While travel in the US is starting to recover, people are still choosing to drive instead of renting cars. This has created a national car rental shortage.
In some cases, travelers have found out that there’s no car available when they book their rentals. This is a common issue when it comes to car rentals.
As a consumer, it’s important that you shop around for the best deal on a car rental. We’ve listed down the best picks from various companies in 2021.
Below is a quick comparison chart on how much car rental companies charge when paid prepay vs upon arrival.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a great reputation for delivering exceptional customer service and value.
According to the JD Power 2019 survey, Enterprise’s website and app scored highly across various categories, and they placed second on the overall customer satisfaction rankings.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is now offering a new “Complete Clean” policy, which includes: washing, vacuuming, general wipedown, and sanitizing.
If you have not paid your rental, there is a no-fee cancellation policy. However, if you have a pre-payment, we require a $50 cancellation fee.
Although Enterprise’s daily rate is slightly higher than the average, it has reduced other charges for young drivers.
Hertz is a well-regarded company that has a long history of being a leader in the rental car industry. With more than 1,600 locations in the US, it is easy to see why Hertz is regarded as one of the best.
Hertz’s drop-off and pick-up processes are among the most efficient in the industry. They were ranked high in the JD Power 2019 survey.
Hertz’s new cleaning policy states that all cars that have been thoroughly cleaned are marked with a Hertz Gold Standard Clean label, which will only be broken once the car’s driver has used the rental for the first time.
Currently, young renters are eligible for free cancellation and lower minimum rental age. These policies will help young drivers and students get back home.
Hertz has lowered rates for one-way trips. It also lowered its rates for standard rentals.
Hertz’s short-term rentals are cheaper than some of its competitors. However, they’re also more competitive when compared to longer-term rentals.
Alamo is a well-known name in the car rental industry. Its prices were regularly among the lowest we found.
Alamo has adopted the National and Enterprise’s COVID-19 cleaning policy, which includes a variety of tasks and procedures that meet or exceed the requirements of a leading health authority.
If you want to cancel your rental at Alamo, all customers with pre-paid rentals will now be able to cancel them without incurring a fee.
Alamo Rent-A-Car has a few key advantages over its competitors like having a large amount of locations in airports.
Budget Car Rental is a great option for budget car rentals. It has the lowest average cost of around $35 a day, and an extra discount of up to 35% if you pay in advance.
They also have a program that gives you a free third day. This offer is for families with kids in group C or E cars.
Budget has a variety of hybrids for you to rent. Some of these include the Toyota Prius, the Chevrolet Camaro, and the Honda Fit Hybrid.
Being satisfied with the service provided is important, but if it makes or breaks an experience, then it should be worth paying a bit more for.
Avis is by far the most expensive car rental company out there. Its daily rates are around $60, which is significantly higher than the average for most other companies.
There are a variety of ways to knock down the price, with various discounts and promotions available to savvy consumers.
All cars in the Northeast have e-Tolls, which are free of charge. This feature is also beneficial for companies that require employees to travel a bit.
Although it is rated well by its customers, we love the app that allows us to manage our reservations directly.
Peer-to-peer car rental companies like Turo are still making inroads in the market. However, they are typically favorites among users.
Turo’s rental process is relatively simple and the vehicle is almost identical to that of a traditional car. They also offer a variety of insurance options and roadside assistance.
A one-week rental on Turo typically costs around $200. Some of the most popular price points include taxes and fees.
They ask hosts to thoroughly clean and disinfect their cars after each trip. They also wipe down the steering wheel, trunk latch, key, and any other surfaces that were touched frequently.
You can cancel your stay up to 24 hours before their scheduled arrival. For canceled trips longer than 2 days, you will be charged a one-day trip fee.
The variety of cars on offer, as well as the customer service levels and cleanliness standards that are expected of each host.
National Car Rental
National Car Rental is a leader in providing a variety of services to business travelers, and its loyalty program is focused on providing exceptional customer service.
Its website and app are both highly regarded by users, which is evidenced by the fact that it placed first and second in the categories of best mobile apps and websites.
National has a cleaning policy that includes the use of a disinfectant that meets or exceeds certain health authority requirements.
The company is also extending its no-fee cancellation policy for pre-paid rentals.
Previously, if a pre-paid rental was canceled, the deposit was charged. This fee was no longer applicable if the cancellation was made within 24 hours of the pick-up.
What to Watch Out for in Rental Car
Insurance for car rentals: If your existing insurance policy covers a car rental, check with your insurance company to see if that coverage also applies to a vehicle.
Liability coverage: This coverage is usually required and costs around $7 to $14 a day. Medical expenses coverage: This coverage covers expenses related to an accident.
How far in advance to book: It’s generally believed that it’s better to book a car rental at least three to six months in advance to avoid last-minute problems. This advice has become more important as car shortages have become more prevalent.
What day is the cheapest to rent a car: Monday and Tuesday pick-ups are usually more expensive than weekend ones.
Getting a quote: Most car rental companies will gladly supply quotes without requiring much information about their customers. There are also many third-party websites that can help you get a better deal.
Rental car rewards program: Joining a loyalty program can be even more advantageous since they often come with perks. Most loyalty programs are free to sign up, and there are usually immediate benefits or special offers. As with airline frequent flier programs, the more you use the same company, the more you will accumulate.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.