Car Hire in Phoenix
This information is correct as of April 2015
Like all large American cities, Phoenix is best when you have the freedom to explore with your own set of wheels. Go hiking in North Phoenix, visit the historic neighbourhoods of Midtown, and shop ‘til you drop in the high-end stores of Camelback East. Whether you want to get out and explore Arizona, or just prefer to avoid public transport, you can find the best deals on car hire in Phoenix with Skyscanner.
Where to hire a car in Phoenix
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has a Rental Car Center in a separate building. Here you have a choice of fourteen rental car specialists: including Dollar, Payless, and Thrifty. There are plenty of car rental locations in the city, too. There’s an Enterprise near the Phoenix Convention Center in Downtown. Lots of car hire companies can be found along West Bell Road in Northern Phoenix.
Driving in Phoenix
The streets of Phoenix are laid out in a grid, which makes navigating easy. Locals have a reputation for driving well above the speed limit. Don’t be tempted to join them. Of course, no one moves very fast during rush hour. It’s a well-known joke in Phoenix that “the morning rush hour lasts from 5am to noon. The evening rush hour lasts from noon to 7pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning.” While this is an exaggeration, it’s worth staying off the roads during commuting hours.
Cars with automatic transmissions are common in the USA, and it’s likely that your rental car will be an automatic. It might take a bit of time to get used to the controls. To add to the pressure, traffic in the USA drives on the right side of the road. It’s hard to break old habits, so you’ll need to concentrate while turning.
Parking in Phoenix
There are more than 25 thousand parking spaces in Downtown Phoenix, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding somewhere to leave your car. There are plenty of public car parks throughout the city. Underground and multi-storey options are fantastic during the summer, as they keep your car nice and cool in the city’s heat.
There are around two thousand parking meters in Phoenix, which are in operation from 8am until 10pm every day. Most meters accept credit and debit cards, and charge $1.50 an hour (about £1). Some meters are coin-only: these only charge $1 an hour (about 65p). Time limits differ from meter to meter: some only have a maximum stay of 15 minutes, so do read the sign before leaving your vehicle.
Great day trips from Phoenix
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Just an hour from Downtown Phoenix, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park is a great place for an afternoon of hiking. There are a few trails to choose from, such as the Gateway Loop and the North Trail. There’s nothing too challenging, but you’ll definitely feel the burn: you are in the desert after all. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water.
The Grand Canyon
This is a long road trip at just over three hours, but we would say it’s definitely worth it. The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful, and iconic, places in the USA. The drive itself is pleasant, with long stretches through Kaibab National Forest. Remember to pack plenty of snacks for the journey.
With its charming old town and excellent art galleries, the city of Scottsdale is a nice place to while away an afternoon. It’s famous for shopping, and is home to one of America’s largest malls: as well as plenty of posh designer stores. This is probably why it’s known as Beverly Hills of the Desert and Miami South Beach of the Midwest. Scottsdale is only a 20 minute drive from Downtown Phoenix.
Prices subject to change