMar 1 2022
My experience with enterprise was exceptional. They did everything they could to help me out. My experience with kayak however was complete garbage . Do not use kayak for any reason. They will find you a similar quote & you think it doesn’t matter, but when you arrive to the airport you find that kayak booked you to the enterprise that you’ll need a $40 Uber to arrive to…. Then, when you get to the enterprise they booked you to, you find out that they do not offer car seats that you paid for, they don’t have them. So, you then need to go to a wal-mart, purchase your very own car seat, then head back to the airport You landed at 2 hours prior. Enterprise was exceptional helping & I will certainly use them again. Kayak….. you guys are terrible.
10.0 ExcellentFeb 27 2022
Our connecting flight was delayed by 2 hours. Unfortunately when we landed, it was 10 minutes before closing time at Enterprise, which was not located on-site at the airport. So we could not get our car that day, we had to wait until the next morning. This caused us to have to pay for a taxi to our hotel, as well as another one the following day to the rental car location. The enterprise agent offered us a free upgrade to a sports car, and didn't charge us for the day that we were not able to pick up the original rental car. We were very happy with the service we received.
10.0 ExcellentFeb 22 2022
We had to change pick-up/drop-off locations the same day as rental started. Enterprise made it very easy for us.
10.0 ExcellentJan 5 2022
The enterprise representative upgraded our vehicle and was also incredibly flexible as our travel plans changed due to flight cancellations from bad weather. I highly recommend enterprise for your next car rental
6.0 GoodNov 30 2021
Car smelled of smoke.
2.0 MediocreNov 18 2021
I signed up to pick up a car at CHS and specified "airport pickup". We got there and had to drive 20 minutes to get to an off site Enterprise location.
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From $93/dayRated #3
Budget
Most popular
6.8 Good (252 reviews)
3 locations in Charleston
Budget
Locations in Charleston
  • 7.1
  • 7.3
  • 6.7
  • 6.7
  • 6.8
Recent reviews
2.0 MediocreMay 15 2022
Did not honor confirmation. Said they were overbooked and did not have a car for me. No apology. No attempt to find a car at another location.
2.0 MediocreMay 15 2022
Long lines for both pick-up and drop-off and dirty car.
2.0 MediocreMay 10 2022
2.5 hour wait at check in counter and they didn’t have the car class that I reserved.
2.0 MediocreMay 6 2022
2.5 hour wait in line for pick up. Clerk said it is like that every day
10.0 ExcellentApr 29 2022
Staff were amazing and so quick!
2.0 MediocreApr 27 2022
It was a terrible experience and I won't rent with Budget again. I waited in line 2 hours before I could get my car and I had reservations!. There were at least 25 customers waiting in line and only one person working at the counter.
2.0 MediocreApr 25 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 MediocreApr 23 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 OkayApr 20 2022
It was extremely hard to even get a car and the price at over $200 a day is a bit much compared to other companies. They also pushed back our pick up time yet still charged the same amount. We also had the AC leaking in the car and the passenger side floor was wet. We tried to tell the associate doing drop off and he completely ignored us. It would have been much more economical for us to get Lyft and use our hotel shuttle then it was for us to use this service. It cost us almost $700 to rent a car for 48 hours.
4.0 OkayApr 18 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.
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From $170/dayRated #4
Hertz
6.5 Good (125 reviews)
4 locations in Charleston
Hertz
Locations in Charleston
  • 6.6
  • 6.7
  • 6.4
  • 6.3
  • 6.6
Recent reviews
6.0 GoodNov 16 2021
Pick up was great. Drop off was terrible. Awful customer service
2.0 MediocreOct 25 2021
Hertz took the reservations and then didn't have a car for us!
2.0 MediocreOct 23 2021
They didn't have a car after taking a prepaid reservation and I still haven't gotten my refund after several calls
1.9 HorribleOct 12 2021
they did not even tell me they are only open until 12 noon, and never got my car as it was closed. would not even honor my place is line and wouldnt give a car even three days later --horrible experience
1.9 HorribleOct 6 2021
