Sixt vs Alamo
Two great car hire companies, but which is better? We sort out the differences (and the similarities).
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You could choose a car company simply by which is cheaper but there's so much more to it than price.
There's insurance, the type of vehicle, the cancellation policy and more.
TL;DR: Our verdict
Sixt wins this one by the hairs on its chin. It has more locations worldwide, accepts more payment methods worldwide (including traveller's cheques) and has a more flexible cancellation policy that allows you to cancel prior to the rental start for free on pay-on-the-day rentals.
Sixt vs Alamo
|Where can I hire a car?||Sixt has over 4,000 locations in:||Alamo has more than 1,500 locations in:||Sixt|
|What type of cars does it have?||Alamo|
|Does it require a deposit?||No, but paying a deposit decreases the overall price.||No||Both|
|Is insurance included?||Yes. Standard rental cover includes third party liability and a loss damage waiver to reduce your liability for loss or damage to the vehicle. Additional insurance can be purchased.||Yes. Alamo includes standard cover and loss or damage liability insurance in all its rentals. Additional insurance packages are available to purchase.||Both|
|How much is excess?||Sixt charges $5,500 for all vehicle groups.||$4,400 for economy to full-sized vehicles;|
$5,500 for larger vehicles
|Do I need to wash the car?||No, but the car must be in a reasonable state of cleanliness. Otherwise an $11 vehicle cleaning fee applies.||Alamo does not mention how clean cars should be when returned.||Both|
|Does it charge per mile/kilometre?||No, but on rentals with limited mileage, you may be charged per kilometre/mile for exceeding the mileage limit.||No. However, if your rental has limited mileage, you will be charged per kilometre/mile for exceeding the limit.||Both|
|Is there unlimited mileage?||Yes. Almost all Sixt rentals come with unlimited mileage. If mileage is limited, this will be outlined in the rental agreement.||Yes, on most rentals, depending on the location and vehicle type. If a mileage limit applies, it will be specified in the rental agreement.||Both|
|Does it rent to under 25s?||Yes, the minimum age is 21. However, drivers under 25 will be subject to an underage driver's fee. Drivers under 25 can only rent select vehicles.||Yes. However, drivers aged 21–24 must pay a young drivers surcharge and may be charged higher rates.||Both|
|Does it accept cash?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Does it price match?||No. The Sixt Best Price Guarantee ensures that Sixt's website has the lowest price available for your dates at the time of search. This doesn't guarantee that it'll honour better prices found elsewhere for its cars.||No||Both|
|Does it pick you up?||No||No||Both|
|What are my payment options?||Sixt|
|Does it accept debit cards?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Does it allow for cancellations/changes?||Yes. Pay-on-arrival rentals can be cancelled anytime before the rental begins for free. Prepaid rentals cancelled up to three days before hire will be charged a cancellation fee.||Yes. Pay-on-arrival rentals can be cancelled 24 hours or more before the rental begins for free. If cancelled less than 24 hours before the hire is meant to start, a $50 cancellation fee applies. Prepaid rentals are charged $50 if cancelled 24 hours in advance or $100 if cancelled less than 24 hours in advance.||Sixt|
|How long does it hold reservations?||Sixt holds prepaid rentals for 24 hours, while pay-on-the-day rentals are held for 1 hour.||Alamo usually honours vehicle reservations either until close of business or for 12 hours after the scheduled pick-up time, whichever comes sooner.||Both|
|Can I add an extra driver?||Yes. Additional drivers that meet the rental requirements can be added to your policy. The additional driver fee is $11 per person for a 1-day hire and decreases the more days hired.||Yes. Additional drivers must meet the age and licence requirements and present themselves at the rental counter alongside the primary driver. An additional driver fee applies. The amount varies but averages US$12 a day.||Both|
|Does it have manual and automatic cars?||Yes||Yes||Both|
|Is there a loyalty programme?||Sixt's Sixt Express Card gives holders loyalty-based membership upgrades, rental discounts, fast pick-ups and the ability to earn miles and points with various airline and hotel partners.||Alamo runs Alamo Insiders. This offers members everyday low rates, 5% off rentals and access to exclusive deals.||Both|
|Is GPS included?||No. This can be added for a fee.||No. This can be added for a fee.||Both|
|Can I return my car early?||Yes. Fees may apply.||Yes. Fees may apply.||Both|
|Book||Book with Sixt||Book with Alamo|
Which is cheaper?
To get down to the bottom of price, we went to the official websites of each and searched for a rental on the same dates, from the same pick-up point and for a driver aged 30+. We then looked at the absolute cheapest car on offer for our search.
In this test Sixt just sneaked in there as the cheaper rental with a $139.69 pay-on-arrival price. Alamo's cheapest option was $147.63.
Something to look out for when searching for cars with Sixt is that its first option is often not the cheapest but the most popular or recommended. You have to scroll further down to find better prices.
What are the deals like?
The majority of Sixt's deals are on select vehicles in specific locations only. Alamo's deals offer more variety with location and vehicle-based deals as well as base rate discounts and vehicle upgrades. The downside to Alamo is that most of its deals are aimed at hires within the US.
Check out the latest for both below.
Popular Sixt Car Rental coupon codes
|Last checked||Code description||Code|
|21 Sep 2020||Up to 15% off business car rental||********|
|19 May 2020||One way rentals from USD$9.99||********|
|6 Mar 2020||5% off when you pre-pay||********|
|6 Mar 2020||Free single upgrade + 5% off Insiders car rentals||********|
|5 Oct 2020||5% off for members||********|
Sixt vs Alamo: Who won?
The winner: There wasn't too much in this one to be honest but Sixt did come out on top. It has a cheaper rental in a like-for-like search (by a few dollars), has more locations worldwide and has a more flexible cancellation policy than Alamo.
In short, here's where these car rental companies’ points of differences lie:
- Cheaper rates in a like-for-like search.
- More locations worldwide.
- Accepts more forms of payment.
- Allows for free cancellations on pay-on-the-day rentals and fee-free cancellations on pre-paid rentals cancelled three days prior to rental date.
- Wider variety of vehicles to hire.
- Cheaper excess on economy and standard sized vehicles.
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