Car Rental Rates

Car Rental Rates Soar by 77% Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels

The cost of renting a car has experienced a significant surge in recent years, leaving travelers concerned about poor customer service and unfair charges. In this article, we delve into the changing landscape of car hire prices, highlight the top-rated companies, and provide essential tips to avoid pitfalls when renting a vehicle. Car Rental Rates

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Additionally, we present the results of a comprehensive survey conducted by Which? to determine the best and worst car hire companies of 2023.

The Escalating Car Hire Costs

Renting a car has become increasingly expensive across various destinations. For instance, in Italy, the average weekly cost has skyrocketed to £473 in the summer 2023, a staggering rise from the £209 price tag in 2019. This substantial increase has left travelers seeking better value for their money and protection against unwarranted charges.

Choosing the Right Car Hire Company Car Rental Rates

To ensure a seamless experience and avoid being taken advantage of, selecting the right car hire company is crucial. Interestingly, the top-rated companies, Auto Reisen and Cicar, have not only received high customer satisfaction scores but also offer the most competitive prices. However, these companies are primarily based in the Canary Islands, limiting their availability for certain travelers. Fortunately, there are other reliable options available in the UK, Europe, and beyond, including Alamo, renowned for hassle-free rentals worldwide.

Companies to Avoid: While it’s essential to focus on the best car hire companies, it’s equally important to steer clear of less reputable ones. Goldcar, a regular at the bottom of the table, has consistently received negative feedback from customers and should be avoided to prevent potential issues and disappointments during your rental experience.

Survey Results and Recommendations

To evaluate the performance of various car hire companies, Which? conducted a survey involving thousands of members. To assess the companies, we evaluated their transparency regarding extra charges, insurance policies, terms and conditions, as well as the overall process of pick-up and return. Only the top-performing companies were eligible for the coveted Which? Recommended Provider status. The article provides a comprehensive table showcasing customer scores and ratings for each company, allowing readers to make informed decisions.

Car Rental Provider Customer Satisfaction
AutoReisen 91%
Cicar 91%
Alamo 72%
Enterprise 72%
Hertz 71%
Centauro 70%
Thrifty 70%
Europcar 67%
Avis 65%
Budget 63%
Sixt 62%
Dollar 55%
Goldcar 54%

Overpriced Insurance and How to Avoid It Car Rental Rates

The survey also revealed that one in seven customers ended up paying more than the originally quoted price, primarily due to insurance costs. Many individuals, despite having pre-arranged coverage, succumbed to the pressure-selling tactics of rental agents and purchased additional policies at the rental desk. Not only is this practice illegal, but these upsold policies often come at a premium price and offer inferior coverage compared to third-party options available online. To protect yourself and avoid unnecessary expenses, it is advisable to explore car hire excess insurance alternatives.

Which? Research Methodology:

To provide accurate and reliable information, Which? conducted an extensive online survey in January 2023. Over 2,600 members of Which? Connect and the general public participated, sharing their experiences with car hire companies over the past two years. Only companies that ranked at the top and met the consumer-focused criteria were granted the prestigious Which? Recommended Provider status.


Renting a car can be a costly endeavor, but with the right knowledge and preparation, travelers can navigate the industry and secure the best possible deals. By choosing reputable car hire companies, understanding insurance options, and referring to unbiased surveys such as the one conducted by Which?, individuals can avoid unnecessary expenses and enjoy a smooth and satisfying rental experience. Always stay informed and make informed decisions to ensure your travel plans remain stress-free and within budget.

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