As United States has now gradually started to reopen its airports, more people are likely to hit the roads in a bid to avoid air travel. However, for those without a car, car rental is a trusted option. These companies offer competitive pricing, new cleaning and sanitization processes in place. We have picked up the best rental car companies based on factors, like affordable pricing, number of locations, flexible cancellation policies, customer service, top reviews and ratings, and thorough cleaning procedures as well.
In this travel guide prepared by Treknova, we will take a look at the best rental car companies at airports in the United States.
Rental Car Companies at the airport
There are quite a lot of car rental companies in the U.S. Each one is different from the others in terms of the services they offer to travellers.
Below is a list of rental car companies that operate ground transportation services to and from airports in the United States.
- Alamo Rent-A-Car
- National Car Rental
In the next section, we will compare and contrast these cars rental companies and find out which ones are the best.
Are All Rental Car Companies the Best?
Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and National car rental companies have all announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. They are stepping up their cleaning and sanitization policies and procedures for everyone’s safety and hygiene.
We have thus, weighed in on the overall safety of such policies and agreed that a well-sanitized vehicle is much less of a danger than being around infected humans. Concerns such as strict checklists, new cleaning products, curbside and contactless pick-up, and the thorough cleaning and disinfecting of each vehicle when returned by a customer or transported by employees are all part of new levels of service with regard to COVID-19 pandemic.
People book cars to run errands and to get to and from work, if they are essential workers who are not comfortable using public transportation. As forward planning becomes less predictable, many public transportation companies have updated their cancellation policies. Therefore, it is essential that customers should check the company’s policies very carefully before signing any rental agreement. Additionally, it is also worth considering taking out a specific travel insurance policy that would cover some costs in case of any unforeseen changes.
Alamo, Enterprise and National are reportedly extending their existing no-fee cancellation policy to include customers with direct pre-paid rentals. In the case of Hertz, young renter fees have been waived and the minimum age has been lowered from 20 to 18 years old to help college students and young drivers. Additionally, customers with pre-paid Hertz rentals that were booked prior to March can cancel for no fee and transfer their balance toward a future booking within 24 months.
Best Rental Car Companies
Going forward, several things have been taken into consideration to compare and find the best rental car companies. These include price points, the number of nationwide locations (airport and otherwise), and impressive customer service satisfaction.
These are the best car rental companies:
- Enterprise is our top pick for the best overall car rental company.
- Hertz is our top pick for the best car rental company based on customer satisfaction.
- National is our top pick for the best car rental company based on website and app.
- Alamo Rent-A-Car is our top pick for the best car rental company based on cheap quotes.
1. Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Best Overall
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a trusted name that performs really well across all categories, including customer satisfaction, online booking and price. According to a recent survey, Enterprise scored higher points for their website, mobile app and overall customer satisfaction.
COVID-19 cleaning policy: Enterprise Rent-A-Car has come up with a new “Complete Clean” pledge. Their pledge includes washing, vacuuming, general wipe down, and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading health authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points.
New cancellation and fees policies: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the car rental company is now extending its existing no-fee cancellation policy to include customers with pre-paid rentals booked directly through them. Previously, pre-paid rentals that were cancelled would incur a fee. However, the cancellations must be made 24 hours or more before the pick-up, otherwise, a no-show fee of $100 will be assessed.
Enterprise’s daily rate can be slightly higher than the average car rental rate. But, the company reports that it has reduced other additional charges, such as those for drivers under the age of 25.
2. Hertz: Best Customer Satisfaction
Hertz car rental company is known to have one of the best long-term reputations with their presence for over a decade. The company now has more than 1,600 locations at airports in the United States alone, with a varied fleet and an impressive rewards program. Hertz’s pick-up and drop-off processes at airports are particularly efficient, which was one of the main factors behind their high score, according to a recent survey.
COVID-19 cleaning policy: The company’s new cleaning policy is quoted as a 15-point cleaning checklist, and all cars that have been sanitized are being marked with a “Hertz Gold Standard Clean” sticker. This will only be broken when the car’s driver accesses the rental for the first time, meaning that the driver’s area is properly disinfected as a last step when the car is moved to its final location.
