Drive the price of your rental down by comparing the car rental companies from around the world.
Renting cars for holidays can be a confusing business. There are so many providers to choose from, all with different terms and conditistephaons, vehicles and models and, most crucially, prices.
We’ve rounded up the best car hire sites on the Internet to help take the stress out of your search.
What’s the difference between booking direct and booking with an online aggregator?
The first decision to make is whether you want to book direct through the rental company (such as Avis or Europcar) or through a booking engine or aggregator (like Expedia or Hotwire). We’ve previewed a mixture of both here, so you’ll have plenty to compare.
Something to keep in mind when deciding which to go for is the deals and specials each is offering. Sometimes it’s possible to get exclusive offers through aggregators, but going through an aggregator can occasionally create problems as it’s an extra ‘layer’ you have to go through if anything goes wrong. For example, if you need to change or modify your booking at a later date, you might have to contact the aggregator for details to contact the car hire company to make the amendments on your behalf.
If you’re going through an aggregator, read the terms and conditions properly so that you’re aware of who you will have to deal with at a later date and the processes to follow should any issues arise.
Global car hire giant Avis has been around since 1946. Since then it has expanded and currently has over 5,000 rental locations worldwide.
- Mobile app available for iOS
- Offers and specials available in the site’s deals section
- Avis Preferred Membership offers priority service and pricing
Despite the name Europcar is not confined to Europe. Since it was founded in 1949 it has spread to over 140 countries worldwide, and rents a wide variety of cars, vans and trucks.
- Redeem Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer points against your booking
- Accounts available for business customers
- Privilege Loyalty Program offers exclusive rewards and discounts
Hertz was founded in 1918 with just 12 Model-T Fords in its fleet. Today it has operations in over 146 countries and is the largest worldwide airport use car rental brand in the world.
- 24-hour roadside assistance with every booking
- Hertz Mobile Wi-Fi connects you to Wi-Fi wherever you go
- Hertz Gold Plus Rewards users receive exclusive rewards
Part of the Avis rental group, Budget specialises in cars and trucks for those on, well, a budget. It stocks a wide range of cars, vans and trucks in over 2,500 locations worldwide.
- RMS E-Toll in all bookings automatically charges any tolls incurred to your credit card
- Join the Budget Fastbreak program for exclusive rewards
- Earn FlyBuys or Qantas Frequent Flyer points on all bookings
Since it was founded in 1996, Expedia has become one of the world’s leading online travel agents and is a trusted site for finding online deals. It is known for flight and hotel bookings, but also offers rental car deals.
- Price match guarantee ensures it won’t be beaten on price
- Exclusive last minute deals
- Expedia+ provides members-only discounts and deals
Australian travel-planning site Wotif burst onto the scene in 2000, offering bookings for flights, hotels, packages and car hire.
- Customer reviews let you see what others thought of hotels, airlines and rental agencies
- No hotel booking fees
- Sign up to the newsletter for exclusive deals and savings
Hotwire specialises in unsold travel deals. This means that anytime a plane seat goes unsold, a hotel room goes unbooked or a hire care is not reserved, Hotwire swoops in and negotiates a cheaper rate for consumers.
- Exclusive rates and deals
- Get $10 off when you sign up for the newsletter
- Mobile app for on-the-go browsing and booking
Which of these retailers allow me to compare different car companies?
- Wotif compares car hire companies including Avis, Europcar, Budget, Sixt and Hertz
- Drive Now compares both car hire and campervan rental from popular companies including Hertz, Budget, Avis, Europcar, Britz, Jucy and Maui.
- Expedia compares car hire companies including Avis, Europcar, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty and Enterprise
- Webjet compares car hire companies including Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty
- BYOJet compares Avis, Thrifty, Europcar, Hertz and Budget
- Hotwire compares Alamo, Budget, Dollar Rent A Car, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National and Thrifty
Which car hire company should I choose?
There's no single right answer to this question. Sometimes it might be cheaper to book direct with the car hire company, but aggregators like Wotif and Expedia may feature special deals that you can only access through them.
If you’re looking for the cheapest car hire available for your trip, spend the time to see what each company and aggregator is offering in terms of cars, price and insurance costs, to make an informed decision. Don’t forget to check out our coupon codes and deals [link to the coupons below] to see what steals you can drive away with.
Which of these retailers allow me to add on hire car insurance?
Which car hire providers let me hire a caravan?
Want to book car hire online? Use one of our coupons:
Hire a car with Budget Car Hire through DriveNow for a minimum of four consecutive days and get your fourth day free of base rate charges. Available for pick ups at the airport in Cairns, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne (Tullamarine). Valid on select vehicles including family, full-size and SUVs.