Highest Rated Rental Car Companies - Renting a car can be a root canal-like experience for many people, especially with today's rental car prices. You can spend hours researching different companies and their offerings, constantly confused about who offers the best deal on the vehicle you need or want.
With so many big players and small outfits trying to break into the car rental market, how do you know who will give you their hard-earned cash? Don't worry, Drive's top detective editorial team has rounded up the top car rental companies in the US today and what makes them great. We take a lot of the guesswork out of this process so you can decide whether to rent an economy car or treat yourself to a convertible.
Highest Rated Rental Car Companies
While most of the big car rental agencies in the US operate in a similar way, there are clear differences between the various options. So, our top picks for the best car rental companies are selected by thoroughly checking the company's overall reputation, as well as length of business, customer service satisfaction, BBB rating, and age. The condition of the vehicle provided.
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Only companies with a solid track record of delivering the best cars and excellent customer service are selected for this list. For more information on our selection criteria and methods, see this link which further explains our methodology.
Alamo gets high marks as a car rental company that falls under the Enterprise umbrella. The company was founded in 1974, so it has a long-standing solid reputation for providing high customer service and reasonable prices. Another great thing about Alamo is that they often offer second driver rates that are lower than all other car rental agencies in the industry.
Booking online in advance can help you get a considerable discount with Alamo, making it very competitive. To top off this deal, Alamo offers the Alamo Insiders program, which is free to join and gives you a 5 percent discount every time you make a rental. With unlimited free mileage and a super easy return experience, Alamo earns our vote for one of the top car rental companies in the US.
If you're looking for a great discount on a rental car, Avis might not be the best choice at first. In fact, the company's base rates are among the highest in the market. However, great savings come into play for smart consumers who use discount codes, rebates, available promotions and members to keep prices down. For example, AARP members get special discounts. Long-term rentals are also a way to save when renting through Avis.
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Last-minute deals, business discounts of up to 30 percent, and the Avis Preferred program are yet another way to save valuable dollars. The intelligently designed free app allows you to manage your reservation and drop off easily. Another great feature for those renting in the northeast region of the country is that all rentals are equipped with EZ-Pass electronic tolling devices, so there's no need to worry about accidentally tolling and incurring "administration fees." Customer service gets good grades, but it's not the best in the business.
As part of the Avis Budget group of car rental companies, Budget is one of the longest established car rental agencies in the country. It is also true to its cheap name. Unlike some other options out there, you don't have to be creative or spend a lot of time looking for deals. The basic daily budget rate for most cars is only $35 per day. However, you can score an impressive 35 percent discount if you pay for your reservation in full at the time of booking. And as an added bonus, Budget offers several rewards programs, including a cool weekend program that gives you a free third day on an intermediate through full-size car rental.
Of course, like most car rental companies, the earlier you book the better the price. Budget also gets points for choosing different cars. You can get anything from a convertible Camaro to an eco-friendly Prius. If you're looking for a variety of pick-up or drop-off options, Budget has you covered. The company has one of the largest selection of offices in the country. However, one thing that is lacking is good (albeit still good) customer service and streamlined pick-up and drop-off procedures.
If you want an awesome rewards program, check out Dollar Car Rental. Not only is it one of the most budget-friendly companies in the US, Business Rewards members also get some great perks, including faster order times and shorter lines at the counter. The Dollar Rewards program doesn't require as many points to get free stuff as other companies do, allowing you to earn rewards faster.
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Early bookings and long-term rentals also get attractive discounts. You can also get a 15 percent discount for signing up for the company's online newsletter.
One of Dollar's biggest drawbacks is that the company has fewer locations than the big car rental players in the game, so pick-ups and drop-offs can be a big deal. However, if you want to fly to an airport rental, you'll be fine at the main airports in the country. Customer service, while not lacking, certainly doesn't rank as highly with consumers as some of the other options on this list.
If you're on a budget and want to hire from the company with the best reputation and highest customer satisfaction rating in the country, you should use Enterprise. This company goes above and beyond when it comes to making sure the car rental experience is as painless as possible and actually fun. They will also pick you up if you need to go to the rental office. The company has the latest fleet in the industry and also offers truck and van rentals. Want to go all out and drive in style? The company has an incredible selection of luxury and exotic cars.
The company offers a tiered rewards program that gives you better and better discounts as you rent more each year. With nearly 6,000 locations across the country and a user-friendly app, convenience is the name of the game here. However, it should be noted that the company has one of the average daily prices in the market.
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National is another pillar of the car rental community. Sitting under the Enterprise umbrella, this option has a lot in common with Enterprise and Alamo, so customers can be sure there won't be any surprises or vacation horror stories when renting through this company. One thing that National does well compared to its counterparts is customer service. This agency has one of the highest ratings in the industry for customer service above and beyond. And, like Enterprise, National offers a wide range of vehicles, from compact cars to trucks and cargo vans.
For some reason, National seems to cater more to business travelers than the average tourist or vacation rental. The company offers one of the best business leasing programs. With great company discounts and a presence in more than 100 countries around the world, National has strong and powerful staying power. The company lost some love because it was too expensive overall. This is one of the highest daily rates.
Cost-conscious leisure travelers will find something to love about almost economical car rentals. Owned by Hertz, Thrifty offers great value for money with a hassle-free approach to vehicle hire. They offer an efficient online check-in system and have more than 1,300 offices in 99 countries around the world. The company also doesn't play games when it comes to finding the best rate. However, it does offer some great location-specific deals and weekend rates, so make sure you book. Whether you book for two days or two months, this company is one of the best options.
The customer service experience is a bit poor when compared to higher end car rental companies, but the cost savings usually make for satisfied customers. If you are looking for a sleek luxury or exotic car, the company is not an option.
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Hertz is not only one of the largest car rental companies in the US, but also one of the largest players in the world. It is a great time to offer many airport locations. This makes it a favorite choice for frequent flyers and business travelers alike. It has a wide range of cars to choose from in its fleet, including economy cars, hybrids and more.
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