Having your own vehicle is, in my humble opinion, BY FAR the best way to explore a country.
It offers you maximum flexibility with your schedule.
Plus it can actually save you money and lost time on slow public transport.
However renting a car can be expensive, and you’re probably thinking …
“How do I find the best car rental deals?”
Don’t worry I’m here to help.
Below, I’ll be outlining the absolute best car rental sites to save you some research time.
Whatever you’re after, you’re sure to find a company in this guide that suits you.
So, let’s dive right in…
Before we take a look at the best websites for rental cars there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Hiring a vehicle can be a bit overwhelming, so make sure you’ve done your research first.
To give you a good idea of what to expect, here are some things that you’ll want to keep in mind!
It’s important to note that some car rental sites will only hire a vehicle to you if you’re over the age of 25. While this may seem strange, it’s to do with insurance policies.
For those who are 21 and over some rental companies will offer you a hire vehicle. However, you’ll likely be paying a young driver surcharge. This means the prices can often increase dramatically!
Some countries do allow you to hire a car from the age of 18-19 but it all depends on where you're traveling too.
Here's a guide to the minimum age requirements for hiring a car in various countries!
Many rental car websites nowadays offer no excess cover. If you’re familiar with insurance terms, then you’ll know that this is something you’ll want to look out for.
Essentially, no excess cover means you won’t have to pay anything if the car is damaged or involved in an accident.
However, some policies tend to be a bit more sneaky with the wording. In other cases, ‘zero excess’ policies will have plenty of exclusions, (and some hidden costs) so you’ll want to check the wording before you buy.
Some car rental companies will give you basic insurance which usually covers collision damage waivers, theft, and third liability insurance. However, this will vary depending on your country.
Car rental agencies in Europe tend to cover this in your rental deal, but in the United States, you’ll need to pay for it yourself (and you’re often required to do this).
However, you can save more by purchasing a car hire excess insurance policy. If you can’t find a good ‘zero excess’ policy, then this way you can avoid hefty charges if something were to go wrong.
One of the most important things to research before you hire a car is to check what documents you need. This will generally be the same with each car rental company but will differ depending on which country you’re traveling to.
While some countries allow you to hire a car with your standard driving license, others require an international driving permit.
It’s likely you’ll also need at least 6 months on your passport and your DVLA driving license code. This again will differ depending on your country of origin and where you’re hiring a car.
This is something that many people often don’t think about when it comes to hiring a car. However, it’s an important one!
You’ll find that there are a variety of fuel policies available including:
Here’s some more information on how to choose the right fuel policy…
We all know that companies can be naughty with this, and unfortunately, car rental booking sites are no different!
The last thing you want is to be hit with unexpected charges, and these can include damage charges, admin charges, and taxes.
You’ll also want to make sure your rental policy has everything you need like unlimited mileage!
Depending on where you’re traveling, car rentals can sell out way in advance. This is especially the case with popular road trip destinations like Alaska, Iceland, and Portugal.
If you’re traveling during peak season in particular, then you’ll need to book your car rental in advance. This will allow you to get the vehicle you’d really like rather than just what’s left.
You can also get some fantastic early-bird deals. Trust us, it pays to plan your trip promptly!
I cannot stress this one enough! Before you’ve left the depot, make sure you check the vehicle for any scratches, dents, or marks.
If you don’t notice these when you leave, then you could easily be charged for them when you drop the vehicle off. If you notice anything make sure you mention it to the company before you take the car.
Better yet, take pictures as these will be dated and have a timestamp!
For those trying to travel cheaply, you may want to opt for a campervan instead. This way, you can save money on accommodation too!
We’re currently driving around the world in our campervan, and we can wholeheartedly recommend this way of travel. Not only does it give you a fantastic experience, but there are plenty of awesome campgrounds around too.
For more information about campervan and motorhome rentals, you can check out some of our guides:
Rentalcars are one of the most popular options when it comes to hiring a car. They offer a simple way of booking a rental, and you’ll find a wealth of options on offer.
All you need to do is type in your dates, your pick-up destination, and the driver’s age. Then Rentalcars will bring together a list of offers from different hire companies.
At first, the list can look a little overwhelming as there are so many options. However, you can filter out these options by car specifications, mileage, price range, and fuel policy.
Rentalcars is undeniably one of the cheapest sites for car rentals as they pull together a list of the best deals. This makes them the perfect option for those road-tripping on a budget!
If you’re traveling around North America then make sure you check out Rhino Car Hire!
Boasting 24/7 multilingual customer service, flexible locations, and no hidden fees, there are tons of benefits to booking your rental with this comparison site.
Like Rentalcars, you just need to input the information, and then you’ll be offered a variety of options. Then you can filter out the vehicles based on your preferences.
If you’re still struggling to choose then why not ask Rhino’s expect car hire team for advice? They can help give you an idea of the type of car you need.
