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Best Car Rental Companies In The USA

Based on our team’s research, the best car rental companies in the United States are Budget, Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Fox, and Enterprise.
06/09/2023 03:39 PM

Renting a car is a convenient way to travel regardless of if you are renting for a trip or for business. With so many car rental companies to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which one offers the best value, selection, and service. To help you make a decision, our team compared the leading vehicle rental agencies in America on factors like industry standing, availability, cost, options and restrictions, and customer experience to help you find the company that’s right for your needs.

What Is the Best Car Rental Company?

Based on our review of major car rental agencies, Budget Rental Car is our pick for the best car rental company in the USA. Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Fox, and Enterprise are also top picks that have great rental services overall. 

Compare Car Rental Companies

In the table below are our picks for the best car rental companies. While not all of our picks are the cheapest rental car companies, they stand out in other dimensions. Below we have detailed key information about each car rental agency so you can compare:

Top Rental Car AgencyBest ForOur Rating (Out of 5 stars)Average Weekly RatesJD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating
1. BudgetBest Overall4.7$486 788/1000
2. HertzBest Customer Experience4.6$543 836/1000
3. AvisBest Value4.6$516 816/1000
4. DollarBest for One-Way Rentals4.5$543 799/1000
5. FoxBest Last-Minute Deals4.5$342 N/A
6. EnterpriseBest Availability4.4$636 865/1000

*Weekly rates were determined from standard sedan and SUV pricing from LAX, DFW, and Orlando airports two weeks before the rental period. Fees and taxes are included. **Rates current as of 6/9/23

6 Best Rental Car Companies in America

Even though we have rated Budget as our top American car rental company, this does not mean it is the best option for you. Certain companies perform better in different areas including customer service, alternative rental services like long-term car rentals, coupons and deals, or availability.

To assist you in finding the best rental car company for your situation we will break down our choices weekly rates, customer service ratings, benefits, loyalty programs, and what makes them stand out compared to the competition. Learn more about our picks for the best US rental car agencies below.

1. Budget: Best Overall

J.D. Power rating: 788/1,000

Average one-week rental cost: $486

Mileage Limit: Unlimited

Locations: 1,466 in the U.S., 4,900+ worldwide

Budget is our pick for the best car rental agency since it ticks many boxes: it has low average prices, wide availability, good upgrade options, and a large fleet to choose from. Depending on location and availability, you can even get luxury EVs, sports cars, and SUVs. 

Choosing to pay upfront can save you about $20 to $50 on a weeklong rental, though it subjects you to Budget’s cancellation policy. You’ll pay $50 to cancel any time until 24 hours before the reservation. After that, it will cost you $150 to cancel last minute.

Budget Benefits and Deals

A perk of renting with Budget is its deals section on its website. This is a rotating list of coupon and discount codes you can use to save in different situations. The agency also has a free program named Budget Fastbreak that lets you skip the line at the counter to pick up and drop off your car fast–though some customers on Trustpilot report having to wait in line when it’s busy anyway.

Budget Fastbreak Program

The company also offers a loyalty program that can be joined for free named Budget Fastbreak. Becoming a member allows you to have a quicker rental reservation process, allows you to skip the line when picking up a vehicle, and gives you access to exclusive promotions.

Budget Reviews

Reviews on Trustpilot of Budgets services give the company a score of 1.3 out of 5.0 stars from over 2,000 customers. They have a similar negative sentiment on the BBB website where the agency has a rating of 1.09 out of 5.0 from renters and an A+ rating from the organization.

The vast majority of reviews are negative for the company and most complaints cite experiences where they were charged extra for no reason or received the wrong rental. However, these make up a small portion of their customer base and service will vary widely by location.

The Bottom Line

Budget is great for travelers looking to save money and use a global company with availability in most major cities and airports.

Read More: Budget rental car review

2. Hertz: Best Customer Experience

JD Power Rating: 836/1,000

Average one week rental cost: $543

Mileage Limit: Unlimited

Locations: 2,800+ in the U.S., 10,300+ worldwide

Hertz is one of the most well-known and reputable rental car companies. You can find a Hertz at many major and minor airport locations, plus in a variety of cities and neighborhoods. We named Hertz Best Customer Experience because it has the highest customer review scores of any company on our list.

Hertz also has a huge selection of vehicles called the Ultimate Collection. Their selection includes everything from sports cars and convertibles to Mercedes G wagons and Range Rovers. Some of the higher-end vehicles are only available to members of the Five Star and President’s Circle rewards tiers.

Hertz Benefits and Deals

Hertz partners with AAA to give AAA members special perks. These include a 20% discount on car rental rates as well as waived fees for young renters and additional drivers. Dollar and Thrifty also provide some perks for AAA members because they are subsidiaries of Hertz. Lastly, business travelers can get discounted rates and a free additional driver.

Hertz Gold Plus Program

Hertz has a rewards program with three levels that increase the more you rent. If you join the Hetz Gold Plus rewards membership, you can redeem points for free rental days, upgrades, and other benefits. As you go up the tiers the selection of vehicles you have gets larger, points get higher multipliers per dollar spent, and you’ll get a dedicated phone line at the top tier.

Hertz Reviews

As we have mentioned, Hertz has a stellar customer service reputation. The company has the highest ratings out of any car rental company with 4.4 out of 5.0 stars from reviews on Trustpilot and the 4th highest customer satisfaction rating from JD Power. However, the company has a much lower rating on the BBB website of 1.09 out of 5.0. Even so, the company has been the most responsive about addressing complaints and has resolved over 1,000 in the past year.

The vast majority of customers speak about their great service quality, stress-free processes, and overall expansive selection of vehicles. Most negative reviews tend to be for select locations having bad service and wait times.

The Bottom Line

Hertz provides a first-class rental experience and the best selection of vehicles and upgrades of any rental company.

Read More: Hertz Car Rental Review

3. Avis: Best Value

JD Power Rating: 816/1,000

Average one week rental cost: $516

Mileage Limit: Unlimited

Locations: 1,580+ in the U.S., 5,500 worldwide

Avis Rent-A-Car offers rates about 16 percent cheaper than the industry average according to our cost analysis which has earned it the title of Best Value. You can pay at the counter when you pick up your car or pay up front and save up to 30 percent. Avis also offers plenty of deals and discounts to give you the best rates.

Avis Benefits and Deals

Avis offers a variety of benefits when purchasing rental cars and offers many deals and discounts to help you get the best bang for your buck. The company currently provides an affiliation discount for those in unions, AARP, and members of the military. At this time, Avis also has a deal with Amazon. If you choose to pay at the time of booking, you can get 10 percent back on an Amazon card after signing into your account.

Avis Preferred Program

The agency also offers a rewards program called Avis Preferred that allows you to take advantage of benefits like skipping lines and free upgrades. Like most rental car programs, it has a point system when you buy rentals and accessories that can be used for free rentals and add-ons. Joining is free as well so it is easy to take advantage of these perks.

Avis Reviews

Avis reviews on most reputable sites are less than stellar with ratings of 1.3 out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot and 1.06 out of 5.0 on the BBB website. JD 2022 Power’s rental car satisfaction study gives them a rating of 816 ranking them just below the industry average. However, the general reception overall seems to be a mixed bag for the car rental agency.

A large majority of the reviews we could gather are negative and complain about inconsistent customer service, not getting the vehicle they selected, and getting overcharged for services. However, there are select reviews that praise specific service reps at other locations.

The Bottom Line

Avis can help a wide range of travelers save money on car rentals.

Read more: Avis car rental review

4. Dollar: Best For One-Way Rentals

JD Power Rating: 799/1,000

Average one week rental cost: $543

Mileage Limit: Unlimited

Locations: 189 in the U.S., 570 worldwide

Dollar has been in business since 1965 and is owned by Hertz today. It offers reasonable single-location rates that are about average for the industry. However, it stands out for its cheap rates for one-way rentals. Dollar charges about $364 more for a weeklong one-way rental which is much lower compared to the industry average upcharge of $524.

