Both major carriers and budget airlines service Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) in western Florida, making it a great landing point for gulf coast visits. Only 3 miles north of downtown Sarasota, the airport is conveniently located between Tampa to the north and Fort Myers to the south.
Most major car rental agencies can be found at SRQ. On-site car rental companies staff counters in the baggage claim wing of the airport. Vehicles can be picked up at the rental car lot a short walk across the street and returned to the same location with quick access to the single terminal for departing flights.
To determine which rental car companies offer the best vehicles across our three categories (Most Affordable, Best for Luxury, Best for Minivans), Travelmag.com has carefully researched the prices, availability, policies, and customer reviews of the nine car rental companies operating out of SRQ. Here are our findings:
Most affordable: DOLLAR
When it comes to value Dollar owns the market with affordable weekly rentals for economy, standard, intermediate, and full-size vehicles. From the compact Chevrolet Spark to the roomy Nissan Altima, Dollar’s fleet offers the best options for those looking to save a few bucks at the rental counter. Dollar also offers an inexpensive “wild card” or “manager’s special”; the vehicle make and model is unknown until time of pickup. No matter the vehicle in this blind reservation, Dollar assures it will be an automatic, have room for at least two pieces of luggage, have at least five seat belts, and is guaranteed to be a compact or larger vehicle at the rate equal to a compact.
Best for luxury cars: ENTERPRISE
Nothing beats a fully loaded Chevrolet Suburban when touring the Gulf Coast with a crew of friends (or extended family). This 8-seater provides comfort and convenience wrapped in muscle and style for cruising to the nearby Siesta Beach or logging some free unlimited miles and making your way to points south. The Suburban is the highest rated vehicle in the SUV class offered throughout rental agencies at SRQ.
Best for Minivans: PAYLESS
If a family mover is what is needed, then the Ford Transit is the vehicle making the most sense. Payless comes in with the lowest rate among the three airport rental agencies offering this spacious vehicle. Saving a few dollars on a weekly rental may make the difference between an extra night of dessert at Ben & Jerry’s on Lido Beach! The Transit easily packs 12 riders with space enough for four large suitcases. The Transit’s center row design allows passenger easy entry/exit into the vehicle and when inside rear climate control will help keep the Florida humidity at bay.