Houston Airport Car Rental: The Best Companies

by Mark Rebindaine  |  Updated May 16, 2019

Commonly known as the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston’s International Airport (IAH) is the 15th busiest airport in the US, catering for over 40 million passengers in 2017. Located 37km north of downtown Houston, it has scheduled flights to a large number of domestic and international destinations.

Houston International Airport (Photo: Prayitno via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

The Rental Car Centre is just a short distance from the airport terminals. Free shuttles depart every five minutes from outside the Baggage Claim area in the terminals A, B, C and E.

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 prices, availability, policies and customer reviews for each company based in the rental car centre. Below are our findings:

Most affordable: Alamo & Enterprise

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Houston has so many diverse and interesting things to see, from the Museum of Natural Science and the local zoo to the fascinating Space Centre. However, none of these attractions are particularly close to each other, so renting a car is the most practical way to take them all in. On our sample dates, Alamo consistently had the best selection of cheap car rentals, but we’d also recommend Enterprise due to its excellent customer reviews. Among their rental cars, you’ll find a Buick Verano for around $45 per day, which is effectively a first entry premium car with an economical rental price tag.

Best for luxury cars: Thrifty & Alamo

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When you’re thinking about luxury cars, the word “Thrifty” isn’t the first word that comes to mind. However, at IAH airport it’s Thrifty that has the best prices on an extensive collection of luxury cars. From American classic car manufacturers like Buick and Cadillac to leading car makers from the Far East, there’s a luxurious model for almost every taste. For an alternative option, we’d recommend Alamo. As is the case in so many other airports across the US, Alamo is widely praised for its value for money and friendliness of staff.

Best for Minivans: Dollar & Avis

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Renting vehicles on the East Coast is definitely not as cheap as the West Coast and the ‘Minivan’ category is no exception. If there are 7 of you or fewer, we’d suggest Dollar’s Nissan Quest that was being leased out at $83 per day on our sample dates. Next up, we found Avis’s Chrysler Town & Country being rented out at $92 per day. In the opinion of most owners and experts, the Chrysler Town & Country is more powerful and roomier than the Quest, so for the extra few dollars we think it’s a better option.