Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is tucked right in the heart of Arizona’s largest metropolis. With the terminal just three miles from the downtown business district, getting from the airport to any point in Phoenix is a breeze by car. Major highways run throughout the city, making car hire a popular option for travellers. Other transport choices include airport shuttles, taxis and public buses.
Who to Book With
Renting a car is an excellent idea due to the lack of public transport in Phoenix and the sprawling nature of the city. Avis, Budget and Hertz are among the twelve major car hire firms are located at Sky Harbor Airport’s Rental Car Center, which is connected to the terminal by a shuttle. Limited vehicle stock is available for walk-in customers, so advanced bookings are highly recommended here.
Need to Know Essentials
Be prepared to give the following documents to the car hire office upon arrival:
- Your valid US or international driving licence
- The credit card used to confirm the booking
- A passport or other photo ID
- A printed confirmation sheet for your reservation
For more info read our FAQ's.
Phoenix is a true car-centered metropolis, with an excellent network of toll-free interstate highways that lead to districts where the streets are wide and straight. Traffic is manageable even at rush hour, and parking is rarely an issue except for a few popular business and entertainment areas. Street parking is free but involves following the time regulations listed on signs, while plenty of private pay lots allow more flexibility. Most petrol stations are pay at the pump using credit and bank cards. No compulsory items are required in vehicles, but children must be restrained in safety seats. The only potential driving danger comes from rare dust storms or heavy monsoon thunderstorms in late summer.
See our guide to the US for more information on driving here.
A large number of arriving passengers rent a car at Sky Harbor Airport to ease their transport needs while visiting Phoenix. There are also taxis and limos available at the airport along with affordable shared shuttle vans. It’s also possible to take the light rail train into downtown, but it involves a shuttle to the station. Since the airport is located inside the city, it can take just minutes to reach parts of west Phoenix like Tempe and around 30 minutes to get to the eastern suburbs of Scottsdale.
The city’s light rail network has a train that runs near the airport, but travellers must use a free shuttle to go from the terminal to the metro station at 44th Street and Washington. These shuttles stop at all three terminals every 12 to 20 minutes between 04:40 and 23:00 (Sunday to Thursday), 04:40 to 02:00 (Fridays) and 05:00 to 02:00 (Saturdays). A direct line to the airport called the PHX Sky Train is scheduled to open in early 2013.
Three taxi companies operate at the airport, using the same fare rates that start at £3 and around £1 per mile afterwards. The minimum fare is £9, but most destinations outside of western Phoenix will cost twice that.
Phoenix Airport to Scottsdale is about £18
Phoenix Airport to Mesa is about £20
Phoenix Airport to Tempe is about £10
Phoenix Airport to downtown is about £12
SuperShuttle runs convenient door-to-door service in their shared vans 24 hours based on flight schedules. From 09:00 to 21:00 their vans depart Sky Harbor every 15 minutes, with fares costing between £10 and £20 depending on the destination location. The airport is on public bus route 13, which is the cheapest transport option for light travellers at just over £1 to get into downtown Phoenix.
Each of the three terminals at Sky Harbor International Airport has a range of eateries, shops and useful services. Terminal 4 is the newest and largest of the terminals, handling 80 per cent of the passenger traffic as well as all international flights. A free shuttle provides round the clock transport between the terminals for the 40 million travellers who fly in and out of Phoenix each year.
There are covered parking garages directly connected to all three terminals at the airport. Rates are £3 per hour at all of the airport’s eight lots, with a maximum of £16 per day in the covered garage spaces. Terminal 2 also has an economy covered garage section where the maximum daily rate is £7, while East and West economy uncovered lots have a maximum rate of £6 per day. Two free cell phone waiting lots can be found next to terminals 2 and 4.
Sky Harbor Airport is almost completely covered by free Wi-Fi internet service. This extends to both sides of security in all three terminals, most restaurants and shops and even the Rental Car Center.
Navigator volunteers are people who station themselves at all major passenger areas of the airport like Baggage Claim, Check-in and Arrivals. Just look for their distinctive purple jackets with official badges and they will help with any needs.
Main number: +1 602 273 3300
Airport paging: +1 602 273 3456
Parking hotline: +1 602 273 4545
Sky Harbor Airport is an award-winning facility for its special needs services and accessibility. Every terminal has automatic doors, elevators, curb cuts, ramped access to each lobby and gate area and designated unloading areas outside the terminals. There are also wheelchair-level telephones, ATMs, drinking fountains and rest rooms.
Restaurants and Bars
Food and drinks are available 24 hours every day at shops before security in all three terminals. All shops and eateries located past security open one hour before the first departures and close around 30 minutes after the last departure. There is a great selection of sit-down restaurants, fast food joints and bars in each of the terminals, though Terminal 4 has the most options.
United Airlines United Club
British Airways Terraces Lounge
US Airways Club (concourses A1, A2 and B1)
Money and ATMs
ATMs can be found in all three terminals, while Terminal 4 also has currency exchange kiosks since it is the international terminal.
There is a sizeable shopping scene in Sky Harbor Airport, particularly in Terminal 4, where over 25 shops of all kinds are available. Besides several newsstands and book shops there are also many gift shops focusing on American Southwest products, fashion accessories, kids’ toys and electronics. Duty-free shops are located in Terminal 4.
Frequently asked questions
Is Carrentals.co.uk the cheapest?
Yes, we offer a guarantee of the lowest price - because we compare various retailers, we can always offer you the best price in town.
What do I need to do when picking up a car?
To pick up your car, you will need your voucher, passport, driver's license and a credit card. It is very important that your driver's license and credit card are in the same name as the main driver. Keep in mind that the local rental company will reserve a certain amount on your credit card as a deposit. This requires the PIN code for your credit card. If your driver's license is foreign (for example, in Chinese), you must bring a translation with you. Only your original passport and driver's license will be accepted - a copy is not sufficient.
Are there any additional costs?
In general, our rates are all-inclusive. Should there be any additional costs, our booking department will get in touch with you before issuing the invoice. Should you object, you can always cancel your reservation with no obligations attached (at least 48 hours in advance).
What kind of insurance is applicable to my car rental?
In general, Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance, All-Risks Insurance and Theft Insurance are included in the cost of your rental car.
What is a worry-free label?
This label indicates that a rental car satisfies the following requirements: Unlimited kilometers, no excess liability (and no excess cover available), sustainable energy policy, and that the car rental company has a good reputation. Availability of cars satisfying these four requirements will speed up the selection of a suitable vehicle for you.
How can I change or cancel my reservation?
You can cancel your reservation through "My Account". We recommend contacting us by phone if your changes to your booking or cancellation takes place at short notice (48 hours or less).
When will I get a confirmation of my booking?
Most reservations will receive confirmation within minutes after payment takes place. We recommend contacting our Booking Department for last minute reservations (pick-up within 48 hours).
Which car rental companies are compared by Carrentals.co.uk? at this location
- Advantage Rent a Car
- Alamo Rent a Car
- Dollar Rent a Car
- Fox Rent A Car
- National Car Rental
- SIXT Rent a Car