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Car Rental Apps Showdown: Testing Expedia, Kayak, Hertz, and more

With many folks choosing road travel this year, we wanted to find the car rental app that offered the best value. We tested ten popular options to see which had the best deals and most options.

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Car Rental Apps Showdown: Testing Expedia, Kayak, Hertz, and more
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In this unusual holiday season, many travelers are choosing to drive instead of flying. (Before traveling, consult CDC guidelines!) We tested ten car rental apps to find the very best values. We discovered Priceline had the best prices at $95 for a four-day rental and a wide range of options in terms of cars and locations. We were also impressed with the car-sharing app Turo, Enterprise’s rates and membership program, and Expedia’s low rates and comprehensive offerings. Here's how we chose:
Our Pick

Best for your bottom line

An oldie but a goodie, Priceline has been offering great deals on car rentals, hotels, and flights since 1997. The app offered the best deals of all the apps we tested and also had a wide selection.
Why we chose Priceline:
  • Around $95 total for a four-day rental booked a week in advance.
  • Best prices of all apps we tried for both last minute and farther out trips and both small or larger cars.
  • Has special in-app deals with push notifications for sales and price decreases.
  • Extra discounts of up to 33% for paying ahead of time rather than at the rental pick-up.
  • The membership program lets you access even more deals.
  • Trusted and well-established company for travel of all kinds.
The easy-to-use app is a great choice for rental cars and can help you plan your trips and stay organized on your journey.
Read Priceline's Full Review
Runner Up

Best if you like to share

This "Airbnb for cars" lets you find great deals on rental cars without setting foot in a car rental establishment. Browse through the cars that folks in your area are renting to find the one that suits you best, pick it up from their home (some places will deliver to you for an extra price), and you're good to go!

Why we chose Turo:

  • Rent direct from car owners for as low as $30 per day.
  • The car-sharing app has lots of options in a variety of price ranges.
  • The company requires special COVID cleaning protocols and contactless pick-up/drop-off options are available.
  • Hosts (car owners) are rated, so you know you are renting from a trusted source.
  • The app is well-designed and easy to use.
  • While there are many affordable options, there are also luxury cars available for higher rates if you just want to take a Tesla or Porsche for a quick spin.
This car-sharing app is a great choice for finding what you need at an affordable price. And if you have a car and are looking to make some extra cash, you can list your car on the app as well. 
Read Turo's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best single-company rental app

Finding a company you trust can take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of travel. Enterprise is a company that is deserving of your brand loyalty. With low rates and a membership program that saves you more money the more you rent, the Enterprise app will make your rental car experience seamless.

Why we chose Enterprise:

  • For a four-day rental booked a month in advance, we found rates as low as $125.
  • Best deals from a single company rather than a rental aggregator.
  • Membership program allows you to earn points towards free rentals, as well as making reservations quicker and easier.
  • Particularly good rates if you book farther out.
  • Simple and easy to use app.
If you prefer consistency to shopping around, the Enterprise app is a great choice. It's easy to use and offers lots of great options in all price ranges. 
Read Enterprise's Full Review
Also Groovy

Best One-Stop Travel App

If you want to use one app for all your travel needs, Expedia is a great option. The easily-searchable interface lets you check out all your options for car rentals, as well as flights and hotels.

Why we chose Expedia:

  • Four-day rentals around $130.
  • Great deals, whether you book early or late.
  • Has mobile exclusives to save you more money.
  • Handy sort and filter tools make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Bundles with hotels or flights allow you to save money when you book multiple parts of your trip with Expedia.
A truly comprehensive travel app, Expedia can offer pretty much anything you're looking for. 
Read Expedia's Full Review

Everything We Recommend

  • Our Pick
    Save on your next trip with exclusive deals on hotels, flights & rental cars in the Priceline app. From cheap flights to amazing hotel room offers, you’re guaranteed to find deals you won’t want to miss.

    Vacation vibes or business trip? 5-star hotel or budget hostel? No matter what your travel plans are, you can save on your hotel room, flights and car rental when you book with Priceline. And thanks to our handy app, you can compare travel deals, book, and save, wherever you are.

