Differences between Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, National, Alamo, Thrifty, Payless, Dollar, Sixt, Europcar, Keddy, Goldcar, Flizzr, Firefly, Zipcar, Centauro and more.

Follow this guide discover the differences between Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, National, and more in 2024. Premium vs Middle and Low Cost segment.

In the world of car rentals, several names stand out: Avis and Budget, Hertz and Thrifty, or Enterprise and National. At first glance, they might appear to be independent companies, but a closer look reveals that several of these companies are part of the same conglomerate.

Why, then, would a single business group choose to maintain two distinct brands in the marketplace? The answer to this question reveals an intricate interplay of business strategy that considers various factors, from market segmentation to consumer perception and resource optimization.

In this article, we will explore the differences between Avis and Budget, and other brands, unraveling the reasons behind the existence of these two seemingly competing but complementary brands.

Find the main differences between Premium, Middle Segment, and Low-Cost car rental companies in 2024

To understand the differences between the car rental companies, they must be compared with those of their equivalent brands, i.e. within the same segment.

For this article, we have grouped the rental companies into three different segments, depending on the rental price, but also on the existence or not of additional costs when picking up the car, the type of fleet, the location of the offices, the services offered and their customer service, as well as the amounts of the franchise or the block on the card as a deposit.

Based on these ten variables, car rental companies can be classified into three generic segments: Premium Brands, Middle Segment, and Low-Cost Brands. You must know that the same company can exploit different brands for each segment, even the three segments at once (creating groups of companies with various brands), and each one has different marketing conditions. For example, Avis, Hertz, or Europcar have different brands depending on the segment they are going to.

The car rental companies operate fairly homogeneously within the same country, but some destinations have interesting differences. Sometimes the reason is that regions differentiate the franchises, or because there are differences in characteristics due to the type of predominant public in a destination, such as business trips in Washington or tourism in Las Vegas, which causes in Washington many companies to offer limited mileage and in Las Vegas, unlimited mileage.

For this reason, it is interesting to take a look at the general reviews of the car rental company, but also at the specific reviews in the destination. We have compiled reviews from renowned and independent websites about car rental companies, to offer a more complete and useful view of their experience, and we have built these sections on opinions by destinations.

Premium Car Rental Companies

They are characterized because their prices are slightly above average, they are reliable, they are located almost around the world, they are also located in almost all airports of the world and they have offices inside the terminals and railway stations. On the other hand, they do not have significant additional counter costs. They block reasonable amounts on the credit card, taking into account that you are going to drive a leading brand car.

For this segment, they use their main, prestigious brand. They are the leaders in the USA, UK, Europe, and around the world:

  • Avis: In our opinion, Avis is the leading global car rental provider. Founded in the USA, it has hundreds of awards and is present in +180 countries.
  • Hertz: Awarded as well with the 2015 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice. It was founded in the USA. Now it is present in +150 countries.
  • Europcar: this French company is present in +150 countries, and in 2016 was awarded the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice.
  • Sixt: Born in Germany, was founded in Munich in 1912. Now it is present in over 105 countries. It is characterized by offering a wide range of premium vehicles.
  • Enterprise: It was founded in St. Louis in 1957, USA. Now is present in more than 90 countries.
  • Advantage: It is a Canadian-owned car rental company headquartered in Orlando, Florida, and is one of the largest car rental companies in the United States

Middle Segment Car Rental Brands

This is a segment of brands with an intermediate price between Premium and Low-Cost, but with a level of service and customer satisfaction similar to Premium. They are usually located outside airport terminals and offer pick-up and delivery service by shuttle bus, or meet & greet service. In this segment, we usually find many good regional or local companies, especially the second brands of the Premium companies.

  • Budget (by Avis)
  • Thrifty (by Hertz)
  • Dollar (by Hertz)
  • Alamo, also Redspot Car Rental in some locations of Australia and New Zealand (by Enterprise)
  • National (by Enterprise)
  • Keddy (by Europcar)
  • E-Z Rent-a-Car (by Advantage)
  • Centauro (Spain)
  • Malco Rent a Car (regional in Spain)
  • Caro (a regional company established in Germany and Austria)
  • Ace Rental Cars
  • AeroDrive Car Rental (regional in New Zealand and Australia)
  • Apex Car Rentals (regional in New Zealand and Australia)
  • JUCY Car Rental(regional in the USA, New Zealand, and Australia)
  • RaD Car Hire(regional in New Zealand and Australia)
  • Omega Rental Cars(regional in New Zealand)

Low-Cost Car Rental Brands

Deeply rooted in the main tourist destinations of the Mediterranean Sea, such as Dubrovnik, Athens, Alicante, Valencia, Malaga, and Ibiza, although in recent years they have also spread to destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Sicily, Greek Islands, Milan, Pisa, Bordeaux, Nice, Marseille, Munich, Amsterdam, Berlin and more.

