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Updated: 22 Jun 2021

Recommended car hire companies

We’ve rated leading car hire companies including Alamo, AutoReisen, Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Goldcar, Hertz and Sixt to help you book your hire car with confidence. We've also rated car hire brokers from Auto Europe to Zest Car Rental.
Which?Editorial team
Car hire logged out 454325

Our survey revealed four car hire companies and one car hire broker that really stood out from the crowd. They all received excellent customer scores from members.

Compare car hire companies

Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) status is given only to the car hire companies that you rate the highest, that meet our Covid refund requirements and that are transparent in their pricing. 

A company needs a top customer score to become a WRP. We take into account your comments and only give WRP status to those offering refunds to those who can't travel due to the pandemic and a fair fuel policy.

The customer score is based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the car hire company.

Don't miss our car hire company comparison to see the full results of all 13 car hire companies covered in our survey.

Auto Reisen and Cicar – best car hire in Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura

There’s little to differentiate these two car hire companies. Both have offices in the Canary Islands’ main airports and resorts, and both offer an all-inclusive price with zero-excess insurance, a free additional driver and a fair fuel policy. And both received the full five stars for value for money.

Because you pay nothing up front, cancellations due to Covid, or any reason, are always completely free.

Auto Reisen scored a near-perfect 96% customer score in 2020. One happy Auto Reisen customer summed it up: ‘I wouldn’t hire from anywhere else.’

Book with: Auto Reisen

Cicar wasn't far behind with a 91% customer score, and its customers were pleased with the service. ‘Excellent value with no hidden extras,’ one commented. 

Book with: Cicar

Our Verdict There must be something in the water (or maybe the petrol?) in the Canary Islands. Both companies offer a brilliant service and a worry-free rental during the pandemic. 

Alamo – best car hire in the USA and worldwide

Sister company to Enterprise, Alamo performed exceptionally well, receiving a customer score of 83% with five stars across plenty of categories. This was the best score of any major brand.

Customers felt Alamo was clear about extra charges, its fuel policy and final hire costs. They were also impressed with the age, condition and mileage of its cars, as well as how easy it was to return cars.

Alamo offers car hire across the world, although most members use it in the US.

There’s no charge for cancellations and amendments up to the collection date for some bookings. For all others, you can cancel for free up to three days before pick-up.

Our verdict: Its transparency combined with first class service, a fair Covid refund policy and vehicles in excellent condition make Alamo a great bet for your US adventures and beyond.

Book with: Alamo

Enterprise Rent-a-Car – best car hire UK and worldwide

Not only do customers rate Enterprise extremely highly, with a customer score of 80%, but it also passes all of our policy and pricing transparency tests, so there should be no nasty surprises when using this company. As one customer put it, Enterprise is ‘dependable, straightforward and pragmatic, with excellent customer service’.

The free pick-up and drop-off service at some locations also proved popular with Which? readers. You are picked up from home and driven to the rental office, and then home from the rental office at the end of your hire period.

Its reliable car hire is conveniently available in more than 7,600 locations worldwide, including the US, UK, France and Spain.  

There’s no charge for cancellations and amendments up to the collection date for some bookings. For all others, you can cancel for free up to three days before pick-up.

Our verdict: Clear prices, a fair Covid refund policy, hassle-free pick-up and drop-off, good quality cars, and service with a smile.

Book with: Enterprise rent-a-car

Compare car hire brokers

A good broker acts as a buffer between customer and car hire supplier, providing added assistance if things go wrong, investigating issues and resolving them more quickly than a provider would.

We also found that brokers, who negotiate rates with providers, can often save you money. 

Don't miss our car hire broker comparison to see the full results of all six car hire brokers covered in our survey.

Zest Car Rental – best car hire broker

Zest has a record-breaking broker customer score of 90%. It received five star ratings in almost every category. 

The only area that didn't get top marks was customer satisfaction with the car hire companies who physically hand over the keys. Zest, however, does try its best to only work with car hire providers who will treat their customers fairly and have implemented strict cleaning protocols during the pandemic. It has an ongoing monitoring programme to ensure that standards don't slip and the companies it works with are reputable.

The company is a big hit with customers. One told us: ‘I like the fact that the price it quotes upfront is the final one, with no hidden charges.’

Excess reimbursement insurance is included as standard, as well as a free second driver at some locations.  Cancellation is free (up to 48 hours before collection) and easy to do online, and free amendments can be made at any time. 

Our verdict: Hiring with Zest buys you peace of mind that you’ve got someone on your side if anything goes wrong. It’s exactly how car hire brokers should behave and it sets an example to other firms.

Book with: Zest Car Rental