New cancellation and fees policies: Young renter (under 25) fees are now waived and the minimum renter age permitted is lowered from 20 to 18 years old. This is to allow college students and young drivers return home. Customers with pre-paid Hertz rentals booked prior to March 13 can cancel their reservation for no fee and transfer their balance for use toward a future booking within 24 months. Otherwise, regular cancellation fees will be apply. The full price for a no-show is $50 if cancelled more than 24 hours before pick-up, and $100 if cancelled less than 24 hours before pick-up.
The quotes for short term rentals with Hertz are slightly higher than some of the company’s competitors, especially when renting for just a day or two. Longer-term rentals are more competitive.
3. National: Best Car Rental Company Website and Mobile App
National Car Rental company is particularly proud of its services and loyalty program for business travellers. Their focus on customer service bleeds over into its leisure customer service as well. This is most apparent in its website and mobile app, both of which are highly regarded with the company being ranked first and second place respectively, in those categories in a recent survey of various travel industry online portals.
COVID-19 cleaning policy: National Car Rental shares its sister company Enterprise’s “Complete Clean Pledge”, which also includes washing, vacuuming, general wipe down and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading health authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points.
New cancellation policy: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the car rental company is extending its existing no-fee cancellation policy to include customers with pre-paid rentals booked directly through them. Previously, pre-paid rentals that were cancelled would incur a fee. However, cancellations must be made 24 hours or more before the pick-up, otherwise, a no-show fee of $100 will be assessed.
National Car Rental happens to be somewhat focused more on business travellers and does not currently offer drop-off or pick-up services.
4. Alamo Rent-A-Car: Best Rental Car Company for Cheap Quotes
Alamo Rent-A-Car rental car company is known for being a well-established and well-trusted name in the rental car market. Alamo’s prices were regularly among the cheapest prices we found when gathering quotes both through the various companies’ own websites and third-party comparison sites. Though the company has relatively fewer locations, its prices are always very competitive.
COVID-19 cleaning policy: Alamo shares the “Complete Clean Pledge” offered by Enterprise and National car rental companies. These include washing, vacuuming, general wipe down, and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading health authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points.
New cancellation and fees policies: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the car rental company is extending its existing no-fee cancellation policy to include customers with pre-paid rentals booked directly through them. Previously, pre-paid rentals that were cancelled would incur a fee. However, cancellations must be made 24 hours or more before the pick-up, otherwise, a no-show fee of $100 will be assessed.
Alamo Rent-A-Car has slightly fewer locations than many of its competitors, and the locations it does have are very concentrated on airports.
Thus, taking into account all the new procedures and policies, all factored into our list of top car rental companies.
Other Reputable Car Rental Companies that Didn’t Quite Top Our List
There are, however, other car rental companies that did not rank well in our list of the best rental car companies. This is probably because of the same factors that were taken into consideration in the comparison.
These companies are listed below:
Although being good and offering affordable quotes for weekly rates, and having a great mobile app, however, the company’s loyalty program makes it challenging to earn points. Also, the airport pick-ups can be subject to additional fees.
Despite having a fine number of locations, however, Budget car rental company also has a less attractive loyalty program. Also, the airport pick-ups can be subject to additional fees.
The car rental company called Dollar, has an average pricing for the industry, but locations are not quite as widespread. Also, it offers fewer benefits, for example, there is no at-home drop-off or pick-up service available to customers.
The car rental company called Sixt is a big name in Europe that is also making strides in the American market. However, what concerns more is their car sizes, which might seem ungenerous to American companies.
The car rental company called Thrifty offers attractive, competitive prices. However, due to their fewer locations than many of their peers, and a less expansive loyalty scheme keeps it at the bottom of our list.
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Enterprise, time and time again, has led an example through their customer service. A lot of customers may have a negative disposition before they even walk into the rental office, which can be extremely difficult for both you and the representative you will be speaking with. Despite the difficulties that most car rental companies face, Enterprise has an impressive track record for quality customer service and resolving problems. For instance, if you contact the company about something being incorrect on your final statement, whether it is an odometer reading or something of the sort, they will apologize and work out the situation immediately.
Does that mean the company will always work out in your favour? Although the answer may be a No, however, they are respectful and professional about everything. There are a few stories online about their customer service, just keep in mind that they have over 6,000 global car rental locations and more than half-a-million cars in tow. There is bound to be mistakes, but Enterprise is quick enough to make things right.