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You've done your research and whittled down your car hire options to Alamo and Enterprise. It's no surprise: they're both global names and are highly competitive on cost. So which should you choose?
We compared the important details, including whether it allows for additional drivers (and at what cost), whether you'll be charged for returning your car early and what forms of payment they accept so you can choose the better rental for you.
TL;DR: Our verdictThe winner: It's a close call but Enterprise wins our vote as it's available in more locations worldwide, picks you up at select locations, and lets you add additional drivers for free in Australia.
|Where can I hire a car?||Alamo has more than 1,500 locations in:||Enterprise has over 7,600 branches in:||Enterprise|
|How much is excess?||$4,400-$5,500 depending on the type of vehicle. This can be reduced with supplemental liability protection, for a fee.||$2,750 - $3,850 depending on the type of vehicle||Enterprise|
|Does it pick you up?||No||Yes, during normal business hours from non-airport locations||Enterprise|
|Can I add an extra driver?||Yes. Additional drivers need to meet Alamo’s age and licence requirements and present themselves at the rental counter alongside the primary driver. They must pay a daily fee, which varies by location.||Yes. For Australian bookings, the policy states that "all additional drivers are included". Additional drivers must meet the age and licence requirements and present their licence when collecting the car. Fees may apply outside of Australia||Enterprise|
|Can I return my car early?||Yes. Cars can be returned early without incurring a penalty. If you hired on a deal based on a minimum number of days, your price is void and you'll be charged the number of days you hired, which could end up being more expensive||Yes. Enterprise allows early returns, and unless the rental was prepaid, you will only pay for the days that you had the car. If your hire cost was based on a minimum number of days, the deal is void and you'll be charged the number of days hired, which may increase the cost per day||Both|
|What type of cars does it have?||Alamo|
|Does it accept cash?||Yes||No||Alamo|
|What are my payment options?||Alamo|
|Does it price match?||No||No||Both|
|Does it require a deposit?||No||No||Both|
|Is insurance included?||Yes. All of Alamo’s rentals come with standard cover and loss or damage liability. Additional insurance options are available||Yes. Standard cover is included, with loss or damage liability (LDL). Additional insurance can also be purchased||Both|
|Do I need to wash the car?||No, but Alamo doesn’t specify how clean cars should be upon return||No, but it should not be returned in an excessively dirty or smelly condition||Both|
|Rental requirements||Drivers must be aged 21 or older (with the exception of some US states), and must have a valid driver’s licence either written in English or accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP).||Drivers must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s licence held for at least 12 months. Overseas licences may require an IDP.||Both|
|Does it charge per mile/kilometre?||No. However, if a rental has limited mileage, you will be charged per kilometre/mile if you exceed the limit||No. However, some rentals have mileage limits and you may be charged per extra mile/kilometre for exceeding them||Both|
|Is there unlimited mileage?||Typically, yes. This depends on the rental location and the type of vehicle. Mileage limits are specified in the rental agreement||Yes, on most rentals. Sometimes a limit is imposed, depending on the pick-up location, time and vehicle size||Both|
|Does it rent to under 25s?||Yes. The minimum rental age is 21. However, drivers aged 21-24 will need to pay a young driver surcharge and may also be charged higher rates||Yes, but limits to vehicle type and reductions in liability apply. Drivers aged 21-24 must also pay a surcharge of $15 per day, and drivers with a probationary licence must pay an extra $20 per day||Both|
|Does it accept debit cards?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Does it allow for cancellations/changes?||Yes. You can make cancellations and changes online before the start of the rental. Certain changes can also be made during the rental period. Cancellation fees may apply||Yes, cancellations can be made online before you pick up your vehicle. Full refunds are given in most circumstances, minus cancellation fees. Changes can be made to the return date, location and time online||Both|
|How long does it hold reservations?||In most cases, Alamo honours vehicle reservations until the end of the business day, or for 12 hours after the scheduled pick-up time, whichever comes sooner||Vehicle reservations are typically honoured for the remainder of the business day. If you will arrive after close of business, you should change the pickup time and date accordingly||Both|
|Do they have manual and automatic cars?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Do they have a loyalty program?||Alamo Insiders, Alamo’s in-house loyalty program, gives members low rates, exclusive offers and a 5% discount on all rentals||Enterprise Plus allows members to earn points at participating Enterprise locations. These can be redeemed for free rental days||Both|
|Is there GPS?||Yes, for a fee||Yes, for a fee||Both|
|Book||Book a car with Enterprise||-|
Which is cheaper?
While the answer to this will be different depending on your specific booking, for an idea of price difference we headed straight to the source and made identical searches on the Alamo and Enterprise websites.
We chose the same dates (17-20 September 2019) and pick-up and return location (Los Angeles Airport) to see which came up cheaper.
Alamo won this time around, charging $50 less for the same rental car, booked for the same dates. To see which is cheaper for your booking requirements, use our comparison tool above.
Alamo often has offers for particular locations and vehicles, rate discounts and vehicle upgrades. Alamo Insiders receive 5% off rentals and frequent flyers can earn reward miles with partners like Delta Sky Miles and Virgin Australia Flying Club in select locations.
Enterprise mainly offers location-specific deals, along with partner offers such as 15% off rentals for events like festivals. Enterprise Plus members, email subscribers and those with corporate partnerships can access exclusive coupons. Weekend specials and drive-out programs can also be offered.
Alamo's offers are less restrictive, featuring rate discounts and upgrades across hires worldwide and for any occasion.
Looking to compare car prices? Use our easy comparison tool:
Alamo vs Enterprise: Who won?
Outside of price, Enterprise wins as it has more perks, including cheaper excess and free pick-up, free early returns and free additional drivers.
Alamo isn't without some benefits though, including a wider range of cars, accepting cash as payment and price matching.
Here's a list of both of their winning points:
- More locations worldwide
- Cheaper excess with prices starting at $2,750 for compact vehicles, sedans and intermediate and standard SUVs
- Free pick-up during business hours from non-airport locations
- Additional drivers are included for no extra fee for hires in Australia
- Early returns are allowed and you'll be charged for only the days you hired it. However, any promotions attached to the original hire are void when returned early and because of this, you may wind up paying more in the end
- Wider range of cars, including hybrids, high performance and utility vehicles
- Accepts cash as payment where Enterprise does not
- Price matches better rates on its own cars and beats them by 10%
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