The 10 Best Car Rental Companies in 2021 [Rates, Service, Loyalty, and More]
We may be compensated when you click on links from one or more of our advertise partners. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone. Terms apply to offers below. See our Advertiser disclosure for more details. When it comes to renting a car, it can be daunting as to which car rental company to choose. many travelers will opt for what appears to be the cheapest base rate, but depending on your requirements, you may get prick with expensive extras such as wrong waivers, cable car seats, or toll policies. If your search unveil pretty comparable rates, then you may want to consider a rental company with rave reviews for customer service or with the slickest pick-up and reelect work.
regular renters will benefit from joining a loyalty program that offers up the highest point earnings and lowest redemption rates for free rental days. We ’ ve detail 10 of the best car rental companies to help you decide which one is mighty for you .
Best car rental Companies by category
To assess which car rental companies offer the most competitive rates, we completed quote comparisons for a 7 day rental of a standard class cable car. Example 1 : Renting from Orlando International Airport ( MCO ) Example 2: Renting from John F. Kennedy International Airport ( JFK )
|Rental Company||Example 1
|Prepay Rate||Pay on Arrival Rate||Prepay Rate||Pay on Arrival Rate|
|Dollar||Not offered||$455.76||Not offered||$772.51|
|Enterprise||Not offered||$411.11||Not offered||$772.48|
|National||Not offered||$444.50||Not offered||$796.25|
|Sixt||$251.39||$263.61||Not available from JFK|
|Thrifty||Not offered||$448.34||Not offered||$612.41|
For the lapp dates and class of car, rates vary drastically between rental companies. For model 1, Dollar charges over $ 190 more than Sixt, which is good over $ 27 extra per rental day. You can see that Avis and Budget offer the biggest discounts for prepaying when making a reservation. In the lawsuit of exemplar 2, the pay on arrival rate is widely more expensive for Avis than competitors .
Advantage Rent A cable car
With only 34 offices across the U.S., Advantage doesn ’ thyroxine offer the widespread locations of Enterprise or Hertz. inactive, with international coverage and fresh and next-to-new car models at budget prices, it ’ s a good choice .
Expressway Membership Program
When drivers sign up for the Expressway program, they receive an instant reward for either a free rental day or a car upgrade. All 4 tier levels receive a random wages after every rental, and Gold and Platinum members besides benefit from the choice of a free GPS, toll pass, or car seat for the duration of their rental. It takes just 3-4 rentals to move from the nucleotide grade to Silver, 5-6 rentals from Silver to Gold, and 7+ rentals from Gold to Platinum. The higher the grade, the more benefits you ’ ll receive .
Advantage Mobile App
The Advantage mobile app simplifies the reserve process, allowing customers to search and book vehicles, along with receiving real-time estimates of when your car will be cook .
Fees for Optional Extras
As with many cable car rental companies, fees for total extras vary depending on the branch you ’ ra rent from. For states with non-specific laws or fee caps, Advantage is on the high side, charging up to $ 13.49 per day for extras such as extra drivers or car seats .
Pros and Cons of Advantage
- Expressway members earn rewards from the moment they sign up
- Cheaper than average rental rates
- Agreements should be checked thoroughly before signing to review any possible charges for extras you may have declined at the counter
- Higher fees for optional extras and young driver surcharges
Alamo Rent a car
Alamo is the biggest car lease company for international travelers renting in North America, with offices located in all major U.S. airports. Compared to the likes of Enterprise and Hertz, Alamo ’ s presence is actually a lot smaller, with around 250 offices across the U.S. still, that didn ’ thymine stop Alamo scoring highly in the J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction survey of 2019 .
Online Check-In and Self-Serve Kiosks
With an overall satisfaction rate of 4/5 in the J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction cogitation of 2019, Alamo excels in streamlining the rental experience, enabling customers to use self-serve kiosks or to skip the buffet entirely by checking in on-line. When checking in on-line or using the kiosks, customers can choose to add drivers, upgrade their vehicle, or add extras such as bell packages or a GPS .
Pick-Up and Return Process
At many U.S. airports, those customers checking in on-line may proceed to the rental garage and choose their car based on their requested car class. The process is truly effective and who doesn ’ thyroxine love skipping a queue ? Alamo scores a respectable 8.8/10 for customer reviews on RentalCars.com, with many reviewers praising the pick-up and slump march at countless locations .
