You'll need to identify the best car rental sites to fit your needs if you want to rent a car. Finding the best rated vehicle rental businesses is essential whether you're going on a road trip, visiting friends, or vacationing in a new city - maybe even more so if you're an employer who relies on car rental services to get your staff where they need to go.
But, when looking for the top car rental sites, what should you look for? The rates on offer will always be a major factor, but there's a lot more to consider, from the level of care provided to the available reward schemes. A reputable vehicle rental firm will also be in a handy location, and your options may differ depending on whether you want to rent a car for a month or for a shorter period of time, such as a day or two — some car rental companies even allow you to rent by the hour.
Many factors influence the car rental rates you'll pay, including the length of your rental period, the type of vehicle you want to rent, your age (those under 25 should expect to pay more than those with more experience), and where you're renting the vehicle from - rental costs are almost always higher if you rent a car from the airport. These are all reasons why it's always a good idea to plan ahead for your automobile rental, which is where our advice might come in handy.
The following list highlights the very best car rental websites and some of the best car rental comparison sites that come out on top in a range of scenarios, from the service that offers the best value for money to the company with the most appealing rewards program. As you’d expect, the best car rental company overall is revealed too. Whether you’re after something compact and economical or want a car that’s more on the luxury end of the scale, you’ll be able to choose from a range of vehicles as well.
If you’re planning to rent a car to travel around Europe, we have an article on everything you need to know about renting a car in Europe.
Top 15 Best Car Rental Sites in The World
Enterprise is one of the best sites to book rental cars, offering the most vehicle rental sites in the United States and based on our research, has a lot more to offer than other car rental businesses in the United States. If you need to rent a car, Enterprise. With over 4,600 offices across America (almost double that across the world), you’d be likely to find one of its many offices at just about anywhere if you ever need to rent a car.
Image from Enterprise
The selection of automobiles for hire is also hard to top, with upwards of 20 conventional cars, 12 different types of SUVs, and an abundance of luxury cars (if you wish to go that route). But, quality or quantity, isn’t it? Enterprise's rental rates are truly competitive, with lower single-day rentals typically being far less expensive than the national average. Regular customers can also take advantage of Enterprise Plus's rewards program, which awards points for every dollar spent, including car upgrades and a priority checkout line for faster pick-ups.
When you add in a free pick-up service that will take you to the rental office to pick up your car and a car share program that allows for nearly autonomous hour-by-hour car rentals if you sign up, Enterprise has to be the greatest car rental service out there.
Not the absolute unequivocal cheapest car rental website, but Rentalcars regularly provided good prices. The website offers rentals in 160 countries across the world.
Image from Rentalcars
Rentalcars.com is a metasearch system that makes it simple to compare offers. If the specific kind of car isn’t your biggest concern, it may provide opaque rates for reduced charges.
However, since some of the booking sites that Rentalcars.com partners with may be foreign to you, the site displays user ratings for each so you can determine whether or not to book. Unfortunately, some of them aren't particularly well-received.
Hertz, like Enterprise, uses a similar business model to set itself apart from the rest of the firms and websites, with a lower-than-average cost of renting.
It costs nothing to join a vehicle rental rewards program, so why not sign up and see what you can earn? Hertz's Gold Plus Rewards program is one of the best in this regard. This rewards program includes choices like free vehicle upgrades and fast drop-offs, in addition to standard benefits like points and quick checkout.
Each dollar spent at Hertz earns you one point, as is customary in rewards systems. You can earn these awards for add-ons like car seats, insurance, and other optional services, and if you rent cars frequently, you can climb the reward ranks and become a Five Star or President's Circle member. You'll earn more points for your rental spending here, with the possibility of upgrades and even more luxurious rewards to spend your points on.
Hertz has roughly 3,000 locations all over the world, around 1600 of which are in the US. This is important to understand because incentives are valid outside of the United States as well. Additionally, as Hertz has such a large selection of vehicles, you should have no trouble choosing one that meets your needs.
Avis is a well-known company that provides automobile rental solutions for foreign tourists anywhere in the world, with north of 5,500 outlets in over 160 countries. At more than 2000 offices, Avis is one of the largest car rental companies in the US.
Image from Avis
The vehicle selection is amazing as well, with everything from economy to premium automobiles, as well as vans, SUVs, and much more. Hybrid automobiles can also be rented if you want to go green.
While you may definitely find better deals elsewhere, the rates aren't bad, and the weekly rates are occasionally better than those offered by other rental firms. There's also a loyalty program, however you'll need to be a regular traveller to make use of it because the points thresholds are slightly higher than what you'll find elsewhere.
Budget Car Rental
If there's one thing Budget Car Rental does well, it's remaining true to its name. Budget is the heaven on Earth for shoestring travellers, offering some of the most competitive rates on the market.
Image from Budget Car Rental
It provides a wide range of discounts, perhaps the most extensive of all. For example, if you pay when you make the reservation, you will receive a 35 percent discount right off the bat.