Comparing rental options within Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico, there are tons of pick-up locations available. This allows you to plan the ultimate road trip!
When it comes to car rentals, Hertz is known as one of the top companies. They offer car hire in 6 of the 7 continents (excluding Antarctica obviously), with over 150 countries being covered.
Whether you’re looking for cheap car rentals, electric vehicle hire, or you’d prefer to splash the cash - this company has something for everyone.
One of the best things about booking a hire car with Hertz is that you’ll benefit from their loyalty program. With Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, you can earn points that are redeemable against upgrades and free rental days!
Throughout the year, you’ll also find that they have plenty of offers on their website. This can include deals of up to 35% and $150 off monthly rentals.
Not only that, but this car rental site has partner deals that you can take advantage of too!
Turo is the Airbnb version of car rentals and is a fantastic option if you’re road-tripping on a budget.
It’s essentially a car-sharing marketplace, where you can hire a vehicle from a host, rather than a car rental agency. Although a rather unique concept, it means you’ll save lots of money.
Not only is the platform simple and easy to use, but you’ll get the exact car that you book. Whereas other car hire companies often state ‘specific makes and models may vary in availability’.
Turo is one of the cheapest car rental websites out there and offers a unique way for you to hire a vehicle. You’ll have lots of options, and it’s a great way to save some cash.
Getaround is another peer-to-peer rental site that’s available around the world. However, it covers plenty of locations in Europe whereas other sites don’t.
Also known as Drivy, Getaround is the largest round-trip car-sharing fleet on the European continent. In fact, there are nearly 3,500 cars available to be booked instantly.
One of the best things about using Getaround is that the company provides its own insurance coverage for every rental, rather than the owners having to sort out a policy.
This means that you’ll have a good policy, and not have to worry about the renter skimping out on insurance!
Not only that, but one of the company's key policies is sustainability. This means you’ll be helping the environment if you decide to hire a car with Getaround.
Zipcar is another peer-to-peer rental company but with a rather unique idea. Rather than specific dates, you can hire a car for the amount of time that you’ll need.
For example, if you’re only looking to do a day trip then you can hire a car through Zipcar but only for the number of hours you'll require.
The great thing about Zipcar is that it’s membership-based and includes plenty of benefits. For only $9 a month you’ll get secondary insurance, gas, maintenance, and 24/7 roadside assistance included with every trip.
Of course, you’ll then need to pay for the hourly car rate after that which ranges between $11-$100.
Zipcar is available in over 400 cities in the United States, and also covers cities in Canada, the UK, France, Turkey, and Taiwan among others.
Next up we have Driveshare - a peer-to-peer alternative for classic and quirky car rentals. This car-sharing platform focuses on classic cars, so is a great option if you’re looking to splash the cash.
It’s owned by the car insurance company Haggerty and is the perfect choice if you’re looking for exotic cars. There are plenty of them on offer including ford mustangs, 1970 triumphs, a Porsche 356 speedster, and Ford Thunderbirds.
You’ll literally be able to hire your dream car from a collector, and you’ll be in good hands as the company is owned by an insurance company.
Although Driveshare specializes in classic cars there are some newer exotic cars on offer too. These can cost up to $1,500 per day, so they’re more of an option for those with lots of money!
If you’re looking for a luxury car rental company then you need to check out Driverso! They offer car hire within 7 countries in Europe, and the United Kingdom is included too.
For those looking for something a bit more special and jazzy, then Driverso has plenty of options. They’ve got a variety of luxury vehicles available to hire including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Maseratis.
However, it’s not just sports cars that they offer. Boasting a collection of convertibles, SUVs, and luxury vans, there’s something for everyone.
Aside from the range of vehicles, their booking process is extremely simple too. They offer a hassle-free experience with real-time availability whilst booking, a model guarantee, and a door-to-door service.
Driverso also offers free cancellation up to 3 days before your rental, so they’re pretty flexible!
If you’re in the United States rather than Europe, then Apex Luxury Car Hire is the equivalent of Driverso.
Apex does operate in Europe too, but they also have four sites in the U.S. This includes Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City so their depots are widespread.
They offer a variety of luxury and exotic car rentals, ranging from sports cars and supercars to luxury SUVs and prestige rentals. This means there’s something for everyone!
Apex Luxury Car Hire also offers chauffeur cars, limousines, wedding cars, and convertibles, so you won’t be short of options - whatever the occasion.
Another great thing about Apex is that they offer long-term rentals. So what are you waiting for?
If you’re used to driving an electric vehicle or you’d prefer to be more eco-friendly then UFO Drive may be the company for you!
You can book a rental right from your smartphone, which makes the booking process super easy. Pick-ups (and returns) are available 24/7 too as there’s a self-service experience available.
