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Top five best car hire companies for customer service

Need to hire a car? Take a look at the rental brands with the highest-rated customer service.

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With 63% of you telling us you fear getting ripped off when you hire a car, customer service is a top criteria for selection of your rental company.

Helpful friendly assistance from a car hire rep who's not trying to rip you off, doesn't seem too much to ask for but with unscrupulous practices and incompetent staff prevailing in the car hire industry, it's certainly not a given.

To save you from frustration we asked more than 2,000 Which? members to rate their experiences of renting a car in the UK and abroad with car hire companies, from the big multinationals, to smaller, independent operations.

You told us about the trusted brands that didn't try to sell you unnecessary extras, had your car ready in a jiffy and were available on the phone when you needed them. You also told us about companies that went the extra mile when things went wrong.

Here, we reveal the top five car hire companies for customer service, as rated by members.

  Customer service WRP Customer score Average price per day
   Y 96% £16
This small operator prides itself on its customer service, and rightly so. Holidaymakers praised the friendly staff and honest pricing, with no nasty surprises later on. Find out which car hire company we’re talking about – log in or sign up to Which?
  Customer service WRP Customer score Average price per day
   Y 78% £45
Customers reported fewer problems with this international operator than any other. In fact, its customer care was described as ‘flawless’. Find out which car hire company we’re talking about – log in or sign up to Which?
  Customer service WRP Customer score Average price per day
     69% £57
This provider is not the cheapest or the highest scoring, but its transparent pricing was popular – bagging it four stars for customer service. Find out which car hire company we’re talking about – log in or sign up to Which?
  Customer service WRP Customer score Average price per day
    Y 74% £47
Best known for rentals across the pond, this global operator impressed with its quick and efficient service. Customers also praised its flexible approach to cancellations. Find out which car hire company we’re talking about – log in or sign up to Which?
  Customer service WRP Customer score Average price per day
     68% £44
This big hitter conveniently operates in thousands of locations worldwide, and its scores are up on last year. Customers also found a nifty way to bag free upgrades. Find out which car hire company we’re talking about – log in or sign up to Which?
Table notes: Average price per day Based on survey respondents' recall of the price paid per day for their rental car. Customer score Combination of overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending to friend or family. Which? members were surveyed in January 2018, based on 2,145 car hire experiences. WRP Which? Recommended Provider

Not found the right car rental for you? Browse the complete results of our best and worst car hire companies.

How to get the best deal on car hire

Try car hire brokers

Using a broker can make price comparison easier as you can look at several firms on one site. Some also get special deals with suppliers, just be mindful of hidden extras. Check out our top rated car hire brokers.

Check the fuel policy

Make sure you don't get caught out by the 'full-empty' option, where you hire a car with a full tank and return it empty. The petrol is provided at a premium, meaning 'full-full' is savvier - as long as you remember to fill up before you return the car. Fail to do so and you could be hit with a nasty fine (£44 with Goldcar).  Avoid being stung with our five biggest car hire rip offs.

Don't buy unnecessary insurance

Providers will try to talk you into buying their pricey super collision damage waiver cover, but standalone insurance could save you a fortune. You’ll still have to pay the excess if you have an accident, but you can claim this back from your insurer later on. Read our guide to car hire insurance jargon.

Avoid additional mileage

If you're planning to spend a lot of time behind the wheel, check if your provider has a cap on daily mileage - something which is particularly rife in Spain. Otherwise you could be charged for every additional kilometre you travel - bumping up the price of your rental. For more tips see hiring a car abroad.

Beware cleaning charges

Some car hire companies apply eye-watering cleaning charges. Always demand photographic evidence of the stain or water damage in question. For more advice read our car hire tips.

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