It's incredible. If you book a weekend reservation for certain automobiles, you may be eligible for a free third day.
It also has a large selection of cars to pick from. Not only from traditional four-doored vehicles to SUVs, hybrids to convertibles, but also trucks.
The biggest thing that is holding Budget down is its customer services, which has been said to be underwhelming. But then again, if you’re strictly looking to find the cheapest deal possible, consider it a necessary sacrifice.
Localiza is a Brazilian vehicle rental company based in Belo Horizonte that was created in 1973 and is the largest in Latin America and one of the world's largest by fleet size and market capitalization.
Image from Localiza
Localiza operates a network of 584 automobile rental locations in Brazil and eight other countries, 286 of which are owned directly and 158 of which are franchised in Brazil, across 406 cities. There are 70 franchised branches in 44 cities throughout Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
In addition to automobiles renting, the company also does leasing and fleet management, as well as granting franchises for the sale of used cars from its fleet to keep the order process going (these businesses are complementary and mutually reinforcing).
Currently, the corporation owns around 270.000 cars from Volkswagen, Fiat, Renault, and Chevrolet, as well as nine other automakers. Movida, Locamerica-Unidas, and other automobile rental firms compete with Localiza.
It’s understandable that the majority of people wouldn’t seek a fancy automobile when renting one. Most just cannot – or don’t want to – throw a bunch of money on daily tickets to move about in a car. Capitalising on this way of thinking of the general public, Alamo makes a name for itself offering affordable car rental services, which might be anywhere from 5% to 15% less expensive than the average price.
Image from Alamo
Alamo also offers great perks to attract customers. If you rent for more than five days and are a member of the National Education Association, you will receive one additional free day.
The Alamo's customer service, however, is the highlight of the experience. There is a common notion that cheap services often have poor customer service, but Alamo’s is fantastic. Even though most of Alamo’s outlets are near the airport, they will send a vehicle to pick you up if you rent its cars from your home.
The only downside is Alamo doesn’t offer a great variety of cars, which is to be expected should it want to keep its prices low.
Sixt is the largest automobile rental firm in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Israel, with a global presence.
Image from Sixt
Sixt has years of experience in the rental automobile industry. It’s one of the world's oldest and most reputable rental organisations, having been founded in Munich in 1912. At the time of establishment, Sixt was a company whose fleet consisted of just three vehicles: a Deutz Landaulet deLuxe and two Daimlers. After years in the industry, Sixt now has over 220,000 vehicles and is the largest provider of BMW and Mercedes rental cars.
Sixt offers some great automobile rental options, including all-inclusive rates that include insurance, VAT, damage protection, and unlimited mileage. Sixt offers cheap car rental on their premium vehicles as well, so you can often get top-of-the-line jeeps and convertibles at bargain pricing.
Sixt has rental outlets at airports, city centres, and train stations, capable of picking you up and dropping you off whenever and wherever.
Don't worry if you can't decide between one rental car provider and another. There are many websites that combine them all to find the greatest bargains that are currently available, based on your requirements, one of them is AutoRentals.
Image from AutoRentals
AutoRentals is one of the best car rental search engines, comparing rates from over 20 different sources to find you the cheapest offer. All you have to do is write down where you'll need the automobile, when you'll need it, and the vehicle's specifications. It is the most user-friendly method of searching for an automobile on the internet.
One of the issues, of course, is that you are restricting yourself to the sources chosen by AutoRental.com, rather than browsing the many sites and selecting the best alternative for yourself. Some of the bargains displayed on the website have also been noted to be inaccurate. Taxes and fees are not always displayed on the website. Cancellations aren't always possible as well.
Whether you're wanting to rent a recreational vehicle, camper van, or motorhome near you or have one of your own to rent out to dependable drivers, Outdoorsy has got it all covered.
Image from Outdoorsy
Originated in the US, Outdoorsy but it has quickly grown into a global peer-to-peer campervan rental phenomenon. Camper van aficionados will almost certainly find a vehicle available to lease nearby. With the world's largest and ever-growing selection of campervans and motorhomes for hire, you will find whatever sort of campervan or motorhome you desire on its site.
Often humorously referred to as “Airbnb of RVs”, Outdoorsy sets its sight on helping those who rent and those who take rents “connect emotionally”, as described by the company’s founder Jeff Cavins. Instead of inorganically making business through a screen, the owners and the renters actually meet up and go over how to use the vehicles properly. As a result, “families become best friends” and even “people get married”, said Jeff.
Rentcars.com is one of the world's largest online automobile rental platforms, with headquarters in the Netherlands and Brazil. It is the undisputed leader in Latin America.
Image from Rentcars
It powers the world's largest airlines, online travel agents, and credit card firms in both B2C and B2B markets.
Hundreds of rental firms' pricing and car rental possibilities are compared on the website. Francisco Millarch, a serial entrepreneur, founded the company in 2009. The company's goal was to provide the greatest car rental options available anywhere in the world at any time. They've earned a reputation for providing excellent customer service and focusing their efforts on assuring satisfaction from the start to the finish of the journey.
