From time to time, almost everyone needs to rent a car. Perhaps you're going on vacation or maybe your car is in the shop and you have to find transportation for a few days or even a few weeks. It doesn't matter where you go in the world, there is always a possibility that you might need to rent a car in order to explore every area that you want to see. The question is, what are the biggest car rental companies in the world? Here are twenty of them. Without a doubt, you'll be familiar with at least a few companies on this list.
20. ACE Rent a Car (Indianapolis, Indiana)
This is undoubtedly the smallest car rental company on the list. They only have a few locations in the United States, one of which is their headquarters. While they have a much larger presence in Europe, they're nowhere near as big as virtually every other company that rents cars in that part of the world. That being said, they're also independently owned. There are companies with better programs out there, but if you need to rent a car for a few days and you don't want to spend a fortune to do it, there's a better than average chance you can find one right here.
19. Interrent (Ontario, Canada)
This is another European company that is sometimes referred to as Goldcar. It's definitely not the largest company in the world, but it did manage to crack the top 20. That might be surprising to some, as people who have rented cars from them don't typically have a ton of good things to say about the company. In fact, most people complain about slow drop-off and pick-up times as well as receiving cars that haven't been thoroughly cleaned.
18. Days Rental (Bridgend, South Wales)
This particular car rental company has the distinction of being the largest independently-owned car rental company in Wales. Aside from other major players that operate in multiple countries around the world, this little company has made a name for itself. Located in Bridgend, the company services all of South Wales. Just in case you're curious, they don't just rent cars that you can use for a day trip, either. They also have a full van rental program that allows you to rent larger vehicles for groups or even to transport goods and services. Perhaps the best part about the company is that you can rent vehicles by the day or by the week.
17. Rent-A-Wreck of America (Laurel, Maryland)
Just as the name implies, this car rental service provides cars that have been involved in previous crashes that are now available for rent to the general public. Of course, the cars have been repaired to the point that they are drivable, even if they're not the most attractive thing on the road. What do you get in return for renting something like this? Their prices are much cheaper when compared to most other car rental companies. As a matter of fact, the company was founded on the basis of helping individuals who had bad credit or who simply couldn't afford to rent a car through any other means.
16. U-Save Auto Rental System (Ridgeland, Missouri)
This company might be based in Missouri but they actually have hundreds of locations dotted around the world. Most people have the misconception that the company is exclusive to the United States, but that isn't necessarily the case. As you can probably already tell from the name, they are a discount car rental system that has been in business for a number of decades. In fact, they started doing business in 1979 and have been a constant presence ever since.
15. Green Motion (Le Mont-sur-lausanne, Switzerland)
This is quickly becoming a mainstay as far as car rental companies in the UK are concerned. The company has been in business since 2007 and it is steadily growing. Again, the name says a lot about the company itself. They rent vehicles that have lower emissions than your typical gas-powered automobile. That means renting cars that are fully electric as well as hybrids and those that operate on compressed natural gas. Even though this is still a fairly small niche, they currently rent vehicles from virtually every airport and tourist destination within the United Kingdom.
14. Dollar (Estero, Florida)
This company is definitely a major player around the world. Even though they're based in Florida, they have a major presence in the United Kingdom. However, they also have a few odd requirements. For example, if you're renting a car in England, Wales or Scotland, you cannot take that car into Northern Ireland. It's possible to rent a car from the company in Northern Ireland, but only if you both rent it from, and return it to, that particular location. This is largely because Northern Ireland is independent from the rest of the region, at least as far as political boundaries are concerned.
13. NP Auto Group (Laurel, Maryland)
Most people that rent cars from this particular company have never heard of the parent company itself. That's because the corporation operates under a couple of different franchise names including NextCar and Priceless. They also place a premium on customer satisfaction, something that keeps people coming back again and again. As a matter of fact, they have one of the most in-depth training programs for any prospective franchise owner out of anyone on this list. They also carefully regulate franchise locations in order to make sure that they aren't cutting corners and that customers are happy with their experiences.
12. Fox Rent A Car (Los Angeles, California)
This is a company that started providing rides exclusively from LAX airport in 1989. Eventually, they started renting cars from that location and their business slowly expanded from there. Today, they are something of a mainstay within the state of California. They also have a presence in certain locations across Europe and the UK, especially in larger cities like London.
