Exeter Airport Car Hire: The Best Companies

by Paul Joseph  |  Published June 22, 2017

Positioned on the River Exe in southwest England, the ancient city of Exeter is awash with things to see and do, from its historic castle to its bustling art and crafts scene to its vaulted, medieval underground passages. Five mile east of the city centre, Exeter Airport is a hive of activity throughout the year, and visitors have a choice of four rental companies for hiring their preferred car during their stay.

The towers of Exeter Cathedral loom over residential homes in the city centre (Photo: Alison Day via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Exeter Airport’s four approved car hire operators each have their offices located within the airport terminal, ensuring you can access your car quickly after passing through the arrivals lounge. Once you’re there, be sure to have your driver’s license, a credit or debit card and a form of ID to hand to enable as swift a process as possible.

Our car rental company search results

If you want to hire a car, Exeter Airport is well-stocked, and with daily rates starting at less than a one-way taxi trip to the city centre, it’s easy to see why cheap car hire is so popular here. To help make your choice, we’ve researched all four companies located at the airport and narrowed them down to three categories – Best value, Best for families and Best for luxury cars – using cost, customer reviews, choice of cars and company policies as our guide. In other words, we’ve done the work so you don’t need to!

Best value: Budget

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“Pay now, save big” is Budget’s slogan thanks to their generous online discounts. And based on our search of numerous dates and lengths of stay, they are true to their word and came out as the best value company overall. We found that their Fiat 500s and Vauxhall Corsa’s – both of which could typically be rented for under £130 for a week’s stay – offered the best value, although it’s always worth shopping around in case other cars are available. A word of caution for those arriving or departing on a weekend: Budget’s rental desk closes at 4.30pm on Saturdays and doesn’t open until 1.30pm on Sundays.

Best for families: Avis

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Based on our research, Avis are the best bet for families wanting a hire car in Exeter. Their Estate car range include a Peugeot 308 and a Volkswagen Passat (the latter famous for its generous boot space) both of which are highly reliable and confortable family cars. Avis also provide a good choice of kids and babies seats to rent too. The desk is open from 9am to 11pm on weekdays, though like Budget, hours are more limited on weekends. At time of writing, Avis are also offering a special deal of 7 days for the price of 5, so be sure to check if this offer is still available during your dates of travel.

Best for luxury cars: Hertz

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Hertz’s fleet of luxurious sports cars and convertibles is seriously impressive, and includes the acclaimed Mercedes Benz C-Class and E-Class. You will of course be charged a premium for such a car, but that may well be a small price to pay for the petrol heads among you. Hertz also offer a number of perks for Gold Plus Rewards members, including skipping queues at the car hire desk, benefiting from special members-only deals and gaining access to reward rental days. The Hertz desk at Exeter Airport is open from 9am to 6pm daily.