Hire Cars – 2012 Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue March 29th 2012

You are viewing the archived 2012 ratings for hire car companies. Go to the current hire car ratings.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.


See Our Ratings Methodology.

Rental cars get extra love and care from Aussie drivers

While it may not be a case of ‘you break it, you bought it’, many Australian drivers go to great pains to exercise caution when they hire a car, according to the results of our latest survey.

More than a third of our respondents took photos of their hire car before departing to avoid unwarranted blame for any potential scrapes or disputes in the future.

In addition to this, roughly two thirds of Australians surveyed said they always purchased insurance when hiring a car.

This research also found that only 14% of respondents had been in a hire car fender bender. Interestingly, fewer females than males (9% compared to 17%) crashed or dented their rental, and only 7% of Queenslanders got into a scrape (compared to 20% of New South Welshmen).

But which hire car brand was a cut above the rest, according to our results? Avis customers were the most satisfied, and have taken out our award for 2012.

Budget, Thrifty, Europcar and Hertz were also rated in this customer satisfaction survey of hire cars.

Avis’s five star victory included top ratings for overall customer satisfaction, service, availability of the vehicle booked, the booking process, transparency of costs and fees, and the availability of accessories.

Other five star winners included:

  • Budget for service, vehicle availability, the booking process and availability of accessories
  • Europcar for their price, booking process and accessory availability
  • Hertz for the availability of their booked vehicles, and availability of accessories

Our survey also revealed that one in five respondents selected a car that they could not afford to buy when choosing their rental. In particular, female respondents were less likely to indulge their dream car fantasies than males were when renting a car (15% compared to 19%).

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 2,500 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from hire car customers within the survey group – in this case, 576 people. To qualify, the customer must have hired a car within Australia in the last 12 months. Brands must receive at least 30 responses to be included.

Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10.

Overall satisfaction

Taking the lead for hire car customer satisfaction was Avis, who received five stars for this criteria. Budget, Europcar and Hertz followed with four stars each; then Thrifty with three.

Value for money

Europcar customers were most satisfied with the value for money off their car rental company. The five star winning brand emerged ahead of Avis, Budget and Hertz; who each received four stars for their value for money, followed by Thrifty with three.

Service throughout hire

For their customer service (including the resolution of complaints), Avis and Budget both received a five star rating. They were followed by four star recipients Europcar and Hertz, and Thrifty with three.

Availability of vehicle booked

Three companies received five stars for the availability of the vehicle booked: Hertz, Budget and Avis. Next came Europcar with four stars, and then Thrifty with three.

Booking process

Thanks to online, telephone and branch booking facilities, hiring a car has become easier. In another tie for a five stars rating; Avis, Budget and Europcar customers were most satisfied with the booking process they used. Hertz received four stars for this criteria, followed by Thrifty with three.

Transparency of cost and fees

Avis received five stars for the transparency of their fees and costs, ahead of Budget, Europcar and Hertz with four stars each; and Thrifty with three.

Availability of accessories ordered

From GPS devices to baby seats – a holiday can quickly be disrupted without the right accessories in the rental car. A four way tie occurred between Avis, Budget, Europcar and Hertz for five star ratings. Thrifty received four stars for this criteria.