The Best Car Rental
Search Engines

Reviews of the Best Car Rental Search Engines, and Tips on How to Find the Cheapest Car Rental Rates Online.

car rental search engines

Why use one of the car rental search engines? Because, searching for the best car rental deal can be an exasperating experience! We can help with our reviews of the top rental car search engines.

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There are a lot of companies that rent cars, and there are several companies that are consolidators and, because of that they can help you find the best car rental price from a number of different sources. Below, we list several. Some you may be familiar with and others may not so much.

We have discovered that some car rental search engines are much more helpful for finding a good rental car rate overseas and others are better for finding a car here in the States.

Car Rental Search Engines

Travelocity - We have found ourselves using Travelocity over and over again over the years because we found that that we always got good deals, though we must admit that now we also check in with Kayak. Often a good thing to do. We have recommended Travelocity for years because they link to all of the biggies, and for those of us that are trying to go green with our own vehicles, they clearly mark green and hybrid cars with their leaf logo. This makes it even simpler to find rentals that are right for the environment--and right for you.

Kayak - Kayak is one of the least cluttered and easily usable booking sites available right now. Everything is laid out in a simple easily understood format.

Kayak consistently goes out and scours the car rental search engines to find the least expensive options for you. Just like their airfare and hotel search, Kayak can save you money.

Priceline - Anyone that watches TV has had to have seen William Shatner an the Priceline bidding commercials, so you know that their pitch is that you can set the price. Within reason. You need to investigate a little before making your offer so that, 1) you don't over bid, and, 2) don't bid do low that your bid isn't accepted. Using Priceline will get you some great prices, but be aware that once your bid is accepted, you are billed then and there with no refunds.

The following we have never used so we can't give any personal recommendations for them. They are; however, reputable companies and should present no problems for you.
Expedia - Orbitz

Renting in Europe

For those looking for cars while traveling to Europe, two car rental firms stand out.

Auto Europe - Auto Europe has been a significant player in worldwide car rental services . In the last couple of years, they have expanded their services and now include more than 8,000 car rental locations in over 130 countries all over the world. In addition to that you can schedule air from the USA to Europe, along with Worldwide three, four and five star hotels; chauffeur and transfer services; prestige and sports car rentals; mobile phone and GPS rentals; and motorhome rentals. So these guys have you covered in more ways than one.

Europe by Car - Europe by Car has 57 years of service under its belt, and work with many of the well known rental companies, as well as several local agencies. For more than 50 years Europe by Car has been a leader in offering a short-term car lease program to North American travelers that can really save you a lot of money if you are in Europe for more than 17 days. They also offer cellhire’s international cell phone rental options.

Car Rental Websites

Sometimes you just want go right to the car rental agencies themselves. Maybe, you are part of one of their loyalty programs, or maybe they have a really hot, private, deal going on. It doesn't hurt to check.

Avis - Hertz - Alamo - Thrify - Dollar

Our Tips for Your Next Car Rental

When you go into pick up your car you will more than likely be given some options to choose from. You may or may not want to accept or take advantage of them based on some criteria you should know ahead of time.

  • Probably the first thing that will come up is the issue of insurance. You will be offered the option of having complete coverage as opposed to just the basic. This can add substantially to your cost, so think about it in advance. Check with your current insurance company, and check with your credit card company. Find out if your insurance works when you rent a car. Many credit card companies also provide coverage for car rentals. See if this works for you. If not, then you really should consider taking the option. It could save you a lot of grief if something does go wrong. You don't want to be stuck with the bill for costly repairs.
  • Sometimes you will be offered an upgrade at the desk at an additional daily expense. The choice is yours, of course, but we have always declined the offer. But, surprisingly, on a couple of occassions, we have been upgraded anyway. At no additional cost. Go figure! Maybe all they had left on the lot was the upgrade?
  • Always, always, always make sure that you inspect the car while in the lot. Note any nicks, dents, scratches and report them before you leave so the company is aware. We also take pictures of the car at drop off just as a little insurance. This would have been helpful on one trip where the rental firm tried to get us to pay the damages on a car that we left in good condition. the legal hassle could have been a real drag.
  • Fill up the tank before returning the car. The rental companies charge an arm and a leg to fill it up when turned in. Save yourself some money, or not if convenience is more important than saving money.

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