The Best and Biggest Canadian Car Rental Companies

When travelling across the vast landscapes of Canada, having access to a rental car provides freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace. Canada’s major car rental providers make it convenient to get behind the wheel, whether you need an economy sedan for getting around the city or an SUV for a ski trip.

But who are the biggest companies dominating the Canadian car rental industry? We’ll analyze the major players and detail Canada’s top rental operators.

Enterprise: The Rental Behemoth

With over 7,000 rental locations globally, Enterprise is a dominant force in the car rental space. True to its tagline “We’ll pick you up,” Enterprise distinguishes itself by offering free customer pick-up to get you on your way.

Enterprise commands an impressive 34% market share in Canada. They leverage their extensive fleet and wide availability of neighborhood branches to cater to both the daily commuter and weekend road tripper. Most Canadians have likely rented from Enterprise at some point, thanks to their vast presence and penetration in the market.

While globally known for renting cars, Enterprise also offers commercial trucks for moving and has an extensive network of car sales lots. Their varied offerings and seamless customer experience help them retain the top rental spot in Canada.

Discount: Biggest Budget Provider

Frugal travelers turn to Discount Car and Truck Rentals for affordable and simple car rental services in Canada. Despite the no-frills approach, Discount manages to capture 16% of the Canadian rental market, making it the second largest provider.

Living up to their name, Discount Car and Truck Rentals specializes in low rates for a wide selection of vehicle types across 120 Canadian branches. Focusing purely on car rentals rather than additional offerings allows Discount to concentrate resources on fleet costs and accessibility. Budget-focused leisure and business travelers appreciate Discount’s easy reservations platform and discounted last-minute deals.

Avis Budget Group: International Operator Duo

The Avis Budget Group oversees two major car rental brands within Canada: Avis Car Rental and Budget Car Rental. With a combined 12% market share, Avis and Budget take the third place spot for Canadian car rental providers.

Operating as a single entity since 2002, Avis and Budget offer similar rental services at locations across Canada. Avis focuses on business travellers and advertises newer vehicle models, while Budget captures the value-driven customer. Under the Avis Budget Group umbrella, the two brands can share resources and costs while each maintains their distinct target market.

National & Alamo: Going the Extra Mile

Coming in at 11% of rental market share in Canada are National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car. Owned by the same parent company as Enterprise, National and Alamo still operate independently but enterprise locations sometimes provide overflow fleet options.

National distinguishes themselves by catering to a premium business class clientele while Alamo focuses more on the value-driven and leisure segments. Unique membership programs providing exclusive offers and bonus incentives drives loyalty for both National and Alamo renters. While National and Alamo have fewer Canadian locations than other major agencies, their personalized offerings build enduring brand connections with customers.

Hertz: The Legacy Leader

No list of car rental giants would be complete without Hertz. One of the original car rental firms since 1918, Hertz continues to be a major brand globally and within Canada. Though Hertz Canada’s market share has dropped to 8% in recent years, brand awareness and loyalty continue to drive reservations.

Hertz built an empire by catering to airline travelers and other transients with conveniently located branches in city centers and airports. Business focused perks like expedited reservations and loyalty programs appeal to their core commercial audience. While the introduction of household names like Enterprise and Budget has diluted Hertz’s market control, travelers still associate quality and reliability with the legacy Hertz name.

Final Thoughts: The Best and Biggest Canadian Car Rentals

Canada’s vast landscape calls for a road trip, so when you venture out on the open highways make sure to compare rates and offerings from the major national car rental brands. Enterprise may be the dominant agency based on locations and fleet size, but focusing purely on price could mean booking with Discount Car and Truck Rental. 

Or if you want additional services like loyalty perks and premium models, National Car Rental or Hertz could be the best fit. Whatever your rental needs may be, understanding Canada’s biggest car rental companies will help you make the most informed choice. Happy road trip across this beautiful country!