Rentcars.com was named the finest automobile rental agency in the world by TrustPilot in 2019. According to unique visits to their websites, the firm became the world's second largest independent automobile rental agency in December 2019.
Founded in 2008, EconomyBookings is a privately owned e-commerce company that is a small affiliate business that provides cars for rent. Now it’s serving customers from 150 countries all over the world.
Economybookings’ logo on LinkedIn
With 17 available languages, EconomyBookings is a broker site for cars where customers can search, book, and pay for car rentals. To offer the best deals for its customers, the company is in partnership with 700 car rental companies with big names like Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Budget, Enterprise, as well as smaller companies in over 20,000 locations.
National Car Rental
National Car Rental is an American car rental company headquartered in Clayton, Missouri. Enterprise Holdings owns National as well as other rental car companies such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent-A-Car. National caters to business travellers through its Emerald Club loyalty program, which allows repeat clients to choose their own vehicle without having to fill out documents or interact with customer service employees.
Image from National Car Rental
National Car Rental is owned by Enterprise Holdings, the mother company of Enterprise and Alamo. However, since the company caters to a different group of clients, the business travellers, its rewards program is amazing. Being a member of the Emerald Club, customers can enjoy perks such as one free rental day every 5 credits (bookings), car upsize, car delivery to the spot, etc.
BlaBlaCar is a carpooling marketplace in France. Its website and smartphone apps bring together drivers and passengers who want to travel between locations and split the cost. The company does not own any vehicles; instead, it acts as a broker, earning a commission (around 20%) per booking.
Image from BlaBlaCar
The platform has 100 million users, 25 million of whom are active every quarter. It is available in 22 countries, almost all of which are in Europe and Latin America, including Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UK.
BlaBlaCar is probably the only platform on this list who aren’t currently running business in the lucrative and profitable market of the US. The reason behind this is, according to the company: “gas is cheaper there, cities are too far from each other and too big to conveniently pick up and drop off people.”
Formerly known as Dollar A Day Rent A Car, Dollar Rent A Car Inc. is a global car rental firm based in Estero, Florida. Established all the way back in 1965, the company has now had over 1,500 franchise locations in more than 70 countries worldwide.
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In 1991, it merged with Thrifty Car Rental, forming the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. Such acquisition has kicked start and exponential growth to the group, which now collectively owns almost 500,000 cars.
Dollar is a smart location to start your search if your car rental needs are expected to last a week or more. While the Dollar website sets the norm for weekly pricing, it usually has a number of special deals that you may take advantage of, like a 25% discount if you prepay for your car.
There's also a great rewards program with attainable points goals and no ban periods to muddle things up when it's time to cash in your points for a free rental. Dollar's relatively tiny presence in the United States (just 230 outlets) may be a stumbling block. Dollar, on the other hand, is a wonderful car rental option if you discover one close and are seeking to rent for more than a day.
For the best bargain on car rentals, we recommend Thrifty. Instead of offering the best deals of the week, they introduce the best deals available on the spot. Spouses can drive for free as well if they join the free Blue Chip rewards program, so you'll save money both ways.
Image from Wikipedia
By becoming a Blue Chip member, you will be able to earn points for every dollar spent on car rentals, which you can use to qualify for free rentals. Then there's the "skip the line" option, which allows you to skip the line and go straight to the lot to pick up your car, as well as priority counter service. However, the fact that you'll be notified of blackout days when you won't be able to use your free rental, as well as the loss of points after two years of inactivity, means the program isn't as rewarding as others.
The fact that there are only about 300 Thrifty locations in the United States may be a concern, but if one is close by and you need to hire a car, they will almost certainly offer you a great deal.
Car Hire Tips & Tricks
Check the Insurance
One thing people often gloss over is the insurance policy, often because it’s complicated. However, you could never be too careful about something that can make or break the deal like insurance. Some companies may charge absurd prices for damage cover in order to cover up their cheap rates. In such cases, taking out a separate insurance would be smarter.
The type of insurance should also be taken into consideration. Non-frequent travellers should settle with daily or trip-based policies, whereas business travellers should seek annual insurance programs.
Book in Advance
It goes without saying that the earlier you make your bookings, the better the deals tend to be. As soon as your trip is settled, you should be thinking of settling your car rent as well.
Be careful of the fuel policy
Most companies often deliver half-filled or full-tank cars to their customers and sometimes use that to polish their names. While that might be nice when you pick up the car, it wouldn’t be as nice when you leave it. The fact is some companies require the cars to be returned with a full tank, which you have to pay for. There has been hearsay floating around about this kind of issue, so it’s best to double the company’s policy.
Check for Upgrades
This is a very clever and common business tactic to appeal to and keep customers. When they have cars of higher tiers available for hire, instead of offering discounts, they upgrade customers hiring from lower tiers. This is done so that the higher tiers cars keep their price range and prestige while satisfying other customers. If they don’t charge you extra, always take advantage of this.