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Last updated: 19 September 2019

There's a lot of things to get your head around if you need to rent a car, especially when it comes to understanding the contract. We assess the five biggest car rental companies in Australia – Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty – to determine ease of use, the complexity of the contract, and coverage quality.

Our hands-on test follows the same steps you would if you were renting a vehicle online.

  • Our buying guide outlines how to rent a car in Australia and everything you need to know about these services.
  • How we assess explains our rigorous methods. We look at these services through the same eyes as a typical Australian booking a rental vehicle.
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We look at:

  • Overall ease of use before, during and after the booking process.
  • The level of detail in the contract, the amount of information provided, and whether it's delivered in language that's easy for the average consumer to understand.
  • The level of detail provided in the contract, to see if the collision damage waiver/loss damage waiver specifies what is and is not covered. We look at what is covered for the basic cover included in rental price by all these companies.

You may notice we haven't recommended any of these companies. Car rental companies have been investigated for anti-consumer practices by the ACCC. While the industry has improved, ongoing negative feedback from consumers suggests there is still a long way to go. Because of this, we will not be recommending any services. However, people continue to use them, so we chose to assess their performance and usability on the grounds that many of our members will likely rent a vehicle in the near future.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

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    Ease of use score

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    We went through all the steps required to book a vehicle via a web browser, on desktop and mobile devices. This includes assessing location and vehicle information, payment options and details regarding extras/loyalty programs.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 67 and 98

    Contract score

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    This score is built based on the level of detail in the contract, the amount of information provided, and whether it’s delivered in language that’s easy for the average consumer to understand.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 22 and 62

    Coverage score (CDW/LDW)

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    Here, we look at the level of detail provided in the contract, to see if the collision damage waiver/loss damage waiver specifies what is and is not covered. We look at what is covered for the basic cover included in rental price by all these companies.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 25 and 81

    Included in this review

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    • Overall score
    • Ease of use score
    • Contract score
    • Coverage score
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    • Brand
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    • Vehicle types
    • Minimum rental period
    • Carbon emission data
    • Minimum rental age
    • Credit card charge period
    • 4WD unsealed road policy
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