Where to find the best rental car deals

by Marcus Muller  |  Published March 7, 2020

If you are trying to rent a car online, at least a dozen rental comparison websites are vying for your patronage, and all of them claim to offer the lowest car rental rates. TravelMag has analysed them in depth and selected the best options for travelers.

Car Rental Counter (Photo: Autorentals.com via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0)

Many travelers booking a rental car just pick the first available counter they see at the airport or the counter with the shortest queue. However, booking your car online in advance can save you a lot of money, as high as 50% if you are just looking for the cheapest car available.

We compared the various car rental comparison websites based on a variety of factors, focusing primarily on their ability to find the most affordable cars and the best deals. Below are our top recommendations.



Holidayautos is powered by Cartrawler, the leading car rental comparison software. Both companies are the car rental partner of choice of many airlines around the world. For most airports and city centers we analyzed, Holidayautos provided the lowest rental car rates. Their booking interface is also easy to use, as you can quickly see all the available cars and filter out the cheapest options. Extras, such as a toddler seat, can be easily added to the reservation. At checkout, to be safe, take a quick look at the cancellation policy. In general, you can cancel free of charge up to 48 hours before your pick-up.



RentalCars.com is part of Booking, the leading travel company in the world. While they are a very good alternative to Holidayautos, we found that fewer rental car companies are available at certain airports, thereby making rates for the cheapest available car a bit higher. For the best deals, RentalCars often does not show the name and the rating of the company until after you confirm your booking. This “mystery company” factor is what led us to list RentalCars as our second-best pick.

Kayak is a travel metasearch engine, mainly known for its flight comparison service. Their car rental solution also lists off-airport companies, which may be significantly more affordable than the companies you’ll find at the terminal. However, we found that many of the budget car renters listed on Kayak are not only really far away from the airport, but also poorly reviewed by many clients. That’s why we only recommend booking with Kayak if you are on a really tight budget, as even their featured terminal-based rental car companies are more expensive than those listed on HolidayAutos, our number one choice.