Although Alamo isn ’ t the cheapest rental car company out there, it does offer a 5% discount for Alamo Insiders members, which is barren to register for if you ’ re lease in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, or Mexico. Where available, a further 5 % can be saved by prepaying your rental fee when book in advance — just watch out for the cancellation tip ( $ 50- $ 100 ) should your plans change .
Pros and Cons of Alamo
- A slick operation for vehicle pick-up and drop-off, with the opportunity to avoid the counter queues all together if you choose
- 5% member discount on all rentals
- Often on the expensive side compared to other rental car companies
- Cancellation fees apply when prepaying your rental fee
Avis Car Rental
The original pioneer in the rental car diligence, Avis was the inaugural company to rent vehicles from airport locations and has nowadays expanded to operate in over 165 countries worldwide. With over 1,400 locations in the U.S., you ’ re never excessively far from an Avis agency .
Advanced Payment Savings
Avis is one of the most expensive car lease companies out there, particularly when choosing to reserve a vehicle and pay on pick-up. With that in thinker, you ’ ll want to take advantage of its prepaid rates that offer up to 30% off the standard fee. just be mindful that if your site changes and you don ’ metric ton require the lease, that a cancellation fee of $ 50 would be charged with more than 24 hours ’ notice and $ 150 for less than 24 hours ’ notice .
Promo Codes and Special Offers
Another means to save on Avis ’ above-average rental fees is to take a look at its Offers page, available for U.S. or international rentals. Avis posts discount codes for a variety of offers, from money off renting from neighborhood locations to a release weekend day as separate of a longer rental .
Avis Preferred Loyalty Program
Drivers can sign up for the Avis Preferred broadcast and earn points towards free rentals and accessories, such as wayside aid, GPS, or child seats. Members earn 1 sharpen per qualifying dollar spent on rentals and 2 points per dollar spent on accessories. once reaching particular thresholds for the phone number of rentals or sum spend, drivers will become Avis Preferred Plus members where steer earnings are up to 3 per dollar exhausted .
Pros and Cons of Avis
- Regular promo codes and special offers bring rental fees closer to cheaper rates of other car rental companies
- Avis Preferred Points earnings on accessories are higher than competitors, and redemption rates are slightly lower
- Extras such as damage waivers and roadside assistance are at the higher end, but Avis offers bundles to save money
- Most expensive rates of any car rental agency
Budget Car Rental
As Budget is separate of the Avis Budget Group, it ’ s not surprising that both brands have a bunch of crossover with policies and offers that you see on both websites. alike to Avis, Budget has closely 1,400 vicinity and airport offices nationally. What is unlike is the rental price, with Budget being the cheaper of the 2 ( as the name would suggest ) .
Like Avis, Budget offers significant discounts of up to 35% if drivers prepay for their rental at the time of booking. The usual prepay conditions apply for cancellations, so if you need to cancel, you ’ ll pay $ 50- $ 150 depending on when you cancel .
Free Additional Driver for Spouses
Budget enables customers to add their spouse as an extra driver for free, provided they meet the standard driver requirements. With extra driver fees of up to $ 13 per day, this can save you a pretty penny on your bill — particularly if you are renting outside of California or a state that allows complimentary extra drivers for spouses .
Fastbreak Loyalty Program
Budget ’ s Fastbreak platform is a little unlike from other rental car companies as it doesn ’ t employment on a point earn and redemption system. rather, members receive fast-tracked service when picking up and dropping off a vehicle. Members besides receive exclusive deals ; for example, at the time of write, Budget was sending members $ 25 of Budget Bucks after renting doubly before the goal of the year .
Pros and Cons of Budget
- Free additional driver for spouses across all states
- Huge discounts of up to 35% when prepaying on booking
- Charges a daily e-toll fee even on the days that you don’t use a toll
dollar Car Rental
dollar is separate of The Hertz Corporation ( along with Thrifty ) and has 260 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Although it is known as a budget car rental company, Dollar was actually on the expensive side when we obtained quotation comparisons. thankfully, the company has regular promotions to bring its base rate down. dollar international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate renowned for its faultless customer service, scoring merely 1.5/5 with Trustpilot.com, but if you ’ ra looking for the most rewards from a loyalty program or for frequent aviator partners, it ’ s a good option .
Special Offers and Discounts
dollar offers 15% off weekday or weekend rentals when signing up to receive promotional emails. Or, for customers that have already registered, savings can be found under the Specials tab on the Dollar web site. At the clock of writing, this included 10 % for young renters and 10 % off for AAA members. Like most car lease companies, Dollar allows customers to prepay their rental tip for a reduce rate. Provided the book is 24 hours before pick up, customers can prepay and save up to 20% off of the base pace .