Dollar Benefits and Deals

Dollar offers a good selection of benefits when using their rental services. You can save up to 20% on rentals if you pay in advance and there are plenty of other discounts available if a booking is done at a neighborhood location. Dollar also offers discounts for travelers with the following associations:

  • AAA members
  • American Institute of CPAs
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club members
  • Union members

Dollar Rewards Program

Furthermore, the company also has a rewards program that offers a streamlined car rental process where you get priority service and can avoid lines for returns and pickups. Purchasing rentals under the program also allows you to earn points to put toward free future rentals.

Dollar Reviews

Dollar seems to have an overall mediocre reputation among customers. The company has a 3.3 rating out of 5.0 stars on Trustpilot and a rating of 799/1,000 in JD Power’s American Rental Car Customer Satisfaction Study. The organization also has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 1.08 out of 5.0 rating from customers. 

While some customer service reviews were scathing of their services others were glowing and praised for above and beyond efforts. Most of the comments about their services are hard to pin down as they do not mention the location. So, it seems that reception is inconclusive overall and really depends on the particular location you choose.

The Bottom Line

With cheap rates for one-way car rentals, Dollar is worth considering for that road trip you’ve been wanting to take.

5. Fox: Best Last-Minute Deals

JD Power Rating: N/A

Average one week rental cost: $342

Mileage Limit: Unlimited

Locations: 31 in the U.S., 232 worldwide

Fox Rent-A-Car is a smaller company than others on our list–it operates out of 31 airport locations in the U.S. and about 200 more worldwide. If you’re traveling to an airport that has a Fox location, it’s definitely worth checking out.

At the bottom of Fox’s Deals page, you’ll find a rotating list of hot rental deals. You can find daily rates as low as $19 in this section for certain locations. These car rental deals are for rentals within a week or two, so it pays to procrastinate when you’re shopping with Fox.

Fox Benefits and Deals

Our team found Fox offers some of the best promotional sales in the industry. Some examples of great deals they offer are listed below:

  • save 40 percent on all rentals in Salt Lake City and Houston 
  • 40 percent off on SUV and minivan rentals in Seattle
  • $1 per day rentals for specific one-way trips originating from Salt Lake City and ending in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego, or San Francisco.

Fox Loyalty Program

Fox also has a loyalty program that earns you points for every dollar you spend that can get you free car rentals in the form of FoxBucks. Also, the points can be exchanged for gift cards for various airlines and retailers like Amazon, United, and Best Buy.

Fox Reviews

Fox has a great reputation in the industry among customers and received a A rating from the BBB and a 4.4 out of 5.0-star rating from customer reviews on Trustpilot out of over 10,000 customers. The BBB site has a low customer satisfaction rating based on feedback from customers, but the number of reviews is small.

Fox Rent-A-Car reviews are extremely positive and talk about their fast and helpful services. Particularly, customers notice that agents actually seem to care about them and went the extra mile to see that they were satisfied. Most complaints about the organization stem from issues with the cars themselves, but most tended to be minor inconveniences.

The Bottom Line

Fox is a cheap option for last-minute rentals at major airport locations.

6. Enterprise: Best Availability

JD Power Rating: 865/1,000

Average one week rental cost: $636

Mileage Limit: Unlimited

Locations: 4,163 in the U.S., 10,000 worldwide

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the largest rental car company in the U.S., so it’s available pretty much anywhere. The company’s slogan for many years has been “We’ll Pick You Up,” and that’s still true today. You can schedule a pickup from a neighborhood Enterprise rental office ahead of time. You’ll still sign paperwork at the office first since Enterprise doesn’t deliver cars.

