Visitors to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) have nine rental car companies to choose from. It can be tough to choose the right one, but TravelMag.com has done all the research to make the decision a bit easier. We looked at all available options at SFO and chose the best in three categories: most affordable, best for families, and best for business travelers.
Rental car companies at San Francisco airport are located at the Rental Car Center on N. McDonnell Road. The center is serviced by SFO’s fully automated AirTrain Blue Line, with stops at domestic and international terminals. All rental car counters are open 24 hours, with the exception of Enterprise, which is open 5 a.m.–midnight.
Our car rental company review results
In preparing our recommendations for the best rental car companies in each of the three categories, TravelMag.com examined the rates, services, fleet availability, reviews and policies of each SFO car rental company. Following are our results.
Most affordable: Fox
Fox was the low-price leader in SFO, beating out Dollar and Thrifty by a sweeping margin on several dates, as much as $200 for a weekly rental. This was true not only of economy and compact cars, such as the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa, but also for full-size options such as the Toyota Camry. Availability was somewhat lacking for larger vehicles, such as the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it wasn’t surprising considering the lack of practicality a large vehicle presents in a congested city like San Francisco. Fox doesn’t earn ratings as high as its pricier competitors, including Enterprise or Alamo, and reviewers noted longer-than-average pick-up times, but it is a small sacrifice for saving money in a city known for its exorbitant prices.
Best for families: Alamo
Travelers to San Francisco International Airport seeking a vehicle that can tote around a large family (and accompanying luggage) need turn no further than Alamo. Whether a van, SUV or full-size car, Alamo carries a large fleet of vehicles that can accommodate the whole brood. Infant, child and booster seats can be rented for an additional fee, and prices were on par with other rental car companies at SFO for vehicles in similar classes on the several dates. Reviewers on RentalCars.com gave Alamo an 8.7 out of 10, noting short wait times for both pick-up and drop-off. Renters can check in online or at a self-service kiosk, skipping the counter entirely and going directly to their vehicle. As any family traveler knows, with kids in tow every second counts, making Alamo the best choice for families flying into SFO.