Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is the primary international airport serving the Baltimore metropolitan area. Situated 14km south of downtown Baltimore and 50km north of Washington D.C., the airport is a major hub for Southwest airlines.
Baltimore International Airport (Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)
To get to the BWI rental car facility, you need to follow the signs to the free buses which shuttle customers to and from the centre. It’s located on the corner of Stoney Run Road and New Ridge Road, about ten minutes’ drive from the airport.
To determine which rental car companies offer the best vehicles across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), Travelmag.com have carefully researched the prices, availability, policies and customer reviews of the 12 car rental companies operating out of BWI Airport. Here are our findings:
With a Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta under $50 per day, Avis had the best cheap car rentals on our sample dates. Benefits include offers of up to 30% to those customers who choose to pay for their vehicles online rather than at the counter. However, for a better selection of cars, we’d recommend Alamo – the perennial favourites in the US with a large fleet of rental cars from all corners of the world . Moreover, if you sign up to their free-of-charge Insiders loyalty program, you’ll be able to skip the queues at the counter and obtain discounts of as much as 10% off their base rate.
On most of our sample dates, we found Dollar’s Toyota RAVs, Hyundai Santa Fes and Ford Escapes as the cheapest options in the Premium Car category. For about ten dollars more, you can upgrade to a Buick Royal while for larger groups, Dollar rents out the powerful Chevrolet Suburban at a competitive price. However, it’s Alamo which has the greatest selection of luxury cars. Aside from the familiar premium cars produced by Hyundai and Nissan, Alamo also rents out the Cadillac XTS, BMW X3, Audi Q3 and Audi Infinito Q50.
Renting minivans in the Washington area is an expensive business. So whichever company you opt for, you’ll be paying about $150 per day once you’ve added on taxes. On the sample dates we researched, Avis, in general, had the best deals, with a Chrysler Town & Country priced at $121 per day (before taxes). But if you’re only in town for a day or two, then you’ll be probably better off renting Alamo’s Dodge Grand Caravan with a free full tank (worth approximately $50).
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