Not only does this make UFO Drive extremely convenient, but all-electric charging for the vehicles is included. You won’t have to worry about finding charging points either, as you can use the app or car navigation system to show you the options.
For those looking to hire an electric car, then UFO Drive is one of the best rental car websites out there!
This is the leading company in the U.S. for tesla rentals and for good reason! Teslarents is known for its dedicated customer service team, simple car guides, and attention to detail.
For starters, they offer 24/7 access and delivery which makes hiring a car extremely convenient. You can book online too, so you won’t need to wait in a queue at the depot!
If you’re concerned about the charging situation then you don’t need to be. You’ll have access to Tesla’s supercharger network, so you’ll always be able to find a charging point.
You also don’t need to worry about a re-charging fee when you drop the vehicle off as it’s covered in the rental price!
If you’re in the United Kingdom and you’re interested in tesla rentals then check out Ev Go. The depot is located in London, but the company does offer delivery of your vehicle.
If you’ve not driven a tesla before, then you’ll be given a full vehicle handover upon collection or delivery. This way, you’ll be fully prepared to hit the road!
There’s no denying that tesla rentals can be pretty expensive, but with Ev Go, you can hire one for as little as £99 per day. However, you’ll need to inquire about the exact cost.
In fact, you’ll need to fill out an inquiry form for everything or you can ring their phone number. Unfortunately, this means you can’t quickly see the company's vehicle availability.
Ultimate Drives is one of the best sites for rental cars if you’re looking to drive a fancy sports car! They have over 10 years of experience in the rental market, and they only work with the best car suppliers in Europe.
There are 6 hubs located in Europe, but the cars can be shipped to other destinations on the continent. The cost will depend on the distance between the two depots, and you’ll be given this information during your quote.
Each rental includes insurance for two drivers and 200 km per day - so just keep that in mind if you’re planning to do a long road trip!
As well as luxury car hire, Ultimate Drives also offer driving holidays, supercar experiences, and other events!
Although Alamo is known as one of the best cheap car rental websites, they have much more to offer than that.
Aside from your everyday vehicles, Alamo also offers exotic sports cars, performance sports cars, and luxury sports cars. Trust me, there are a lot of options!
Some of the many cars you can hire include a Porsche Cayman, a Chevrolet corvette, and an Infiniti Q60. They’re all automatic transmissions too so are super easy to drive!
Even better, Alamo has over 340 locations in North America, including Canada, Mexico, and the United States. That means no matter where you’re heading, there’s likely to be a pick-up point near you.
Just keep in mind that Alamo doesn’t come with Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), so you’ll need to purchase this for an additional fee. It’s not a requirement but I definitely recommend it!
There’s no denying that Sixt is one of the best places to rent a car from. They’re a popular option for everyday rentals, but they’re also perfect if you’re planning a one-way trip or you need a long-term hire.
Some one-way rentals are free of charge depending on the route, whilst others there will be an additional charge for. However, you’ll still get great rates!
When it comes to long-term hire, you can rent a car with Sixt for up to 120 days. You’ll often save plenty of money this way, as you’ll be entitled to special offers.
Sixt operates in over 100 countries, and they have over 2000 locations worldwide, so there’s a good chance you’ll have a location near you!
American Express Travel or Amex Travel is a great option for hiring a car if you’ve got a credit card of theirs. This way, you can earn plenty of points to put toward future purchases.
We signed up for the Amex Gold Card (check it out here and get 22,000 bonus points through my referral link).
Technically you won’t be booking a car through American Express, you’re just using it as a comparison site. Just search your location and preferred dates, and then you’ll be given a variety of options.
You’ll then be given a list of cars available through different companies such as Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, and Avis. If you’re overwhelmed with the options, you can filter them by the car company, price, and car type to make things easier!
Not only will you earn points on your card this way, but you’ll often be given special ‘card member rates’ on your rental.
You will of course need to be an Amex card holder to make use of these benefits.
But in general, if you do spend a lot each month and want to start getting free travel perks, then looking into the Amex Gold Card could be a good idea.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on the best car rental sites!
As you can see, there are plenty of rental car sites to choose from and it all depends on what you’re after. To give yourself a rough idea, ask yourself these questions…
Would you prefer a peer-to-peer rental?
What budget are you working with?
Are you looking for an electric vehicle?
If you’re after cheap rental cars then you’re best off hiring from a peer-to-peer platform. For those with a bit more flexibility, you can check out a comparison site like Rental Cars.
There are also plenty of car hire companies that focus on luxury vehicles like Teslas, sports cars, and fancy range rovers. Just take your time and make the right decision for you!
Whatever you choose to do, there are endless opportunities when it comes to epic road trips!
Some of our favourite places to explore this way include Canada, the West Coast of America, Scotland, and the Baltic Countries.
If you’ve enjoyed this guide then here are some others that you may find helpful:
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