Alamo vs Avis
We compare Alamo and Avis to see which has the features and benefits you need to drive away with them.
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Renting a car affords you a wealth of flexibility and options but when it comes down to the pointy end of things, who do you ultimately book your car hire with? Alamo and Avis are both great options, to be honest, but they are by no means identical.
To help you pull them apart, we compare their vehicles, rental policies, payment options and even ability to hold your reservation beyond your booked time to determine which comes out on top. Read on for more.
TL;DR: Our verdict
The winner? Avis wins by a long mile with a wider presence around the world, dedicated Australian website which features local deals, price match guarantee and ability to add certain additional drivers for free.
Alamo vs Avis
|Where can I hire a car?||Alamo has over 1,500 locations in:||Avis has over 5,500 locations across:||Avis|
|What type of cars does it have?||Both|
|Does it require a deposit?||No||No||Both|
|Yes. Rentals with Alamo include standard cover and loss or damage liability insurance. Additional insurance options are available to purchase.||Yes. Standard rentals come with a loss damage waiver. Third party insurance is included in some locations. Additional insurance can be purchased.||Both|
|How much is excess?||$699–$900 depending on vehicle type.||Unspecified. The excess for your rental will be outlined in the rental agreement.||Alamo|
|Do I need to wash the car?||No, though Alamo's policy does not mention how clean cars should be when returned.||No, but the car should not be returned excessively dirty or smelly.||Both|
|Rental requirements||Drivers must be 21+ (except in certain US states) with a valid driver's licence in English or accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP).||Depending on the location, drivers must be 21+ with a full, valid driver's licence held for at least a year. Licences must be written in English or accompanied with an IDP.||Both|
|Does it charge per mile/kilometre?||No. If a rental has limited mileage you will be charged per kilometre/mile for exceeding the limit.||No. If the rental has a mileage limit you will be charged per extra kilometre/mile.||Both|
|Is there unlimited mileage?||Yes, for most rentals. This might vary depending on the location and the type of vehicle.||Yes. Most Avis rentals come with unlimited mileage. Rentals with a limit will have this outlined in the rental agreement.||Both|
|Does it rent to under 25s?||Yes. The minimum age to hire a car is 21. Drivers aged 21 to 24 must pay a young driver surcharge and potentially higher rates.||Yes, in some locations, including Australia. Vehicle restrictions and underage fees apply.||Both|
|Does it accept cash?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Does it price match?||No||Yes. If you find an Avis rental cheaper elsewhere, Avis will match the base rate and take an extra 10% off.||Avis|
|Does it pick you up?||No||No||Both|
|What are my payment options?||Avis|
|Does it accept debit cards?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Does it allow for cancellations/changes?||Yes. Cancellations and changes can be made online before the rental begins. Some changes can also be made during the rental period. Cancellation fees may apply.||Yes. Changes and cancellations to your rental can be made online prior to pick-up. During the rental, you should contact your local office to make any amendments.||Both|
|How long does it hold reservations?||In most cases, Alamo honours vehicle reservations either until the end of the business day or for 12 hours after the scheduled pick-up time, whichever comes first.||Most Avis airport locations remain open until your flight has arrived, even if it's delayed. Notify Avis as soon as you become aware of a potential delay.||Both|
|Can I add an extra driver?||Yes. Additional drivers must meet Alamo's age and licence requirements and present themselves at the counter alongside the primary driver. An additional driver fee of $5 per day, capped at 6 days, applies.||Yes. Avis Preferred and Presidents Club members, the main driver's spouse or employer/employee if the vehicle is being rented for business purposes may be added for free. All other drivers incur a $5 per day fee to a maximum cost of $25. Additional drivers must fulfill the age and licence requirements.||Avis|
|Does it have manual and automatic cars?||Yes.||Yes, though its commercial fleet offers only manual vehicles.||Both|
|Is GPS included?||Yes, for a fee.||Yes, for a fee.||Both|
|Is there a loyalty program?||Alamo Insiders offers members low rates, exclusive offers and 5% off rentals.||Avis Preferred offers members priority at the rental counter at select locations, partner rewards, frequent flyer points and booking control through the Avis app.||Both|
|Can I return the car early?||Yes. There is no additional charge for returning your car early.||Yes and when you return your car you'll only be charged for the days you used it.||Both|
|Book||Book with Alamo||Book with Avis|
Which is cheaper?
Price is always a factor so we pegged the two car companies against them in a like-for-like booking search to see which would price better.
To do this, we went to the official Alamo and Avis websites and keyed a search for a car rental for the same dates, pick-up location and time for a driver aged 30+. Then, we looked at the cheapest rentals with both. Here's what we found.
Avis wins by the slimmest of margins saving you less than $1 on your rental. Pay upfront and you can widen that margin to $3.38. It's really not a lot in this case. If you want to see where they sit against each other, and the rest of the market, compare rentals for your next trip below.
Compare today's car prices
What are the deals like?
Deals at Alamo cover particular locations and vehicles, base rate discounts and vehicle class upgrades. The website is tailored towards customers in the United States and Alamo Insiders members.
Avis offers deals on certain vehicles and locations, vehicle upgrades, free rental days, Qantas Point offers and early bird deals. Avis also has a dedicated Australian site for local deals.
Latest Alamo and Avis deals
Popular Avis coupon codes
|Last checked||Code description||Code|
|20 Jan 2021||Up to $30 off 3+ days rental||MPP****|
|31 Dec 2020||Up to 15% off Ireland car hires||I56****|
|5 Oct 2020||$30 off Mount Gambier rentals||MPP****|
|9 Jul 2020||Up to $10 off Victoria truck rentals||MPP****|
|9 Jul 2020||Up to $20 off Victoria truck rentals||MPW****|
Alamo vs Avis: Who won?
Hands down this one goes to Avis. It's more available worldwide, has a price match guarantee to ensure you're getting the best price on its cars and lets you add additional drivers on for free. It also came up cheaper in a like-for-like price comparison.
Here's a list of both of their winning points:
- Has cheaper excess
- Available in more locations worldwide
- Price matches and takes an extra 10% off the difference
- Accepts more payment methods
- Lets you add a second driver for free
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