Detroit Airport Car Rental: The Best Companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Updated August 12, 2019

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), usually called Detroit Metro Airport, or just ‘DTW’, is Michigan’s busiest airport. It serves as a major hub and gateway for tourism to Detroit and as a connection point between the east and the west of the USA.

Inside the terminal building at Detroit Airport (Photo: Shaan Hurley via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

In order to rent a car at Detroit Airport, you need to follow the signs to Ground Transportation and to the courtesy shuttle which will take you to the rental car centre. Car rental shuttle bus stops can be found in the Ground Transportation Centres of both the McNamara Terminal Parking Garage and the Big Blue Deck of the North Terminal.

To determine which rental car companies offer the best options across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), TravelMag.com has looked into all the agencies at DTW airport across several dates. Our findings are as follows:

Most affordable: THRIFTY & ALAMO

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As would be expected in a major car manufacturing city like Detroit, the world’s major car rental companies are all present at DTW airport. For cheap car hire, Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty and Hertz all had competitive prices on our sample dates while Enterprise’s most economical cars were just a few dollars more. Thrifty scores best on customer reviews, with users particularly impressed by the speed of drop-offs and the cleanliness of the cars. Alternatively, we’d opt for Alamo, which had the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Nissan Versa at under $45 per day.

Best for luxury cars: THRIFTY & DOLLAR

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A lot of the car rental companies lease out the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Nissan Rogue as their cheapest premium car. However, if you’re looking for something a little classier, Dollar rents out a Buick Regal at just over $60 per day, while Thrifty offers a Chevrolet Impala at a similar price. If you’re more of a Cadillac person, then Alamo had the powerful XTS for a little over $100 per day on its books as well as one of the most popular SUV crossovers, the Volkswagen Atlas.

Best for Minivans: BUDGET & DOLLAR

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On paper, renting a minivan looks like an expensive business but once the costs are divided up among a large group, it becomes a lot more economical. This is why we’d recommend opting for something a little more upmarket at DTW airport, where prices between the cheapest and the most expensive minivans hardly vary. On our sample dates, Budget was renting out the award-winning Chrysler Pacifica at a little under $70 per day (taxes included). This price compared favourably to other car rental agencies which had the Nissan Quest and the Dodge Grand Caravan on their books at a similar price.