Given the popularity of car rental services, there are dozens of companies operating in this market. Alamo Rent a Car, National, Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, etc. These are just a few of the top providers. However, the complete list is actually much longer.
On the one hand, such a great diversity is good news, because competition helps to improve the quality of services provided. On the other hand, the abundance of car rental companies significantly complicates the choice, making the whole booking process a headache.
However, everything becomes much easier, if you know the criteria for choosing a car rental company. For your convenience, we have already prepared the most important factors that will help you choose the best vehicle from the best provider. Check them out now:
The selection of cars presented
The first and, perhaps, the most important criterion is the range of cars presented. It’s recommended to make a choice in favor of those companies that offer the greatest choice. Among them are Avis, Alamo, Thrifty, Sixt, as well as other well-known international providers. In this case, the driver can choose the best option based on his budget and requirements for the technical condition of the car.
Moreover, it’s important that the car rental company provides vehicles of various classes. The best suppliers allow you to rent both premium cars and economy-class vehicles. Also good are those companies that rent various categories of cars: sedans, minivans, SUVs, convertibles, vans, etc.
In addition to the wide choice, the quality of the vehicles matters. Each rental car must be in good condition. This must be confirmed by a technical inspection coupon. Otherwise, the customer runs the risk of falling for the tricks of cunning companies who first provide faulty cars, and then charge money for their repair.
Most often we are talking about small local firms. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure that the car fleet of the car rental organization is in good working order.
Possibility of online booking
Booking through the global network is not only a convenient service, but also a confirmation of the seriousness of the car rental company. In addition to booking, reputable dealers provide many additional options. For example, a free child seat, free additional driver option, full insurance, etc.
The possibility of booking via the Internet also allows you to get acquainted with the company's fleet in advance. In general, thanks to this criterion, you can immediately draw a conclusion about the quality of the services provided.
By the way, you don't have to look for the official websites of the companies. All major suppliers such as Hertz, Enterprise, or Alamo provide their services through intermediaries, the so-called brokers. These websites use search aggregator engines that collect all available deals from all companies in one place. This means you don't have to think about choosing a rental car from Alamo or Dollar - you compare deals and choose the best option.
Minimum and maximum car rental period
Another important criterion is the rental term. Experienced users of car rental services recommend opting for flexible companies that can provide a vehicle for both one day and several months. In the second case, a loyal company will always meet its client halfway and provide an additional discount. That’s why long-term car rentals are always more profitable than short-term ones.
In addition, many providers are ready to return part of the paid amount in the event that you return the vehicle before the agreed time.
Insurance protection, mileage and deposit
Any car rental vehicle must be insured against any emergencies. Most often, each deal includes a basic package of Collision Damage Waiver, as well as Third Party Liability insurance. However, if you look closely at the conditions, it can happen that the insurance included in the base price doesn’t protect the driver in the event of many unpleasant events that entail really high costs.
The mileage limit is also important when traveling in a rental car. Usually, well-known companies such as Alamo, Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty and others include unlimited mileage in all of their deals. But this limitation depends on the specific car rental company. Therefore, it’s necessary to find out in advance whether any mileage limit will apply to the selected car.
When choosing a rental company, you can also pay attention to the amount of the deposit, methods of payment for services (pay now or pay later), and the features of returning the vehicle.
Other important criteria
In addition to all of the above features, the following things are also decisive in choosing the right company for your road trip:
Experience. If you don’t want to experiment, but want to be sure that everything will be fine, choose a company that has been on the market for many years. For example, Alamo opened in 1947, Hertz opened in 1918 or Budget founded in 1958 would be great choices. Working with an experienced company will eliminate the occurrence of unpleasant situations.
Reputation. Positive customer reviews are also important - read them online. If the company has much more cons that prons, then you shouldn’t choose it.
Prices and pricing policy. You shouldn't overpay for what you can get cheaper with the same quality. If a company inflates its price, then there’s no point in contacting it. In addition to the prices themselves, pay attention to the pricing policy, for example, discounts for long-term rentals and prices for additional services.
Attitude towards customers. Before ordering services, contact the company and ask for help. If a company employee is knowledgeable in all matters, then this is a good provider.
Additional services. Some companies can offer you something else in addition to a rental car – for example, free extra options, discounts or a free car upgrade. This is also a great way to build your trust.