The 6 Best Car Rental Companies in the USA (Updated June 2021)

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What to consider when booking a rental car

How far in advance should I book a car rental at the best price?

The misconception is that it is better to book as early as possible to reserve a rental car, between three and six months is optimal. This has become even more important recently, with last minute bookings almost impossible to find and car shortages occurring across the country.

Are some days cheaper than others to pick up a vehicle?

Weekend pickups tend to be slightly cheaper, with Monday and Tuesday pickups generally being slightly more expensive. Compare airport pickups against locations in the city, even including a taxi to those locations. Some cities will always be cheaper at the airport, while others will see just the opposite.

Is It Worth Paying For Rental Car Insurance?

First of all, you might already be covered, so check with your

car insurance
or call your insurance company to find out if your current coverage extends to a rental car. Car rental companies typically offer the following coverage options over the counter when you sign the rental agreement, and it’s really up to individual circumstances to purchase them (although some sort of liability insurance is usually mandatory):

Loss / Damage / Collision Waiver: This usually waives financial responsibility if the car is damaged or stolen, towed or incurs similar costs. Typical cost: $ 9 to $ 19 per day.

Liability insurance: This is usually mandatory coverage, which protects you against possible legal action and usually costs between $ 7 and $ 14 per day.

Personal accident insurance covers medical expenses that could be incurred after an accident. Typical cost: $ 1 to $ 5 per day.

Personal Effects Coverage insures against theft any belongings you might keep in the rental car and typically costs $ 1 to $ 4 per day.

Should I join rental car loyalty programs?

Most loyalty programs are free, and sometimes there are benefits or immediate offers, so there really is no downside to signing up. As with airline loyalty programs, the more you can earn using the same company, the more benefits you will earn. Frequent renters should therefore consider their travel plans and the companies that will offer the most attractive benefits to members.

Joining a loyalty program is even more appealing right now as it often comes with perks like skipping the line or getting priority. With waiting times longer than ever before and queues at many locations, these special lines can come in very handy.

Where can I get a rental quote?

Most car rental companies will gladly provide quotes on their websites without too much information. Third-party comparison sites are also very popular and can list dozens of options after entering personal information just once.

What if I arrive for my reservation and no car is available?

Unfortunately, this is becoming a real possibility amid the ongoing rental car shortages. Always try to call ahead to confirm your reservation and check if there are currently cars on site at your rental location. However, if you show up and your car is not available, you have several options.

First, ask if there is another car available in a different class than the one you originally booked. Ideally, you may be able to upgrade to a better car than the one you originally reserved at no additional cost if the company is responsible for your car being unavailable. However, if they only have cars available in a downgraded class, this may still be a better option for you than no car at all. Just make sure you get a credit or at the very least a voucher for the price difference.

You can also ask if the company has another location nearby where a car can be available. If you need to go somewhere else, ask if the company will pick up your taxi or Uber. If it’s late in the day, you may also want to consider returning earlier the next day to see if any cars have been returned.

If no car with your original company is available, unfortunately your only option may be to search around at other rental companies or on a peer-to-peer site. You should always ask for a refund if this becomes the case, but be prepared for the fact that if you had a prepaid reservation you may have to track down the company and wait several weeks for your money back.

Are car rentals safe?

The CDC noted that travel to the United States is safe for those who are fully vaccinated.

Additionally, like hotels, car rental companies such as Enterprise, Alamo, National, Avis and Budget have all announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 and are stepping up their cleaning and disinfection procedures.

Our experts looked at the overall safety of these car rental policies and agreed that a properly sanitized vehicle is much less dangerous than the presence of infected humans. Strict checklists, new cleaning products, curbside and contactless pickup, as well as the thorough cleaning and disinfection of every vehicle when returned by a customer or carried by employees are all a part of it. new levels of service designed to allay concerns about COVID-19.


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