Enterprise’s fleet offers anything travelers could expect, from economy cars to full-size pickups and luxury cars. If you want to splurge, you can go for an Audi A8, Porsche 911, or BMW 5-Series. You can also use rewards points through Enterprise Plus to upgrade to a better car or get free rental days.

The only downside to Enterprise is that it’s a bit more expensive on average than other companies in the industry. But with so many locations, it’s a good option for those who want to stick with one company and rack up points.

Enterprise Benefits and Deals

Enterprise has limited deals and discounts compared to other companies. The only affiliate discount they offer consistently is the veteran’s or government employees’ 10% discount on their rental car costs. However, they do have an email list you can join that will provide you with seasonal and weekly deals.

Enterprise Plus Program

The company also has a four-tiered rewards program where you can earn points to put toward a free rental. Each level of their Enterprise Plus program requires you to spend more on rentals and comes with better chances for vehicle upgrades and higher points multipliers for each dollar spent. However, the membership is lackluster compared to other agencies.

Enterprise Reviews

From most major review sites, the ratings for Enterprise seem low but generally, customers have a good experience. The agency has a rating of 2.2 out of 5.0 from over 2,700 customers on Trustpilot. Even so, it seems like the majority of these reviews are generally positive with over 70% being 4-5 star ratings on the site. Also, the company has an F rating from the BBB and 1.26 out of 5.0 stars from customers.

Customers report great customer service at many of their airport locations and most of the complaints tend to come from their neighborhood lots. Some reviews complain about accidents being uncovered by their insurance and problems with cancellations. Overall, these reviews only show the opinions of a small amount of their customer base and for such a large organization they seem to provide good customer service.

The Bottom Line

Enterprise offers reliable service and a wide selection of vehicles at thousands of locations across the world.

Read more: Enterprise car rental review

What To Consider Before Choosing a Rental Car Company

Here are a few things to consider before you book your rental with an agency.

Do You Need Add-Ons Or Extra Insurance?

Rental companies offer dozens of add-ons from extra insurance to satellite radio and mobile WiFi.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers injuries and damage to other people and their cars if you cause an accident. While most companies will give you the option of extra rental car insurance, you may not need it.

Rental car companies automatically provide state-minimum levels of liability insurance, so you can drive rentals even if you don’t have an insurance policy of your own. You can always opt for additional coverage for peace of mind, however. But if you have your own insurance coverage, the same limits will usually apply when you drive a rental car, so it’s worth checking your policy before purchasing additional coverage.

Loss Damage Waiver

A loss damage waiver (LDW) waives your responsibility for damage should any occur during your rental. An LDW usually covers:

  • Vehicle theft
  • Vandalism
  • Collision
  • Fire
  • Acts of nature

Your personal car insurance policy will likely provide coverage while you drive the rental car. If you have full coverage (comprehensive and collision), you can skip the LDW. But you’ll have to file a claim with your insurance company if the car is damaged. This could raise your rates in the future, so an LDW may still be a good idea.

Be aware that minimum-coverage insurance plans don’t cover collision or environmental damage, so you’ll be responsible for damage to your rental vehicle in this case.

Other Extras

Some other common add-ons you’ll find include:

  • Hands-free navigation
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Baby, toddler, and child seats
  • Additional driver (spouses can usually drive for free)
  • Skip refueling the tank
  • Unlimited toll pass
  • Personal item insurance
  • Roadside assistance

With all these choices you could easily double or triple the cost of a rental car. Pay particular attention at pickup to be sure no add-ons were included in your contract without your knowledge. This is a common complaint customers have made about various companies in the industry.

Most Companies Require Credit Cards

Rental companies usually require payment by credit card instead of by cash or debit card. A credit card ensures a customer is a real person with a credit history.

Booking a rental car with a debit card isn’t unheard of, but not all companies will allow you to do it. Companies that take debit cards may impose restrictions. For example, Enterprise only accepts debit cards at airport locations as you pay to pick up the vehicle. You have to show your ticketed return travel itinerary for verification. The company only accepts debit cards with VISA®, Mastercard®, or Discover® logos and doesn’t accept prepaid cards.

