Like the travel industry as a whole, car rental companies have had a few rough years, most notably last summer’s ‘carpocalypse’. When demand fell in 2020, they sold their fleet, but the following year, when air traffic was limited, demand completely bounced back. A shortage of rental cars drove up prices and left many customers without vehicles despite bookings. Still a lot Travel + Leisure readers stayed true to their favorite car rental companies.
Every year, T+L asks readers for our World’s Best Awards survey to give their thoughts on travel experiences around the world – to share their thoughts on the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines and Lake. Rental car companies were rated on vehicle selection, vehicle availability, rental car location, service and value.
Sixt (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 to voters. “Great value, easy to use – most importantly I just forget how great Sixt is,” said one voter. “Would like to use it more.”
WBA luminaries Hertz, Alamo and Enterprise Rent-A-Car appear in 4th, 3rd and 2nd place respectively this year. (In fact, Hertz and Enterprise are both WBA Hall of Fame honorees, meaning they’ve been on the list of the best rental car companies for at least 10 consecutive years.) “The service at Enterprise is top notch every time I go. The price is right . The cars are clean and well maintained,” said one voter. “I have no complaints.”
But it’s another WBA Hall of Fame that tops this year’s list of the best car rental companies. Read on to find out what our readers love about National.
1. National car rental
National Car Rental was voted the best car rental company by T+L readers from 2014 to 2020, but was dethroned by Enterprise Rent-a-Car last year. Now it’s back on top as the “most flexible, reliable and reasonable car rental company,” according to one voter. Several other voters also commented on the company’s reliability and efficiency as top reasons for choosing it over the competition. “I’ve never waited in line to view my vehicle,” said one fan. But the user-friendly rewards program also won a lot of people. “When I travel, I stay with National because of their rewards program,” they continued. “The more you use their company, the more you save.”
WBA Hall of Fame Honored. Score: 80.08
More information: nationalcar.com
2. Enterprise Rent-A-Car
WBA Hall of Fame Honored. Score: 77.56
More information: enterprise.com
More information: alamo.com
WBA Hall of Fame Honored. Score: 73.56
More information: hertz.com
More information: sixt.com