Driving in Albuquerque is the most convenient and effective way of getting to know the city, as all the major interest points are sprawled out. While you may prefer to walk in the Old Town area, a car is a must when exploring the rest of the city. Drive along the iconic Route 66 (or Central Ave), which cuts through the downtown area all the way to the university area. A car is also the perfect option for those looking to explore other destinations outside the city such as the Sandia Peak, which is located in the Sandia Mountains area, less than 20 miles from Albuquerque. New Mexico's capital, Santa Fe, is also a short hour’s ride away from Albuquerque.
All the big car rental agencies, including Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz, can be found at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)'s Car Rental Center. There is a free shuttle bus service between the airport terminal building and the Car Rental Center, with shuttles departing every 5 minutes or so from the lane outside the first level of the terminal building. The shuttle service is handicap accessible.
Fender benders happen quite often in Albuquerque, so watch out for reckless drivers. The weather gets pretty rough in the winter, which means you must be extra careful when driving during this season as accidents often happen due to strong winds, snow, or black ice that has formed. The roads are also quite dark at night, so extra caution is required when night driving.
Although traffic is manageable in certain parts of the city, roads are all usually fairly busy throughout Albuquerque during peak hours -- so avoid rush hour traffic both in the morning (between 6 and 10 a.m.) and afternoon (between 3 and 7 p.m.). The worst commutes are for drivers heading to Albuquerque/East Albuquerque in the morning, and exiting that area in the afternoon. Traffic heading from the Rio Rancho area to East Albuquerque also tends to get congested during peak hours.
25% of our users found rental cars in Albuquerque for C$ 43 or less
Book your rental car in Albuquerque at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Supplier choice rental cars in Albuquerque are around 36% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Albuquerque
Some car rental companies in Albuquerque which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Thrifty, Dollar and Hertz
On average a hire car in Albuquerque costs C$ 51 per day.
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Albuquerque are Alamo (8.8, 275 reviews), Enterprise (8.4, 352 reviews), and Budget (7.8, 114 reviews).
The average gas price in Albuquerque is C$ 4.16 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 50 and C$ 66, depending on the car size.
Compact (Nissan Versa or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Albuquerque.
A Compact car rental in Albuquerque costs C$ 45 per day, on average.
A Intermediate car rental in Albuquerque costs C$ 62 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Albuquerque costs C$ 46 per day, on average.
In Albuquerque, cars are most frequently rented at Thrifty 3400 University Blvd Se (5 km from city centre ).
On average a rental car in Albuquerque costs C$ 360 per week (C$ 51 per day).
On average a rental car in Albuquerque costs C$ 1,543 per month (C$ 51 per day).
If you want to cruise around the iconic desert surroundings, a spacious SUV would probably be the best option. If you're just driving around the city, an automatic economy car will do just fine.
The speed limit is usually 30 miles per hour in business or residential areas (with the exception of certain residential areas that demand a lower limit, in which case the speed limit signs will be posted), 55 miles per hour on public highways, and 75 miles per hour on rural interstate highways.
The average gas prices in Albuquerque are approximately $2.31 per gallon. Lower prices can range anywhere between $1.99 and $2.09 per gallon. Because stations can get pretty busy on weekends, try to fill up during the week. Try to fill up the tank early in the morning or late in the evening, and avoid doing so in the weekends or on Thursdays and Fridays before long weekends as gas stations get pretty crowded.
Street parking is plentiful and typically metered, and drivers must pay for a parking spot between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, while Sundays and public holidays are free. Parking rates can range anywhere between $1 and $6 per hour. However, parking is free for a limited time of two hours on all the streets in the Old Town area.