Car Hire at Cairns Airport: The Best Companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Published January 7, 2021

Cairns Airport (CNS) international airport, the seventh busiest airport in Australia, is located 2 miles from Cairns in the suburb of Aeroglen. The airport has direct flights to seven international and seventeen domestic destinations, connecting Cairns to all the major Australian cities and a number of international destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Cairns (Photo: David Stanley via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0)

In total, there are six car hire companies located on site with desks located in the Arrivals Hall of both T1 and T2. Amongst the familiar car rental companies on offer, you’ll notice Redspot, a reputable Australian car rental company that recently joined forces with Sixt.

To determine which car rental companies offer the best vehicles across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), carefully researched prices, availability, policies and customer reviews of the car rental companies operating out of CNS airport. Here are our findings.

Most Affordable: Alamo

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Alamo earns our top spot both for price and customer satisfaction at CNS airport. They were the cheapest option amongst the most well-known car hire agencies with rentals starting out at just €39 per day (before taxes and fees). This is compared with Juicy, whose cheapest vehicles, the Fiat Punto and a Toyota Corolla, were available at €37 and €39 per day respectively. It’s also worth noting that Jucy didn’t receive as high user marks as Alamo.

Best For Luxury Cars: Enterprise and Alamo

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Both Enterprise and Alamo (part of the same company) and East Coast Car Rentals have a large selection of premium cars at CNS airport. Although East Coast Car had some of the most tempting offers, we read various comments from users complaining about the excessive deposits needed to rent out their cars and add-on insurance policies not being all they were dressed up as. For this reason, we would recommend Alamo and Enterprise who both had the Nissan Qashqui at a tempting €65 per day (be-fore taxes and fees). If you’re tempted to try out a local car manufacturer, then they also had the Holden Equinox SUV on their books at €75 per day.

Best for Minivans: Europcar

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For a wide selection of vehicles, competitive prices and reasonably priced add-ons, Europcar earns our top prize for families and large groups at CNS airport. Clients have the choice of a number of vehicles that include an eight-seater Kia Carnival (€154 per day), premium crossover SUVs and a twelve-seater Toyota Commuter minivan (€218 per day). Europcar also receives top marks on the speed of pick up and drop off and the newness of their cars. As an added incentive to use their cars, if you sign up to their Privilege Card, you can access 15-25% discounts on hotels in the Accor Group.