Charleston, like many cities in the US, is truly designed for cars over public transportation. Whether you are visiting Fort Sumter or checking out Magnolia Plantation & Gardens and Middleton Place, you simply would struggle to get around Charleston without a car. If you would like to visit Middleton Place, for instance, you would have no choice but to join a tour if you don’t have a car, as public transport doesn’t serve it.
Need to pick up a rental car after landing at Charleston International Airport? In that case, head on over to the Rental Car Pavilion located by Baggage Claim at the end of the airport’s main terminal, where you will find all of the airport’s rental agencies conveniently located together.
Jaywalking is very common in the historic part of Charleston so drivers should beware. This is partly because much of the pedestrian traffic in downtown Charleston is made up of tourists visiting the city. Another road hazard to look out for in the downtown area is the bikers -- particularly the distracted college students biking with their phones out.
Drivers will be happy to hear that while Charleston does experience its share of rush hour traffic, it is by no means severe. Drivers can expect the morning rush hour to start up at around 7:00 a.m. and to last until 9:00 a.m., while the afternoon rush hour starts at 4:00 p.m. and finishes up at about 6:30 p.m. I-26 is the main road to avoid during rush hour as it is one of the top highways used by commuters heading to and from work.
25% of our users found rental cars in Charleston for C$ 57 or less
Book your rental car in Charleston at least 1 day before your trip in order to get a below-average price
Supplier choice rental cars in Charleston are around 39% cheaper than other car types, on average
FAQs about renting a car in Charleston
Some car rental companies in Charleston which have updated their car rental health and safety policies due to COVID-19 to make sure vehicles are clean and disinfected include Budget, Hertz and Thrifty
On average a hire car in Charleston costs C$ 69 per day.
In the past 72 hours, the cheapest rental cars were found at Hertz (C$ 111/day), Budget (C$ 142/day) and Avis (C$ 165/day). In the last 72 hours the cheapest rental car price was found at Alamo 5500 International Blvd 29418 (16 kilometers from city center).
Based on ratings and reviews from real users on KAYAK, the best car rental companies in Charleston are Alamo (8.7, 211 reviews), Enterprise (8.3, 335 reviews), and Hertz (7.9, 388 reviews).
The average gas price in Charleston is C$ 4.19 per litre over the past 30 days. Filling up a gas tank costs between C$ 50 and C$ 67, depending on the car size.
Supplier choice (Class Special Car or similar) is the most frequently booked rental car type in Charleston.
Car rental companies onsite at Charleston airport include Budget, Hertz and Alamo.
Car rental companies that offer shuttle or pick-up services from Charleston airport to off-airport locations include Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and Alamo.
A Supplier choice car rental in Charleston costs C$ 48 per day, on average.
A Intermediate car rental in Charleston costs C$ 53 per day, on average.
A Economy car rental in Charleston costs C$ 59 per day, on average.
In Charleston, cars are most frequently rented at Budget 5500 International Blvd (16 km from city centre ).
On average a rental car in Charleston costs C$ 482 per week (C$ 69 per day).
On average a rental car in Charleston costs C$ 2,066 per month (C$ 69 per day).
Charleston’s streets are well-suited for a wide range of vehicles. Sedans, coupes, SUVs, and large trucks will all be perfectly comfortable on the road, so all vehicle options are a good choice. Additionally, streetside parking spaces are large enough for even the biggest of rental vehicles, making parking a non-issue.
In the center of downtown, drivers can expect speeds of 25 mph and 30 mph while the main roads and avenues features speed limits of 40 mph. On two-lane county roads and streets leading to the peripheral areas of the city, speed limits will get up to 55 mph. Interstates throughout the state of South Carolina have a speed limit of 70 mph.
Drivers will rejoice to hear that gas prices in Charleston are fairly cheap, especially in comparison to some of the more expensive cities in the U.S. for gas, such as San Diego and Seattle. On average, gas prices in Charleston are around $2.20 per gallon of gas.
Planning on visiting downtown? Parking garages and streetside parallel parking are your best options. Both are widely available and, fortunately, even the private parking options are fairly cheap. However, when a big event is going on downtown, parking spaces can sometimes become hard to come by; in those instances, you may have to park an extra block or two away.