They offer very low prices when booking, but, as a general rule, users are surprised with credit card deposits of amounts greater than one thousand Euros (some Premium in some locations take also large deposits, please read always the car rental terms and conditions when booking). These amounts are defined in the terms and conditions, but many users do not pay attention to reading them. They count, on numerous occasions, with additional costs when collecting the vehicle, especially related to fuel.

Below you will find several examples of companies in the low-cost segment:

  • Payless (by Avis)
  • Zipcar (by Avis)
  • Flizzr (by Sixt)
  • Firefly (by Hertz)
  • FOX (by Europcar)
  • Goldcar
  • Autoclick
  • OK Rent a Car (Spain)
  • Easirent (UK)

there are many…

Differences AVIS vs BUDGET

Avis, Budget, and Zipcar, as well as local brands such as Maggiore, FranceCars, Apex, and Payless all, belong to the AvisBudgetGroup. Avis is the main brand and the others are its subsidiaries.

Avis is considered a high-end car rental company with higher prices, while Budget, Zipcar, Apex, or Payless are considered cheaper options. Generally, these companies rent from the same car parks and often even share the same counters. It is possible to rent the same car from any of them and pay a different price depending on the company you rent from.

So, what are the real differences between AVIS and BUDGET?

While AVIS targets the premium segment with newer vehicles and supposedly premium service, BUDGET targets more price-sensitive segments, although, in reality, the prices are usually pretty much on par with AVIS and customer ratings are always quite similar.

So, if not price, where is the real difference between AVIS and BUDGET? The real difference is in the booking conditions, such as insurance coverage, deposit, unlimited mileage, online check-in, etc. So as a conclusion, for practical purposes and for a middle-class type of customer,  the differences between AVIS and BUDGET are very few or none.

Differences between AVIS vs HERTZ

When deciding between AVIS and HERTZ for your car rental needs, it’s important to consider several key differences to ensure you choose the service that best fits your travel requirements.

  • AVIS is renowned for its exceptional customer service and premium vehicle offerings, positioning itself as the go-to option for business travelers and those seeking a luxurious driving experience. With an emphasis on comfort and class, AVIS also provides a more personalized rental experience with dedicated account managers for corporate clients.
  • HERTZ, in contrast, boasts a wider global reach, making it an excellent choice for travelers in need of a reliable car rental service almost anywhere in the world. It offers a diverse fleet that caters to all budgets and preferences, from economical cars for budget-conscious travelers to high-end luxury models for those looking to travel in style. HERTZ’s Gold Plus Rewards program is another highlight, offering generous rewards and benefits that enhance the rental experience for frequent travelers.

Both companies offer online and mobile app booking for convenience, but HERTZ tends to have a more streamlined digital experience, making it easier for customers to manage their reservations on the go. Additionally, HERTZ’s partnership with numerous airlines and hotels can provide added value through bundled deals or loyalty program benefits.

In terms of pricing, AVIS and HERTZ offer competitive rates, but specials and discounts may vary depending on the time of year and location. It’s always advisable to compare current promotions and deals directly on their websites or through a comprehensive comparison on our website to ensure you’re getting the best value for your rental.

Ultimately, the choice between AVIS and HERTZ should be based on your specific travel needs, preferences for vehicle selection, customer service expectations, and loyalty program benefits. Both companies have their unique strengths, making them leaders in the car rental industry.

Differences between Enterprise vs National vs Alamo

When selecting a car rental company for your travels, understanding the differences between Enterprise, National, and Alamo can significantly impact your rental experience. These three companies are part of the Enterprise Holdings, Inc. group (operating as Enterprise Mobility). Each brand caters to distinct customer preferences and travel needs, making it crucial to choose wisely based on your requirements.

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car is renowned for its exceptional customer service and extensive network of locations, making it an ideal choice for travellers looking for convenience and reliability. With a focus on catering to local renters needing vehicles for various purposes, Enterprise offers a wide range of cars, SUVs, and trucks, ensuring you can find a vehicle that suits your specific needs, whether it’s for business, leisure, or an unexpected car replacement.
  • National Car Rental, on the other hand, targets frequent business travellers with its Emerald Club program, which offers expedited service and free upgrades. National prides itself on efficiency and a hassle-free rental experience, making it the go-to choice for those who value speed and convenience. Its “Choose Any Vehicle on the Aisle” policy allows members to select any car at their reserved rate, providing flexibility and control over their rental experience.
  • Alamo Rent-A-Car offers a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality or selection. It caters primarily to leisure travellers and families, offering competitive rates, a wide selection of vehicles, and convenient rental options. Alamo also focuses on enhancing the customer experience with features like online check-in, which speeds up the rental process, making it easier for travellers to start their journey.

Each company’s loyalty programs, rental policies, and target audiences showcase their unique strengths.

  • Enterprise’s extensive network and focus on customer service make it a solid choice for a wide range of renters.
  • National appeals to business travellers with its speed and efficiency.
  • Alamo provides an excellent value proposition for leisure travellers.

Understanding these differences is key to selecting the best car rental company for your next trip.

What is the price difference between each type of car rental brand?

