Seattle Travel Guide › SeaTac Airport Rental Cars
Updated: May 17, 2022
Seattle Airport Car Rental
My recommendation: If you need a car for getting around the Seattle area then best to reserve a vehicle in advance at the Seattle airport. If your trip is limited to the downtown area, it’s easy to get around by a mix of walking, public transport, and Uber making a rental car unnecessary.
Tip: If you need a minivan for families of 5 or more then definitely book in advance.
Updates: As of May 13, 2022, the airport is advising passengers that the airport parking garage is likely to be extra busy and parking spots hard to find. This doesn’t directly affect rental car users. Face masks are currently optional at SEA airport. The Twitter account for SEA airport is updated regularly and a good place to ask questions.
Seattle Car Rental – Airport & Downtown
Do you need a rental car in Seattle?
Unless you’re planning day trips outside of the city, you don’t need a car to experience most of Seattle’s highlights. Central Seattle contains many of the city’s top attractions and downtown is compact and walkable. There is a good bus and streetcar system, and light-rail routes that connect downtown to the airport and outer neighborhoods. Uber and Lyft drivers are readily available and while they can seem expensive for longer trips it’s still usually cheaper than a daily rental car fee.
What is the best way to rent a car in Seattle?
RentalCars.com is the best site for booking rental cars at the Seattle airport. The site searches the top rental car companies and returns the cheapest prices for all available vehicles. You can reserve cars in advance for either the Seattle International Airport or downtown Seattle.
How do I get to the rental car facility from the airport terminal?
SeaTac Airport has two passenger pick up areas. Both are located on the baggage claim level. One at the north end (near Alaska Airlines) and another on the south end (near the international airlines). Shuttles take passengers and their luggage on a five-minute drive to the rental car facility.
How do I get to the airport terminal from the rental car facility?
Shuttles pick up passengers and their luggage at the rental car facility, directly outside of the building from the customer service counters. There is a shuttle for the North terminal and a separate shuttle for the South terminal, each with its own bus stop. It’s a 5-minute drive from the rental car facility to the airport terminal.
How do I get wheelchair service for getting on or off the rental car shuttle?
Tell the driver of the shuttle that you need wheelchair service. All shuttles are equipped with a ramp and wheelchair securements. Each bus is equipped to transport 1 wheelchair passenger per trip.
What is the best place to rent a car in downtown Seattle?
National (close to Pike Place Market), Budget (in Belltown, close to Amazon), Hertz (close to the convention center), and AVIS (close to Seattle Center) are the most convenient.
If I don’t have a rental car what is the best way to get from the airport to downtown Seattle?
There is a light-rail route that runs directly from the airport to downtown. There are also many taxis, airport limousines, Ubers, and Lyft cars at the airport’s Ground Transportation area. You access both light-rail and ground transportation by taking the pedestrian skybridge from the terminal to the parking garage, follow signs from there.
What Seattle hotels have free parking?
I know of no hotels in central Seattle that have free parking. Several Seattle airport hotels do have free parking.
What is the best place to stay in downtown Seattle if you don’t have a car?
The Inn at the Market, Four Seasons, and Mayflower Park hotels are some of the many downtown Seattle hotels with convenient central locations.
Is it easier to rent a car at the Seattle Airport or downtown?
It is much easier to pick up and return a car at the Seattle Airport than in downtown Seattle. The airport has cheaper prices, greater variety of vehicles, less traffic, and more spacious parking garages. It also has multiple rental car companies within steps of each other. If for some reason your reservation is not fulfilled properly a different company will very likely be able to provide the vehicle you need.
Can a rental car be taken on a Puget Sound ferry?
Yes, although it does require a different ticket and (often) longer wait times. Getting around the Puget Sound and Northwest Washington with a mix of driving and ferries is easy, fun, and highly recommended.
Seattle Area Car Rental – Quick Links