Almost $200 in hidden fees!!!!! Be wary.
1.9 HorribleSep 28 2021
They didn’t have the vehicle
1.9 HorribleAug 28 2021
I booked online and received an email confirming the reservation that said “don’t bother call to check the reservation, you are all set”. I got dropped off at the location by someone who was heading out of town. Then the staff member tells me he “doesn’t have the vehicle” even though I can see it in the parking lot. Then tells me actually he can’t rent it to me for the rate I got online. I am stuck now and ask what rate he can rent it to me for… he says he can’t. Worthless! Didn’t offer any help.
5.9 OkayAug 5 2021
Getting the vehicle and returning the vehicle at Hertz was quick and easy. Unfortunately, the car class I had reserved was not available and ended up with a pickup with lots of miles and not in good condition. I was able to get by with it but was not what I was expecting.
1.9 HorribleJul 25 2021
Unfortunately, I fell prey to a rental car scam. I’m at a phase of life that has been marred by numerous stressors as normally, I don’t think I would have allowed this to happen but against my better judgement it did. I was contacted by someone from Hertz notifying me that my rental was canceled. I had a confirmation number but they said that it was insignificant there were no cars left. I was advised to call the customer service line and I called the number that was provided. They answered that it was a hertz customer service and I basically was taken for $300 by falling for a promotion they said was active with a pre-load Visa ( Go2Bank). In retrospect it all seems ludicrous that I fell for it but hindsight is 20/20. Needless to say it was an unfortunate and costly situation and one that makes me more cautious about who I do business with going forward.
10.0 ExcellentJul 10 2021
Same fellow handled us at pick up and drop off, He was outstanding!
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From $84/dayRated #5
Avis
Cheapest deal
6.4 Good (88 reviews)
3 locations in Charleston
Avis
Locations in Charleston
  • 6.8
  • 6.9
  • 6.3
  • 6.4
  • 6.4
Recent reviews
2.0 MediocreMay 9 2022
Wait times at this airport are horrendous. We waited over an hour and we’re still 30-45 minutes away when we finally checked with another agency and rented from them instead
2.0 MediocreApr 29 2022
The car was not at the airport. It was downtown
6.0 GoodApr 25 2022
Waited almost 3 hour to pick up the rental from Charleston airport.
2.0 MediocreApr 23 2022
Was not informed of many of the rules and hidden charges not happy will not use again
2.0 MediocreApr 18 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 MediocreApr 18 2022
Location was closed when we arrived. Our plane was delayed and no was to communicate. We went to another location and waited 1.5 hours in-line. No car available.
2.0 MediocreMar 28 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 OkayMar 27 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 OkayMar 25 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 MediocreMar 25 2022
Avis cancelled the reservation two days prior to the trip
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From $149/dayRated #6
National
9.1 Excellent (4 reviews)
1 location in Charleston
National
Locations in Charleston
  • 10
  • 8.5
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
Recent reviews
10.0 ExcellentMay 31 2020
Great car cleanNothing
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Sunnycars
2 locations in Charleston
Sunnycars
Locations in Charleston
Recent reviews
Easirent
1 location in Charleston
Easirent
Locations in Charleston
Recent reviews
757 travelers who rented a car in Charleston gave the car agency they used an average rating of 7.4

Car rental locations in or near Charleston

Good to know

Most popular agency

Budget

Most popular car type

Mini

Average price

$127/day

Good deal

$101/day

When to book a rental car in Charleston

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

Top tips for renting a car in Charleston

  • 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 $101 or less
  • Book your rental car in Charleston at least 1 week before your trip in order to get a below-average price
  • Off-airport rental car locations in Charleston are around 2% more expensive than airport locations on average
  • Mini rental cars in Charleston are around -51% cheaper than other car types, on average

FAQs about renting a car in Charleston