Hertz vs Avis: Which Car Rental Company is Better?

When it comes time to rent a car for your next trip or vacation, you likely have a few options to choose from. Two of the most well-known car rental providers are Hertz and Avis. But how do you decide which one to go with? Hertz and Avis have been battling it out for customers for decades, so let’s take a closer look at how they compare across key categories.

Which is better Hertz or Avis? Find out in our guide.

Hertz vs Avis: Fleet Size & Locations

In terms of fleet size, Hertz significantly outpaces Avis. Hertz boasts a rental fleet of over 515,000 vehicles globally. Compare Hertz vs Avis on fleet size, and Hertz dominates with nearly double the number of rental cars worldwide. Avis falls behind with around 350,000 rental vehicles around the world.

Both companies have an extensive network of rental locations, with Hertz claiming to offer rentals at around 10,000 locations in 150 countries.

Avis also has a robust presence, with approximately 5,500 locations in 165 countries. While Hertz may have a slight edge for a sheer number of locations, both rental car providers have extensive reach across the globe.

When looking specifically at airport rental locations in the United States, Hertz again leads the pack with operations at around 300 airports nationwide. Avis rental cars are available at approximately 200 domestic airports. So if having an airport rental counter is a priority, Hertz currently provides more options.


Hertz vs Avis: Price & Discounts

On price, Hertz and Avis tend to be fairly competitive with one another. Which is better hertz vs Avis when it comes to rental rates depends greatly on the type of car you want to rent, length of rental, addons selected, and other factors. Both providers offer a range of economy vehicles as well as luxury cars and SUVs.

That said, Avis frequently runs promotions offering discounts of up to 30% off base rental rates. Hertz also provides periodic percentage-off deals, but they tend to max out at 25% savings. If scoring the absolute lowest price is your top concern, Avis may inch out Hertz thanks to steeper printable coupons and online discounts.

One area where Hertz does tend to price lower is when adding supplemental liability insurance to your rental. This addon can protect renters from some out-of-pocket costs in an accident. Hertz’s supplemental liability protection pricing compares very favourably to similar coverage from Avis.

Hertz vs Avis: Awards & Reviews

Over the past five years, J.D. Power has repeatedly awarded Hertz with its top honor for rental car customer satisfaction. Specifically looking at which is better hertz vs Avis for customer experience, Hertz snagged the #1 spot in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

Avis has not managed to earn the top customer satisfaction ranking from J.D. Power during the same period. The most recent accolade Avis received was coming in third place for customer sat in 2021.

When we examine online reviews, Avis tends to score slightly higher. On Trustpilot, Avis has a TrustScore of 7.2 out of 10 based on reviews from over 14,000 customers. Hertz trails behind with a TrustScore of 6.8, with over 25,000 reviewers weighing in.

So while industry experts view Hertz as superior for customer service, individual renters posting reviews are modestly more satisfied with Avis thus far. But it is a very close race between the two legacy car rental firms.

Hertz vs Avis: Rewards Programs

Both car rental companies provide loyalty programs offering various perks and incentives:

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards – Complimentary upgrades, skips counter lines, bonus points

Avis Preferred – Dedicated reservations line, pre-populated rental profiles, bonus points

Which is better hertz vs Avis when evaluating rewards programs is largely subjective based on your rental habits and preferences. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards status can be earned faster with fewer rentals, while Avis Preferred offers customers bonus points on every rental.

If wanting to maximize rewards, the edge likely goes to Avis. On average, Avis Preferred members earn 500 points for each rental period. With Hertz Gold, members tend to accrue points at a slower pace. But Hertz counters with benefits like one-car-class upgrades.

When looking specifically at reward points, Avis makes it easier to earn free rental days. Just eight rentals or 9600 points nets a free weekend rental day. With Hertz, you need at least 15 rental days or 21,000 points for one free day. However, as noted above, Avis rentals are generally more expensive – so Hertz Rewards ends up cheaper overall.

Hertz vs Avis: Booking & Checking In

The process for booking a car rental is very similar across Hertz and Avis. Both enable renters to make reservations online, through the company’s app, or over the phone. When reserving in advance, rates tend to be cheapest via the company website versus calling the 1-800 number.

One advantage with Hertz is the ability to choose your exact rental car from their inventory during the booking process. With Avis site reservations, you simply select a vehicle class and pickup location. The Avis site doesn’t provide the specific car details upfront.

Avis does make the pickup process more straightforward, with the ability to choose your car upon arriving at the branch. This allows you to inspect multiple vehicles yourself on the spot. Hertz typically assigns renters a specific car that’s been pre-selected based on preferences entered during online checkout or over the phone.

Additional Services

Beyond traditional car rentals, both companies provide additional offerings:

  • Hertz – Hourly & daily car-sharing rentals via Hertz 24/7 service
  • Avis – Hourly rentals through the Zipcar car-sharing program

So if you only need quick access to a car for running errands or appointments, Avis gives you that flexibility through ZipCar. Hertz matches most ZipCar hourly rates with no membership fee required through Hertz 24/7 hourly rentals.

Avis also partners with other transportation providers beyond just car rentals. Via the Avis app, travelers can book chauffeured car services or even arrange a multi-city trip combining flights and train tickets along with your Avis car rental. Hertz focuses more narrowly on traditional airport-focused car rentals rather than serving as a full trip planner.

The Verdict: Hertz vs Avis

Compare Hertz vs Avis across the key metrics, and there is no runaway winner. In some categories like fleet size and rewards programs, Hertz has a slight upper hand. But Avis counters by typically pricing lower and scoring higher for customer satisfaction reviews.

When choosing between these two venerable car rental brands, weigh what aspects matter most for your upcoming trip. Savvy travelers may want to get quotes from both providers when planning their next car rental. Securing rates from both Hertz and Avis allows you to compare pricing and factor rewards status into making the best decision between them.

Either brand promises reliable vehicles with solid pickup and drop-off experiences. For peace of mind on the road trip itself, hertz and Avis are on near equal footing. As two of the largest and longest-tenured rental car agencies, travelers can expect professional service no matter if they go to Hertz or Avis for their next car rental booking.