Please find below a table comparing the three-segment prices, deposits, and some extra charges. We have chosen Avis (Premium), Budget (middle segment by Avis), and Payless (low-cost segment by Avis). These prices have been compared at Las Vegas Airport (LAS), where the three brands are located.

BrandRental PriceBaby Seat CostAdditional DriverDeposit
AVIS $445$14.50/day $11/day $200
BUDGET $429$14.50/day $14/day $200
PAYLESS $428$14.50/day $11/day $200
PRICES TAKEN FROM AVIS, BUDGET, AND PAYLESS WEBSITES FOR 1 WEEK – FOR AN ECONOMY SEGMENT CAR.

Let everyone draw their conclusion. Differences between the Premium and Middle segments are quite insignificant. I believe that the difference is seen. Whether you only rent the car or book some extras, the difference is quite insignificant. So, in the same company group, it makes sense to book the cheapest option.

Some considerations to keep in mind about low-cost car rental companies.

Low-cost car rental companies tend to be the ones that generate the most doubts among users. This is because the car rental comparison sites hide or hinder finding and comparing most of the costs and additional conditions in the Terms and Conditions of the Rental.

The result is that travelers, in many cases, if they book with other comparators do not discover what they have rented until they pick up the car.

What insurance do I book? Car Rental Company Insurance Vs Car Rental Comparison Site Insurance.

First of all, we should know how car rental insurances work. This is a mess!!! Everything about car insurance is usually a little complicated to understand. Therefore, here we offer a simple and understandable guide that will make you not miss it.

But, at a glance… as default, all car rental companies include some coverages. The conditions of the coverage depend on each supplier, even if they have the same name, and they have to be specified in the terms and conditions that you sign when you pick up the car. On many occasions, there are problems caused by the insurance offered by rent-a-car comparators, since they are incompatible with those offered by the car rental companies themselves.

By kind or Insurance:

  • Default Car Rental Insurance = High or medium excess + High or medium Deposit.
  • Extended Insurance booked on Car Rental Comparison Websites. Better coverage than standard insurance, but … these insurances are private contracts between the User and a third Insurance Company (other different than the car rental company), which means that when you pick up the car you do not reduce excess or deposit. The customer must pay any damage to the vehicle to the car rental company, and then the user must contact the insurance company that was contracted to be refunded. High or medium excess + High or medium Deposit. Not a good option.
  • Extended Car Rental Insurance = Low or Cero Excess + Low or Cero Deposit. It is bookable at the desk or on the car rental brand website.

So, what do we recommend?

We recommend that you book your car on a Car Rental Comparison Website like CarRental.Deals because in some cases you can save up to 30, or 40% on the final rental price, and, with the money that you have saved, upgrade your insurance at the car rental desk. Even so, you are saving money.

Excess and Deposits by Car Rental Company Segment with Standard Coverages:

  • Premium: Medium or Low Excess & Medium or Low Deposits.
  • Middle Segment: Medium or Low Excess & Medium or Low Deposits.
  • Low Cost: High or Medium Excess & Very High or High Deposits (You are almost forced to contract the insurance extension at the counter if you want to reduce this prohibitive deposit)

Fuel policy

Fuel policy is one of the points that generate more conflict in Low-Cost companies. Please read in your car rental terms and conditions the fuel policy applied to avoid misunderstanding.

The fuel policy FULL/EMPTY implies that pick up the car with a full tank (you do not pay market fuel rates, you pay the fuel price that the company says), along with a fee of around 30 € for the service filling (and you must return empty since nothing is reimbursed for the amount of fuel left in the tank). This is NOT a good option.

The car rental company benefits from that remnant of gasoline since the next user will be charged the full deposit again. But it is also an interesting option for the traveler on some occasions, since, when it comes to returning the car, avoids having to find a gas station to fill the tank (something especially useful when we must take a flight at dawn).

The best Fuel Policy is FULL/FULL. If you want to know more about rental companies’ fuel policies, we recommend reading this article carefully.

Mileage

It is usually unlimited, but sometimes in some destinations, there are car rental companies with limited mileage. It is not difficult to view while booking, it is shown throughout the reservation process, in all the search engines. The reason is that tourists make fewer kilometers by car, compared to a person who rents a car to have work meetings.

For low-cost car rental companies, it is critical to return the cars to the manufacturer or sell them secondhand with as few kilometers as possible, that is why they charge the extra kilometers to compensate for the depreciation and discourage them from being used for professional purposes.

Book Now ↗

Booking a car at a good price is not a complicated task. We recommend using our search engine, but we also invite you to compare prices on other car rental comparison websites, and even on the official brand websites, and if you see it cheaper, reserve it.

We strongly recommend you read the Rental Terms and Conditions, you also need to take a look at the rental information by clicking on the “Important Information” button where you can find all the restrictions, excess, deposit amount, insurance coverage, and more.

Do not hire the insurance offered by the price comparison website. Upgrade or contract the insurance extension at the company’s counter.

And finally, if you are the type of person who looks more at the service than the price, do not hesitate and hire premium car rental companies. In many cases, there is very little price difference.

Enjoy Driving.

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