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Best Comparison Site for the Major Car Hire Companies

After thoroughly reviewing over 20+ popular car hire comparison sites as ranked on Google and Yahoo, we’ve uncovered the Top 2 Sites for comparing the live prices of Australia’s major car hire companies – Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, and Thrifty.

The smaller independent companies can be cheaper (especially for airport car rentals) but either way, you should get the best price offered by Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, and Thrifty to use as a benchmark.

After finding the lowest prices here, remember to check all the car hire coupons we’ve compiled to see if you can bag yourself further bonuses and discounts. Then after booking, be sure to apply our tips for saving $100s on car hire insurance by bypassing the car hire companies.

Update: To make life easier for you, we’ve now incorporated our top picks’ search engines directly onto this page.

Best Comparison Site: VroomVroomVroom Go To Site
Pros

  • Clean, easy-to-use site
  • Easy price comparison at a glance
  • Most complete listing
  • Modify or cancel your booking online
  • Prices given for GPS, baby seats, excess reduction
  • Summary terms and conditions displayed
  • Price matching promise + $10 further discount within 3 days of booking
Cons

  • No Rewards or Preferred Program membership input
  • No Discount Codes input
  • Call needed to reserve child seats

 
Best Comparison Site: Oodles Go To Site
Pros

  • Presentable site design
  • Rewards (Qantas, Velocity) and Preferred Program (Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty) membership input
  • Discount Codes input
  • Able to book child seats
  • Vehicle details (e.g. luggage space, engine) shown with search results
  • Modify or cancel booking online
  • ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ matches lower price + further 10% discount within 8 hours of booking
Cons

  • Tabbed comparison table looks good but not intuitive for first-time user and requires clicking around
  • No ‘Green’ Hybrid cars or Station Wagons
  • Prices for Europcar are 4-5% higher than VroomVroomVroom
Key Selection Criteria
The most important selection criteria we used for deriving these winners are:

  • Lowest prices / Best value – prices should not be more than if you checked each of the Big Boys’ sites individually (unless they themselves have special offers)
  • Ability to view and easily compare live rental rates on one screen
  • Ease of site navigation, car search and booking
  • No hidden fees – the quoted price is final
  • No credit card details or deposit required to place a booking
  • Ease and ability to modify / cancel bookings at no extra cost – lock in the price today and if you find something better, just cancel it!
  • Value-added features
The longer you rent, the better value you get
  • 1-3 day rental: Cost/day remains similar
  • 4-6 day rental: Cost/day starts decreasing, more so for larger full-sized cars (e.g. Toyota Camry)
  • 7+ day rental: Cost/day is usually at its lowest (possibly cheaper by $5/day for cheapest car, $20/day for full-sized)

This is a pretty reliable rule of thumb but actual prices may vary. Prices fluctuate from day to day depending on demand and supply and generally it’s better to book earlier rather than later. The Big Boys all have large networks so they serve pretty much every location you’ll need across Australia and carry a wide variety of car models and sizes.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Best Comparison Site for the Major Car Hire Companies”

  1. Max Tan on August 25th, 2008 10:46 pm

    Excellent stuff!! I think my company’s corporate rate can’t even beat the recommendations here!

  2. Billy Hew on September 18th, 2008 11:00 am

    This is a great site for people like me who needs to know in a collective way what rental company offers what, and the cheapest options. Information is always up-to-date.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Hugh mac on September 23rd, 2009 9:30 am

    Hi
    this is a good service but I wonder why http://www.diycarhire.com.au has not made it into your “best of’ list?

  4. Car Hire Insider on September 24th, 2009 8:39 am

    Hi Hugh, we’re thrilled you like our service. We did consider diycarhire.com.au when coming up with the ‘best of’ list and while it is very usable, it fell short in the area of search results – they are not quite as exhaustive as Vroom and can sometimes miss out on a lower priced car within the same class size. DIY’s results also don’t specify whenever the rental comes with limited km’s unless you click further. Given how similar otherwise it is to Vroom, Oodles was our next pick because it offered some differentiation. Do you feel there something DIY is better at that we may have missed out on?

    On another note, we’re in the midst of improving the site in terms of content and layout to better assist potential car hire seekers. We hope you come back to see our improvements and let us know if you have any suggestions. Cheers

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