National Car Rental took the number 1 spot for best car rental company of 2023, according to a ranked list by Trips to Discover, a travel discovery platform.
Trips to Discover did a month-long analysis of the nation’s eight largest car rental companies. The ranking system included price, transparency, average fees, cancellations costs, availability, pay-now discounts, car class, size, and baggage space. The company analyzed 176 mock rental car bookings at the five largest U.S. airports. Rental durations ranged from three to nine days.
For National Car Rental, an average daily cost for a rental car (AVG) is $132.37. Average fee percent (of total price) is 14.4%. It has no average max cancellation fees and no pay-now discount. According to the analysis, National is the second most expensive option, but it ranks high on the other 12 metrics, including transparency, customer satisfaction, and fees. National charges the least amount of fees in proportion to the total checkout price.
Alamo Rent a Car comes in second place with an average daily cost of $111.39 and 16.08% for average fee percent of total price. According to the analysis, Alamo has a lower daily cost than National, but it does charge cancellation fees for no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car comes in third place with an average daily cost of $119.03 and an average fee percent of 15.19%. Dollar Rent-a-Car takes fourth place with an average daily cost of $114.18 and average fee percent of 15.24%.
Thrifty Car Rental takes fifth place with an average daily cost of $110.34 and an average fee percent of 17.65%. Avis Car Rental comes in sixth place with an average daily cost of $136.60 and an average fee percent of 14.81%. According to the data, Avis charges the highest cancellation fees at $496.50 per booking.
Finishing out the list, Hertz takes the seventh spot and Budget Rent a Car finishes in eighth place. Hertz has an average daily cost of $131.02 and an average fee percent of 14.70%. Hertz charges cancellation fees for “pay later” options. Budget’s average daily cost is $121.63 and its average fee percent is 16.04%. Budget has one of the highest cancellation rates averaging $492.90, and it offers one of the lowest prepaid discount rates (average of $40.85).
When trying to find the cheapest rental car company, Trips to Discover calculated the average total checkout cost of all bookings for each of the eight rental companies. When looking at the average checkout price, Alamo has the least expensive rental rate at $495.60 while Hertz has the most expensive rate at $613.30. For calculating actual daily average rate, Thrifty provides the best deal at an average of $110.34 per day while Avis has the most expensive daily rate at $136.60.
For average rental car fees, the analysis found that Alamo charges the least amount of fees, averaging $78.01 per booking. Hertz charges the most fees at $89.34 per booking.
At an average of $131.24 per booking, Dollar offers the highest average discount for booking a prepaid rental car, according to the analysis. Alamo provides the smallest average discount at $23.85 per prepaid rental car booking.