2015 Hire Car Service Reviews

Posted by Canstar Blue May 31st 2015

Compare some of the best hire car brands using our customer satisfaction ratings comparison.

* 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.
Canstar Blue research finalised in March 2015, published in May 2015.

See Our Ratings Methodology


Most Satisfied Customers | Avis

We found Avis achieved the strongest array of satisfaction scores across our ratings criteria, earning this brand our Most Satisfied Customers Award – Hire Cars, 2015. This is the third time Avis has received this award in the last few years.

Avis drives away with hire cars award for the third time

If you’ve ever been on a holiday or business trip to one of Australia’s major cities, the local public transport system can sometimes be utterly baffling. Whether it’s prepaid tickets with limited trips in Sydney, or the Go Card system in Brisbane, relying on public transport in a new city takes effort to learn and is often risky; it’s at times like these that many people turn to the convenient alternative of a hire car.

Renting your own transport allows you to travel anywhere you like with ease and security, and affords you the opportunity to try a car you’ve always wanted to drive. Indeed, one in three young Australians who responded to our survey admitted they hire cars they dream of owning.

Furthermore, providers these days offer a huge range of cars from tiny, fuel-sipping hatchbacks to luxurious European saloon cars for the more adventurous.

We researched the opinions of thousands of Aussies on how satisfied they were with what’s offered by Australia’s rental car operators, rating the companies using criteria like value for money, customer service and more.

We found Avis achieved the strongest array of satisfaction scores across our ratings criteria, earning this brand our Most Satisfied Customers Award – Hire Cars, 2015. This is the third time Avis has received this award in the last few years.

Notable runner-up performances came from Thrifty and Budget, both of which secured four-star ratings for overall customer satisfaction, followed by Hertz and Europcar which both secured three stars. Read on for a full breakdown of how each brand scored.

Make sure you also check out our ratings for domestic airlines and accommodation booking websites.

Value for money

Hiring a car for several days can be a significant expense in both hire costs and fuel – even for the smallest of cars. That’s why it pays to shop around!

Avis scored five stars for value for money, and were closely followed by Budget and Thrifty on four stars each, then by Hertz and Europcar with three.

Customer service

The complex process of choosing a hire car, paying for it and filling out huge amounts of paperwork is usually made easier by efficient, friendly customer service; making it a vital component of any rental car business.

Avis customers were most satisfied with the service from their operator, which earned the brand a five star rating. Next were Thrifty and Budget on four stars each, and behind were Hertz and Europcar on three.

Availability of vehicle booked

One annoyance that many customers experience is that the specific car they wanted to hire wasn’t available when they wanted it. Rental car operators can do themselves a big favour by having as many vehicles available as possible. The most widely satisfying company in this regard was five star achiever: Budget. Avis scored well in this area, with four stars for vehicle availability; whilst Thrifty, Hertz and Europcar all achieved three.

Booking process

Booking your car online or over the phone has become a much easier task over the years. Our highest rating for the hire car booking process was actually a tie between Avis and Budget, with both companies achieving five stars. Thrifty did well to score four stars, whilst Europcar and Hertz scored three for their bookings.

Transparency of costs and fees

When we asked everyday Aussies what their worst hire car experience entailed, just under half (49%) stated that it was unexpected fees and charges which set them off. Nobody likes a hit to the ‘back pocket’, so it’s appreciated when a company informs you of their fee structure as explicitly as possible.

The king of cost transparency, according to our survey, was Avis, which secured a five star rating. Thrifty and Budget were also considered worthy choices with four star ratings for their fee information, and were followed by Europcar and Hertz with three stars.

Availability of accessories ordered

Accessories for cars, unlike cars themselves, are pretty easy to come by. Whether it’s providing a luggage rack, child seat or even a bull bar, our surveyed providers performed very well when it came to the availability of car accessories for their fleet. Avis and Budget both scored our maximum five stars, and the remaining three brands all scored four each – evidently all companies were committed to providing a range of choices for their customers.

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