Be Prepared For A Security Deposit Hold

The rental company will place a hold on your credit card for a security deposit at the time of pickup. This charge can range from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand or more depending on the value of the vehicle and how you paid for the booking. Debit card payments may require higher deposits, as well. This charge will be removed or refunded after you return the vehicle in the same condition.

Young Drivers Pay More

Young drivers pay more for car insurance, so it makes sense that they pay more for rental cars, as well. Most states require drivers to be 20 years of age to rent a car. Drivers from 20 to 24 years old will pay a young renter fee each day – usually around $20 to $30. Some states allow 18- or 19-year-olds to rent cars, and these drivers may pay even higher fees.

List of things drivers can do to get the cheapest rental car costs possible, with accompanying images

Best Rental Car Company: Conclusion

Based on our review of major car rental agencies, we found these companies to have the best car rentals in the USA:

  • Best Overall: Budget Car Rental
  • Best Customer Experience: Hertz
  • Best Value: Avis Car Rental
  • Best for One-Way Rentals: Dollar Car Rental
  • Best Last-Minute Deals: Fox Rent-A-Car
  • Best Availability: Enterprise Rent-A-Car

However, these companies may not suit your needs and other options may suit you better. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from multiple providers to get the best deals.

Best Car Rental USA: FAQ

Below are some frequently asked questions about the best car rental companies in the USA:

What is the best car rental company?

According to our review of top car rental providers, Budget is the best car rental company because of its balance of affordable rates, vehicle availability, and great upgrade options. Due to this, we named it the Best Overall in the American car rental industry.

What car rental companies have the best customer reviews?

According to customer reviews on Trustpilot, Hertz, Fox, and Turo have the highest ratings in the rental car industry. Hertz is the company with the most reliable services overall according to customers, so we gave it the title of Best Customer Experience.

What is the cheapest rental car agency?

According to our cost analysis, Advantage offers the cheapest car rentals on the market. Budget, Avis, Ace, and Fox also offer cheap rentals compared to the industry averages.

How do I choose a good car rental company?

To choose a suitable rental car company you should compare costs, customer reviews, rental availability, benefits, and policies along with add-ons. Generally, it is good practice to find a company with plenty of choices, affordable prices, and fewer restrictions. However, the best rental car company for you depends on your personal needs.

What are the largest rental car companies in America?

The biggest rental car companies in the United States are Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Fox. Enterprise is the largest  car rental agency in both America and Canada.

Is it better to book a rental car directly?

You can usually save money by booking car rental services through a travel site like Expedia or Kayak. However, you won’t get to earn loyalty points for the company, and you must deal with the travel site’s customer service when issues arise.

Is Enterprise or National better?

Our team ranks Enterprise ahead of National because it’s a bit cheaper on average and it also offers a greater vehicle selection and wider availability. Enterprise also scored slightly higher in the J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study.

Which is cheaper: Enterprise or Hertz?

Our team found Hertz to be cheaper than Enterprise on average. A one-week rental from Hertz costs about $543 compared to $633 from Enterprise.

How We Rated The Best Rental Car Companies

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car rental companies. While there are multiple qualities that make a rental car provider successful, our review team focuses on those we’ve determined are the most important for consumers:

  • Industry Standing: Car rental companies that have been in business for several years and have a strong rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) score well in this category.
  • Availability: Car rental agencies with more locations nationwide and at major airports scored highest in this category. We also considered the types of rental vehicles available with each company.
  • Cost: Providers that offer affordable average rates, low cancellation fees and discount opportunities received the highest ratings.
  • Options and restrictions: Companies with several add-on options and fewer restrictions are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Customer Experience: Our team takes a comprehensive look at customer reviews on sites like the BBB and Trustpilot to get a sense of each provider’s customer experience. This score is based on customer reviews, J.D. Power satisfaction ratings and loyalty program availability. We also considered how easy it is to get pricing information from each company.