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16 July 2021

Car hire broker comparison

Using a car hire broker increases your options. But which one should you use choose? We have compared car hire brokers to show you the best and worst.
Which?Editorial team
Travel and leisurereviews nscar hire comparisoncar hire broker comparison 442217

Using a broker means you're not booking directly with the company that will give you a car when you arrive at your destination. 

Unscrupulous practices prevail in the car hire industry and a good broker can add a layer of protection, acting as a buffer between customer and car hire supplier. It provides assistance if things go wrong, investigating issues and potentially resolving them more quickly than a provider would. It can also ask car hire suppliers to review cases where it doesn't think the customer has been treated fairly. A good broker can also save you money, negotiating bulk rates with suppliers.

Unfortunately, not all brokers offer a brilliant service or money saving rates. And not all brokers have provided full cash refunds for car hire that was disrupted by the pandemic. It's very important that the broker's website makes absolutely clear what charges you will have to pay when you arrive, and what your rights to a refund are if the booking is cancelled.

To help you choose, we have rated five of the most-used car hire brokers, on criteria such as the clarity of the price, ease of booking and how satisfied customers were with the car hire company that actually provided the car.

Only one company met our criteria to be awarded Which? Recommended Provider status. This means that it not only provided the best customer experience, but also met our Covid refund requirements and passed our pricing transparency tests. 

We also rated leading car hire companies including Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Goldcar and Hertz to find out the best and worst car hire companies.

Car hire brokers rated

The booking
The experience
Which? Recommended Provider
Clarity of final hire cost
Customer service
Clarity of information about car hire supplier
Overall satisfaction with car hire supplier
Customer Score

Using the table: Star ratings are from one to five, the more the better. Companies with the same customer score are presented in alphabetical order. Sample sizes in brackets. A dash indicates we did not receive enough responses to provide a rating. Overall satisfaction with car hire supplier that supplied the keys to your hire car.

The best car hire broker

Zest Car Rental comes out as the top broker with a customer score of 90%.

It scored the maximum five stars for the clarity of extra charges, fuel policy, final hire cost and for customer service.

All its providers are regularly vetted and have signed up to strict new cleaning procedures during the pandemic. And 93% of Zests's customers were satisfied with the service they received when their car hire was disrupted (compared with the 77% average).

Cancellation is free (up to 48 hours before collection) and easy to do online. And free amendments can be made at any time. 

Zest also passed our pricing transparency tests and convinced us it only works with reputable car hire companies, demonstrating the efficiency of its process for removing a car hire provider that doesn't meet its standards. This allowed us to award Zest Which? Recommended Provider status for the fourth year in a row.

Book with: Zest Car Rental

How we research car hire brokers

In January 2020, we asked 2,282 Which? members to complete an online survey about their experience of using a car hire company in the past 12 months. 

In January 2021 we asked an additional 843 Which? members about their experience of Covid refunds and hygiene measures, to help strengthen our recommendations. 

You can have your say on what we research and help us achieve change by joining our online panel of members, Which? Connect.