Dollar Express Rewards
dollar ’ randomness commitment plan is one of the most generous out there, offering golden redemption fees along with extra membership benefits. At blue-ribbon locations, members can skip the counterpunch and pass true to the park bunch to collect their car, and spouses can be registered as an extra driver for free. Members earn 1 point per dollar spent on rentals and accessories with redemption fees starting from 500 points per day ( for other programs, this is normally around 700 ).
Pros and Cons of Dollar
- Generous loyalty program with low redemption fees and great benefits
- Generous partner travel rewards such as 125 hotel points per rental day with IHG Rewards
- Blackout days for Express Rewards free rental days
- Poorly reviewed customer service standards (1.5/5 with Trustpilot.com)
Hot Tip: If you have status with another car lease program, you may be eligible for an elect status match .
enterprise car rental
With over 4,500 neighborhood and airport ramify offices, Enterprise is the largest car rental company in the U.S. Combined with its baby companies Alamo and National, Enterprise Holdings has offices located within 15 miles of 90 % of the U.S. population, so it is by far the most accessible. enterprise was one of the top performers in the 2019 J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, scoring 5/5 in all but 1 class .
Fees for Optional Extras
Enterprise ’ s rental fees tend to be on the higher side, but compared to its competitors ( excluding Alamo and National ), its fees for optional extras such as child seats or a GPS are quite a spot cheaper. Drivers aged 21-24 can besides save a morsel of money on day by day young driver surcharges as non-state specific fees are $ 5- $ 15 cheaper per day versus its competitors .
enterprise besides has one of the most reasonable toll policies, along with Alamo and National, with a cap of $ 19.75 per rental period. advantage and Dollar have a well higher cap of $ 90 per rental period, so if your travel takes you through several electronic toll booths, then you ’ ll want to consider Enterprise .
The Enterprise Plus plan is free to join and allows members to earn points towards free car rentals. frequent renters qualify for tier status and can reach Silver, Gold, or Platinum status to achieve bonus point earnings and release car upgrades .
Pros and Cons of Enterprise
- Lots of office locations throughout the U.S. to call into for assistance should you encounter an issue
- Lower fees for optional extras and young driver surcharges
- Higher than average rental rates
- Membership program points earnings are not as generous as Hertz or National
Hertz is one of the largest car lease companies in the U.S. with over 3,000 region and airport locations. With reasonable rates and excellent customer service, its comfortable to see why it was the highest-rating car rental company in the 2019 J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction sketch. Hertz has a good range of standard car models, but for an supernumerary particular treat, customers can rent from the Hertz Dream Collection, including an Aston Martin DB11 Volante or a Lamborghini Huracan Evo .
Best Rate Guarantee
Hertz puts a bunch of emphasis on booking mastermind and offers an attractive price matching policy. not only will Hertz match the rate for the same Hertz fomite group and rental period, but it will besides take off an additional 10% once the title has been verified .
Hertz Fast Lane Powered by CLEAR
Hertz Fast Lane Powered by CLEAR is available at 14 Hertz locations in the U.S. Having bypassed the check-in counters, registered customers can pick up their vehicle and die the parking bunch more efficiently using CLEAR recognition .
Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
Customers can sign up for the Hertz commitment course of study to earn 1 point per dollar spent and work their direction up to Five Star or President ’ s Circle status for more benefits. All membership tiers can skip the counter for check-in, use e-returns for quicker process, and receive a free a authorize security program airport trial. Point redemptions are on the higher side starting at 750 points for a day ’ randomness rental, but members are not restricted to any blackout periods .
Pros and Cons of Hertz
- Price match plus 10% off for the same Hertz car and rental period
- No blackout periods for reward rentals and generous member benefits
- Higher than average redemption rates compared to other loyalty programs
- High cancellation fees for prepaid reservations — $100 when canceled more than 24 hours before pick up and $200 when canceled within 24 hours of pick up
National Car Rental
Owned by Enterprise Holdings, National is the little sister party of Enterprise Rent A Car with equitable over 330 agency locations across the U.S. National dropped a couple of positions in the 2019 J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction learn compared to the 2018 survey but is still highly regarded for its customer service .
