Oakland Airport Car Rental – The best companies

by Michael Franco  |  Published July 3, 2016

There are ten car rental agencies located at Oakland International Airport’s (OAK) rental car center, and two additional agencies off-site. evaluated each of them and selected those that are tops in three different categories.

Oakland Cityscape (Photo via Flickr)

Once you grab everything from baggage claim, exit your terminal and catch a shuttle to the rental car area. These shuttles run every 10 minutes, 24-hours a day, except between 1:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.; during this time, they operate in an on-call capacity. If you’re renting from the Payless Car Rental agency, they are located off-site, so be sure to call ahead from your terminal or the Rental Car Center to arrange an off-site transfer.

Comparison Engines: Find the best car rental deals

We have done a good deal of the homework for you regarding rental cars at Oakland International Airport. That being said, we suggest that you do your own comparison shopping to find the best deals. For that, we recommend two reliable, easy-to-use online booking services: and

The results of our review

To determine which rental car companies offer you the best options across our three categories, carefully evaluated the services, fleet availability, reviews and polices of the agencies at Oakland International Airport. Our findings are as follows.


Most affordable: Thrifty

Book at

This car rental agency is always a frontrunner for affordability and selection. Specifically at OAK, Thrifty Car Rental saved us just over $10 compared to its closest competitor’s pricing for a comparable economy car. In addition to beating out any other option both on-site or off-site in Oakland, Thrifty’s Pay Now prices were between $15 and $20 less, on average, than their Pay Later numbers. If you are looking to cut costs on your trip to California, you cannot do better than Thrifty Car Rental.

Best for business travelers: Hertz

Book at

Once again, we find ourselves recommending Hertz Car Rental for all of your business travel needs. You will be hard pressed to find more practical benefits for a business-level membership than what Hertz Gold Choice® offers you. Upgrade your vehicle before you arrive at the agency. Return your car when your business is done and proceed directly to your terminal without any pesky paperwork or long lines. Earn travel points with every dollar you spend on your vehicles and vehicle service options. If you travel around often for business, Hertz Rewards can certainly help to make your rental agency decision an easy one.

Best for luxury cars: Avis

Book at

Overall, Avis had the largest selection of premium and luxury vehicles advertised online. Additionally, once we made our selection and researched availability over multiple trials, Avis’ on-site fleet proved to be the most abundant. While the majority of its competitors can only offer pictures of these and similar vehicles on their websites, Avis has Mercedes, BMW’s, Lincolns, and Cadillacs waiting at OAK’s Rental Car Center.