There are a dozen rental car companies located at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. While it’s easy to compare prices online, it’s much more difficult to figure out which company is actually the best.
Cheap rates are nice, but they’re not as appealing when you’re waiting in line for over an hour. So save yourself the frustration of long lines and cancelled reservations. I tested all of the rental car companies at the Las Vegas Airport to find out which is the best.
In this article, I’ll let you know everything you need to know about renting a car from the airport in Las Vegas including, which company has the cheapest rates and best service.
Rental Car Companies Located at Las Vegas Airport
There actually aren’t any rental car companies located directly at McCarran Airport. Instead they’re centrally located at the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center. To get to the Rent-A-Car Center, you need to take the free shuttle that picks you up at the airport baggage claim.
Most of the major rental car companies have an office at the McCarran Rent-A-Car center including:
Two additional rental car companies have offices located across the street from the Rental Car Center:
- NU Car Rentals
Cheapest Car Rental Company at Las Vegas Airport
Price is one of the biggest factors in when deciding where to rent a car. To determine which rental car company at the airport is the cheapest, I got quotes for all of them.
|Company||Price (Prepay)||Price (Pay on arrival)|
Avis and Budget generally have the most affordable cars at the airport. If you decide to pay for your rental car upfront, Avis is the cheapest option. But if you prefer to make a reservation and pay on arrival, then Budget is slightly more affordable.
The quotes compared in the chart above are for a 3-day rental of a compact car (usually the cheapest car class). If your looking a larger vehicle, check out the article I wrote comparing prices for full-sized cars in Las Vegas.
Most Reliable Car Rental Company at Las Vegas Airport
The final cost of your rental is important, but it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Customer service and vehicle quality and also vital. Nothing will ruin your vacation faster than a bad rental car experience.
If you read any online reviews for rental car companies in Las Vegas, you’ll see a few common threads:
- Long lines (1+ hours)
- Reservations cancelled due to overbooking
- Unreliable or dirty cars
- Company not honoring reservation after delayed flight
- Reserved vehicles are not in stock when you check in
- Pushy sales reps selling extra insurance
- Extra charges showing up on your bill after you return the car
I read hundreds of reviews online and tested all of the rental car companies to see which was the most reliable. Here’s what I found.
|Company||Rating (Yelp)||Hours Open|
|Alamo||4 stars||24 hours|
|National||4 stars||24 hours|
|Enterprise||3.5 stars||24 hours|
|Avis||2 stars||24 hours|
|NU Car Rentals||1.5 stars||7am-11pm|
Alamo and National have excellent customer service at their Las Vegas Airport locations. You won’t have to worry about vehicle quality or long lines at either of those companies.
Both companies are also open 24 hours a day, which is a big deal if you have a red-eye flight. Not all companies are open late at night.
Many of the other companies get mixed reviews online, each for different reasons. If you want a more in-depth analysis of my experience with each company, check out this article comparing their service rating. Several of the rental car companies at the airport have some serious customer service issues that I cover in that post.
Best Overall Rental Car Company at Las Vegas Airport
Balancing price and reliability can be difficult when picking out a rental car. But ultimately, it’s not worth risking your vacation to save a couple of dollars on a rental.
Alamo is clearly the best rental car company at Las Vegas Airport due to their excellent customer service and reliable cars. Alamo does not overbook vehicles, which is a huge issue at other companies. You also don’t have to worry about long lines.
Alamo’s prices are on the high-end, but you get what you pay for. If you’re really on a tight budget, I would recommend Hertz. They offer a solid combination of cheap cars and decent service. And if you don’t mind renting from a non-airport location, Hertz neighborhood offices actually have the cheapest rates in Las Vegas.
How to Rent Cars From McCarran Airport in Las Vegas
To rent a car from McCarran Airport, it’s best to book online ahead of time. If you don’t book ahead, you run the risk of not getting the car your want or getting overcharged.
The best way to book online is through a 3rd party travel websites like Priceline or Hotwire. The rates are the same as booking directly, but you can compare all of the companies at once.
Just don’t use their “opaque deals” option, where they give you a slightly lower rate but don’t tell you the company. If you use that option, they sometimes give you a rental company that isn’t located directly at the airport. It’s also a great way to get stuck with a company that has 2 hour check-in lines.
Where to Pick Up & Drop off Rental Cars From Las Vegas Airport
After you book, all you need to do is take the shuttle from the airport to the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center. You’ll see signs for the shuttle outside of the baggage claim area. The shuttle arrives every 5 minutes, and the trip to the Rent-A-Car Center takes about 8 minutes (the exact address is 7135 Gilespie St).
Once at the center, simply go to your rental car company’s counter to check in. Advantage and NU Car Rentals are located across the street from the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center. You can either walk or wait for their separate shuttle.
When you return your vehicle, enter the garage at the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center and follow the signs to your company’s spot. Depending on the company, you can either return your keys to the counter or use the drop-box.
After you return your vehicle, the shuttle will take you back to McCarran Airport.
How Long it Takes to Pick Up & Drop off Rental Cars at Las Vegas Airport
The amount of time it takes to pick up your rental car depends on the company and how busy they are that day. Some companies (like Alamo and National) are typically quick and only take 10-15 minutes. Other companies (like Avis and Budget) can take up to several hours to check you in.
Dropping off your vehicle is usually much faster than picking it up. The McCarran Rent-A-Car Center is located about 8 minutes from the airport, so giving yourself an extra 30-45 minutes should be enough.
Is Renting a Car From Las Vegas Airport More Expensive
Cars rented from the airport are generally going to be more expensive than cars rented from non-airport locations. This is partly due to extra fees that you’re required to pay at the airport, specifically the 10% concession recovery fee.
On average, airport car rentals in Las Vegas are 25% more expensive than non-airport rentals. If you’re looking to save some money, check out the article I wrote comparing all of the cheapest rental car locations in Las Vegas. I compare the prices of airport to non-airport rental cars in that post.
Can You Rent a Car From Las Vegas Airport Without Flying
Anyone can rent from the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center near the Las Vegas Airport. You won’t have any issue getting in since the facility isn’t located at the actually airport.
However, if you plan on paying for your rental car with a debit card, you may be required to show a return plane ticket. This can be an issue if you didn’t fly into Las Vegas. If you run into this issue, either use a credit card or go to another rental car location.
Locals with a Nevada ID may be required to provide two separate forms of identifications to rent a car at the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center. Locals also may need to use a credit card, depending on the company.