Airport Convenience Fees: Why They're a Necessary Evil

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Airport Convenience Fees: Why They're a Necessary Evil

Written by Erich Allen Nov 29, 2023 12:00 PM

If you've ever rented a car from an airport, you've probably gotten hit with what's known as an "airport convenience fee." These fees can add up, especially if you're renting for multiple days. But why do rental companies charge these fees, and are they necessary? Can they be Avoided? This article will review everything you need to know about them!

An airport convenience fee is a fee that rental car companies charge for the privilege of picking up or dropping off a rental car at the airport. These fees can vary depending on the company and the airport, but they typically range from $10 to $30 per day; however, you often notice them as a lump sum in your final invoice. 

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Why Do Car Rental Companies Charge an Airport Convenience Fee?

Some people might be wondering why rental companies charge these fees in the first place. After all, shouldn't it be more convenient for the customer to be able to pick up their rental car right at the airport? The answer has to do with costs.

Running an away-from-airport rental location is typically much cheaper than running an on-airport location. That's because airports typically charge high rents and require rental companies to adhere to strict regulations. As a result, rental companies pass these costs to customers through airport convenience fees.

In some cases, these fees are even required by law. For example, in the state of Florida, airports are allowed to collect a daily surcharge from rental car companies for each car that's dropped off at the airport. This surcharge is then passed along to customers as an airport convenience fee.

Despite these fees, renting a car from the airport is still a good idea. This is because rental car companies typically offer better rates at airports than they do at off-airport locations. So, while you might be paying an airport convenience fee of $15 per day, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars by renting at the airport.

Benefits of Renting from the Airport, Even with The Fee

There are several benefits to renting from the airport, even with the convenience fee. For example:

1. You don't have to worry about transportation costs to and from the rental car location.

2. It's often easier to pick up a rental car at the airport than it is at an off-airport location, as you don't have to deal with traffic or public transportation.

3. If you're only renting for a few days, the convenience fee might be less than the cost of taking taxis and other forms of transportation.

4. Many rental car companies offer special rates on their cars when you pick them up at airports, which can help offset the cost of the convenience fee.


If you plan to rent a car for your next trip, consider renting from the airport, even with the fee. You'll likely save money in the long run and enjoy all the benefits of renting at the airport!

Can Airport Convenience Fees Be Avoided?

While airport convenience fees are generally unavoidable, there are a few ways to reduce the impact of these fees on your wallet. One way is to shop around for discounts before making your rental car reservation. Many rental car companies offer discounted rates or promo codes that can help you save money on airport convenience fees.

Another way to possibly avoid these fees is to rent a car from an off-airport location. While you'll likely pay more for the rental, you may save money by not having to pay any airport convenience fees.

If possible, renting a car for longer periods is also a good idea since this can help you spread the cost of airport convenience fees over more days. Generally, it's best to research and compare rental car companies and rates before making your reservation. This will help you save money on airport convenience fees while still getting a great deal on your rental car!

The Bottom Line:

While airport convenience fees can be a bit of a pain, they're usually necessary for rental companies to cover their costs. So, if you're planning to rent a car from the airport, be aware of these fees and do your best to reduce their impact on your budget.

Whether you shop for discounts or rent from an off-airport location, there are plenty of ways to save money and still get a great deal on your rental car!