The Best Car-rental Companies

The best car-rental companies, according to Travel + Leisure readers, make the borrowing process as seamless as possible.

Like the travel industry as a whole, car rental companies have had a rough couple of years – most notably the “carpocalypse” last summer. When demand dropped in 2020, they sold off their fleets, only to see demand return in full force the following year when air travel was curtailed. A shortage of rental cars drove up prices, leaving many customers without a vehicle even though they’d booked it. Nevertheless, many Travel + Leisure readers remained loyal to their preferred car rental companies.

Each year, T+L asks readers for their opinions on travel experiences around the globe – the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines and more – as part of its World’s Best Awards. Car rental companies were rated on vehicle selection, vehicle availability, car rental location, service and price.

Sixt (ranked No. 5) is the only European car rental company on this year’s list, but it’s expanding in the United States, giving it more visibility with voters. “Great value, easy to use – I forgot how good Sixt is,” said one voter. “I’d like to use it more often.”

WBA members Hertz, Alamo and Enterprise Rent-A-Car appear in the No. 4, No. 3 and No. 2 spots, respectively, this year. (Hertz and Enterprise have even both been awarded the WBA Hall of Fame, meaning they’ve been on the Best Car Rental Companies list for at least 10 consecutive years.) “The service at Enterprise is top notch every time I’m there. The value for the money is good. The cars are clean and well maintained,” said one voter. “I’ve no complaints.”

But it’s another WBA Hall of Fame inductee that tops this year’s list of best car rental companies. Read on to find out what our readers like about National.

1. National Car Rental

A man in silhouette at a National Rental Car counter
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

From 2014 to 2020, National Car Rental was voted the best car rental company by T+L readers, but last year, it was dethroned by Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Now it’s back on top as the “most flexible, reliable, and reasonable car rental agency,” according to one voter. Several other voters also commented on the company’s reliability and efficiency as chief reasons for choosing it over the competition. “I have never waited in line to check out my vehicle,” shared one fan. But its easy-to-use rewards program also won people over big-time. “When I travel I stick with National because of their rewards program,” they continued. “The more you use their company, the more you save.”

honoree. Score: 80.08

More information:

2. Enterprise Rent-A-Car

An Enterprise car rental location in Berlin, Germany
Michaela Bechinie/Getty Images

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 77.56

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3. Alamo

Guests at an Alamo rental car counter
Getty Images

Score: 75.23

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4. Hertz

Exterior of a Hertz rental car location
Courtesy of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc.

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 73.56

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5. Sixt

Fleet of rental cars at a Sixt rental location
Courtesy of Sixt

Score: 72.68

More information:

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