11. Europcar (Paris, France)
The company may be based in France, but they have locations all over Europe and the United Kingdom. They're not as economically priced as a lot of the other companies on this list, but they offer outstanding customer service and a booking process that can be completed online in a matter of minutes. Their cars are always clean and in good working condition, something that most people are willing to pay a premium for.
10. Firefly (Estero, Florida)
If you're traveling across the UK, there's a better than average chance you can find one of their offices without even looking hard. As a matter of fact, they have offices in virtually every major city in the entirety of the UK, including Wales and Scotland. They also have car rental locations in roughly 21 different countries across the United Kingdom and Europe. Their hook is that you can rent a car of virtually any size and in most cases, you'll end up paying a lot less for it than if you went through another company.
9. Avis (Troy Hills, New Jersey)
This car rental company has been around since 1946 and in 1953, they started renting cars in various locations around the world. They may be headquartered in New Jersey, but there is a better than average chance that you'll be able to find an Avis car rental company in almost any major city, no matter where you travel.
8. Sixt (Pullach, Germany)
This is easily the largest car rental company in all of Europe. As a matter of fact, they have locations all across Europe and in the United Kingdom. They're also the car rental company that undeniably has the best reputation in the entire region. They are well-known for renting late model automobiles of all sizes that are well-kept and extremely clean. They may not offer the cheapest rates, but when you consider everything they have to offer (clean, reliable vehicles of all types), their rates are more than fair.
7. Hertz (Estero, Florida)
The company was once based in Chicago and was founded as far back as 1918. They have somehow managed to stay in the car rental game from that point forward, despite having a few crises along the way. On that end of things, the COVID-19 pandemic almost spelled doom for the company because people couldn’t travel. However, they ultimately survived and continue to operate various locations around the world.
6. Global (Epirus, Greece)
Global is definitely one of the foremost rental car companies in the world. Headquartered in Greece, they are almost considered something of a superpower in Europe. That being said, they also have a number of different locations around the world, including in the United States. There are some companies that refer to themselves as being a global company when in fact they only do business in a few select locations. In this particular case, the name of the company itself more or less says it all.
5. Thrifty (Estero, Florida)
As you can probably already tell by the name, this rental car company was founded on the premise that more people would be willing to rent cars if it weren't so expensive. As a result, people tended to flock to the company by name alone. It was a marketing ploy that definitely worked and it continues to work to this day. Some people are looking for high-end rental cars when they decide to go on a trip. Others are looking for something that can provide reasonable transportation from one place to another. For those that fall into the latter category, this is a company that became well known for providing exactly that, a decent rental car at a fair price.
4. National (St. Louis, Missouri)
They may have a name that sounds like they only exist within the United States, but they do indeed have a global presence. First founded in 1947, this is a car company that has essentially seen it all. Over the years, they have dealt with natural disasters, significant slumps in the economy and other issues that have definitely caused them to see their own financial difficulties, yet they have continued on. Today, the company is one of the foremost rental car agencies in the world. They offer a wide variety of cars for rent, ranging from the most basic models available to high-end luxury models.
3. Budget (Parsippany, New Jersey)
This is not only one of the largest car companies in the world, but also one that's probably seen the most change. It was founded in 1958 in Los Angeles, California. Years later, the company was restructured and moved to New Jersey. At first, the company mainly rented automobiles in that particular area. Today, they rent cars all over the world. Next to Alamo and Enterprise, you're probably more likely to see rental cars available under their banner than virtually anyone else, no matter where you're located.
2. Alamo (Clayton, Missouri)
Founded in 1974, this is a company that does business across a number of different continents. They not only rent cars in both North and South America, but also in Europe, Africa and Asia. More recently, the company has developed a great deal of popularity in both Oceania and Australia. As is typically the case, you can find a wide variety of different types of cars available for rent and the prices are typically in line with other car rental companies.
1. Enterprise (St. Louis, Missouri)
Finally, here it is. Enterprise car rental is easily the largest company of its type in the entire world. It doesn't matter if you're talking about the United States, Canada, Europe or the United Kingdom, Enterprise has car rental locations everywhere. As a result, they rent out more cars than many of the other companies on this list put together.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson