2013 – Hire Cars Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue May 9th 2013

You are viewing the archived 2013 award for hire cars. Go to the current hire car ratings.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

One in three wracked with anxiety when driving rental cars

Most Satisfied Customers - Hire Cars, 2013Emotions were in top gear for one in three respondents to our recent survey, who admitted to feeling anxious when driving a rental car.

Female respondents were more likely than their male counterparts to feel stressed when driving a hire vehicle (45% versus 30%), while men were more likely than women to drive their rented car with less care than their own (14% versus 5%).

It’s not always a nerve-wracking ride, however. More than two thirds of respondents typically use a hire car for leisure travels, and more than half have never had a bad car rental experience.

Choosing a hire car company: Avis #1 for customer satisfaction

Many respondents said they compared the price of car rentals online before choosing to hire (86%); hopefully our latest customer satisfaction ratings can also lend a hand.

Achieving our Most Satisfied Customers Award – Hire Cars – 2013 was Avis – the brand securing five star ratings in all survey criteria in conjunction with this accolade. This is the second year in a row Avis have taken out this award. Car hire company Budget was also well received, earning five stars for both service and transparency of costs and fees.

Also rated were Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar.

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 customers within the survey group who have hired a car within Australia in the last 12 months – in this case, 424 people.

Brands must have received 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 customer satisfaction

Securing the lead in these ratings was Avis – our five star recipient for overall customer satisfaction. Budget was next with four stars; Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar rounded out our results with three.

Value for money

Getting a better car rental price was an important purchasing consideration for our respondents – indeed, 65% of people chose companies based on price over features. Avis achieved five stars for the value for money of its car rentals, followed by four star recipients Budget, Hertz and Europcar. Thrifty finished with three stars in this area.


Support throughout your hire and the suitable resolution of your queries can make a difficult trip easier. Both Budget and Avis scored top ratings for customer service, followed by four star recipient Hertz. Thrifty and Europcar were next with three stars each in this area.

Availability of vehicle booked

Was the vehicle booked the one received? Customers of Avis were most satisfied with the availability of their booked vehicle – resulting in another five stars. They were followed by Thrifty, Europcar, Hertz and Budget with four stars each.

Booking process (e.g. online, phone)

Avis customers were also most satisfied with the booking process itself, earning the brand another five star rating. Next in line with four stars each were Budget, Hertz and Europcar; then Thrifty with three.

Transparency of cost and fees (e.g. refuelling charge)

Hidden costs can leave a bitter taste in the mouth of any customer, but many companies take steps to avoid this. When it came to transparency of costs and fees, Budget and Avis went to the top of the ladder once more. Next was our four star recipient: Hertz, then three star recipients Thrifty and Europcar.

Availability of accessories ordered (e.g. GPS, baby seat, ski racks)

Are you lost without GPS, Bluetooth connectivity or even just a few cupholders? Extras and accessories can really add to your journey, and customers of Avis were most satisfied with their rental company’s available range. All other brands – Thrifty, Budget, Hertz and Europcar – earned four star ratings.