Car Rental at Des Moines Airport: The Best Companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Published June 23, 2023

Des Moines International Airport (DSM) is situated 5 miles southwest of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. In terms of international airports, it’s relatively small with only six commercial airlines operating from it.

Des Moines Capitol Building in Iowa (Photo: Austin Goode / Unsplash)

If you are looking for cheap car rental deals at DSM, there are half a dozen car rental agencies located at the exit of the main terminal. These include Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Payless, Thrifty and a few lesser known companies.

To determine which rental car 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 DSM. Here are our findings:

Most Affordable: Alamo

In simple terms, renting a car at DSM is not cheap. But if you search around, you can definitely find some relatively good deals. While Hertz had the cheapest cars, its selection was rather limited so we selected Alamo as the best car rental company in this category. On our chosen dates, Alamo rented out the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Mirage at a little under $80 per day. And if you need something larger, they also had several SUVs for under $100 per day. Apart from the usual incentives provided by car rental companies when booking through, Alamo offers a zero excess policy if you’re unlucky enough to have a crash or have your car broken into.

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Best for Luxury: Hertz

Not only does Hertz have some of the cheapest vehicles in the luxury car bracket, but they also average one of the best overall customer feedback ratings on Hertz’s cheapest premium cars come in the form of a Chevrolet Impala at $83 per day and a compact SUV, the GMC Terrain at $89 per day. If, whatever reason, Hertz are unable to provide you with a car to your liking, we’d recommend Alamo which has some great deals and also receives positive customer feedback.

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Best for Minivans: Enterprise

Enterprise is our pick as the best company for families at DSM. Enterprise has many affordable minivans and SUVs and offers baby seats, infants seats and even booster seats for a very reasonable $7 per day. Amongst its fleet, Enterprise rents out the 7-seater Dodge Grand Caravan and SUVS, like the Nissan Frontier, Nissan Rogue and the impressive Chevrolet Tahoe. Among its many features, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a stylish vehicle that has a state-of-the-art infotainment and the very latest safety technology.

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