Emerald Club Loyalty Program
The Emerald Club is for patronize customers that want to earn lease credits towards free lease days, along with a whole host of other benefits. All members can choose any car (midsize or above) on the Emerald Aisle when booking a midsize car, and all members receive 1 lease credit for every eligible rental. Emerald Club members can redeem 7 credits for a absolve rental day, whereas Elite members ( Executive and Executive Elite ) require less rental credits to redeem against a detached rental day. executive members lone require 6 rental credits, and Executive Elite members need entirely 5 rental credits .
The Emerald Aisle is available to Emerald Club members when renting in the U.S. or Canada, and when booking a midsize car, customers can bypass the counter and lead directly to the Emerald Aisle to choose any make and model they like ( the keys are cook in the car ) .
National is well-known for its corporate lease programs for small- and medium-sized businesses. favorable compress rates allow businesses to rent a vehicle at the drop-of-a-hat without incurring gamey last-minute fees .
Pros and Cons of National
- Emerald Club members pay no additional driver fees for family and business associates
- The Emerald Aisle allows customers to choose their car
- Like its sister companies, National’s rates are at the higher end
Sixt rip a cable car
merely entering the north american english commercialize in 2011, Sixt is one of the newest rental agencies and has grown at a frightful rate with over 60 offices throughout the U.S. Sixt offers a new and bounty evanesce of german and american cars, with vehicles at an average of 3 months previous. Although it ’ s got some of the newest cars available, Sixt offered up some of the cheapest rates available when we searched for quotes .
Savings on Long-Term Rentals
Sixt offers particularly favorable hebdomadally rates when reserving a vehicle for more than 28 days. At the time of compose, a Jeep Grand Cherokee could be booked from precisely $ 122 per week with a long-run rental .
Sixt Advantage Circle
The Sixt Advantage Circle consists of unlike levels of reward cards that allow members to collect points with other partners such as airlines and hotels, vitamin a well as receive lease benefits. When signing up, customers will receive a Sixt Express circuit board that allows members to skip the usual formalities at the buffet and receive depleted self-service rates. After 3 rentals, members will receive a Sixt Gold calling card, after 10 rentals members receive a Sixt Platinum card, and to reach Diamond card status, members must await an invitation. Elite tier cardholders receive benefits such as absolve extra drivers, discounts of up to 20 %, and loose upgrades. Hot Tip: Sixt will status match to your commitment membership floor with other rental companies, airlines, or hotels. Simply send the relevant documentation detailing your status floor to [ e-mail protected ] and you could reach Platinum level after your first rental .
Pros and Cons of Sixt
- Cheap rental rates
- New premium fleet of vehicles
- Less office coverage across the U.S compared to other rental companies
Thrifty Car Rental
Thrifty is part of the Hertz Corporation, and like sister company Dollar, the main focus is on value for money. Saying that, whereas most other car rental companies by and large always offer discounted postpaid rates, these are hard to find with Thrifty. With 472 locations across the U.S., Thrifty offices can be found in neighborhood locations and at major airports. Customers in a rush will love Thrifty ’ s Timesaver Check-in, where you can complete your details in progress to skip the formalities at the anticipate .
Blue Chip Rewards Program
The Blue Chip Rewards platform enables members to earn points towards free lease days and has lots of extra benefits such as free additional driver ( spouse or domestic collaborator ), skipping the counter to head straight to the distribute, and priority counter service. Members receive 1 detail per dollar spend, and the redemption rate is reasonably low — starting at 500 points for a weekend day .
Thrifty works in concurrence with lots of airline and hotel partners for increase points earnings. At the time of spell, customers could earn triple Alaska Airlines miles when renting with Thrifty or double points with Southwest Rapid Rewards .
Pros and Cons of Thrifty
- Cheap rental rates
- Generous redemption offers with the Blue Chip Rewards program
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- Limited availability for prepaid rates
- Customer service reviews are on the negative side (1.5/5 for Trustpilot reviews)
Choosing the best car rental party will depend on your requirements. If cost is the deciding factor, then rates can depend on how far in advance you script and how long you ’ ra rent for. Budget offers up to 35 % off for prepaying when reserving your vehicle, and Sixt has some big rates on long-run rentals over 28 days. If receiving the best customer service is of the last importance, then Hertz is the ship’s company to go with. Hertz snatched the top spotlight from Enterprise in the 2019 J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, having achieved 5/5 for all but 1 class. If you ’ re a regular tenant, most car lease loyalty programs offer a standard 1 point for every dollar exhausted, although Avis offers 2 points per dollar spent on accessories. Where members truly feel the benefits is when the redemption rates are lower, and Dollar and Thrifty both have low redemption rates starting at 500 points for a weekend day rental .