    Hotels, cheap flights & car rental - 5 reasons you need to download before your next trip. Seriously:

    1. Hotel room offers, exclusive to our app users. You won’t find them anywhere else! Plus, save even more as a Priceline VIP.
    2. Accommodation for you - get deals on hotels that matter to you with our personalized, relevant hotel recommendations.
    3. Travel ready - Have everything you need for your trip or vacation in one place - hotel deals, rental cars and cheap flights.
    4. Hotel booking - Book your next hotel room in a matter of seconds.
    5. Hostel or 5-star hotel? We’ve got the right accommodation and hotel deals for any trip and any budget.

    Love to travel? Join millions of happy travelers who book great travel deals with us every day - download now! Our exclusive offers and cheap flights can help you save some serious money.

    HOTEL DEALS - EXCLUSIVE OFFERS FOR APP USERS
    You’ll save up to 60% off with Express Deals®. Seriously. Plus, you’ll earn access to exclusive deals on great hotels when you’re a Priceline VIP.

    FLIGHT DEALS - COMPARE & SAVE
    Travel across the globe with super travel deals on thousands of domestic and international flights. Priceline helps you find flight deals for your next trip in just a few simple steps, straight from your phone. Pace yourself.

    RENTAL CARS - FAST & EASY BOOKING
    Hit the road with deals on rental cars - choose from 290 car rental brands in 28,000+ locations. We also offer free cancellation on most bookings and no credit card fees. That's how we roll.

    COMPARE, BOOK & SAVE
    Finding the perfect accommodation and travel deals is easy as pie. Search by city, address or point of interest to book the most conveniently located hotels and rental cars. As you search more, we uncover even more deals just for you.

    HOTEL BOOKING - FROM HOSTEL TO HOTEL
    In a rush? Our app features super-quick travel and hotel booking, especially when you’re signed in! Whether it’s a hostel for the night or a vacation next month - we do fast well.

    TRAVEL BUDDY
    Easily access and make changes to your trip wherever you are with our My Trips feature. Need to check your hotel booking or car rental details on the go? Get all of your reservation and travel info right on your phone, even if you booked on your computer, are offline or don’t have service. Like magic.

    Our app is rated as Best App for Travelers by Travel + Leisure! Whether you want to book flights or your hotel room at the touch of a button, find new and exciting accommodation or simply want to explore vacation destinations out there, the priceline.com app is the best place to start.

    Priceline is part of Booking Holdings, which includes leading online travel brands such as Booking.com, Agoda, Kayak & OpenTable.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    No
  • Runner Up
    Turo is the world’s largest peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace where you can book any car you want, wherever you want it, from local hosts across the US, Canada, and the UK. A vibrant community over 10 million strong, Turo guests can choose from over 850 unique makes and models, while hosts earn extra money to offset the costs of car ownership.

    Whether it’s a truck to help on moving day, a swanky exotic for a luxurious weekend away, or a classic cruiser for a picture-perfect road trip, with more than 400,000 vehicles listed worldwide, Turo lets you find the perfect vehicle for your next adventure.

    Hitting the road?
    • Choose from a totally unique selection of cars and drive the perfect one for your trip
    • Book cars directly from local hosts, starting from $18/day
    Safely access cars through a variety of contactless check-in options
    • Get the car delivered, and book trips on the go with a quick tap

    Car collecting dust?
    • Share your car and turn your depreciating asset into an earnings engine
    • Rest assured with up to $750,000 in liability insurance backing each trip

    Note: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    No
  • Also Groovy
    It's never been easier to rent a car from your mobile device. The Enterprise Rent-A-Car App is your own free personal assistant for all things car rental. You can easily view or modify upcoming reservations, get directions to a rental branch, call roadside assistance, or find a rental car for your next trip at one of our 7,800+ worldwide locations. Stay signed into your Enterprise Plus® account to make reservations even faster, plus earn points toward free rentals.

    Additional app features include:

    Make a reservation
    Find rental locations near you or your destination, narrow your search with location and vehicle filters and save rental details to make future reservations even faster.

    Access all your rentals in one place
    Easily view the details of your rentals to reference pick-up or drop-off times, your current rental car information, directions back to your rental branch, and more.

    Manage your Enterprise Plus® account
    View your reward points balance, update your account details, and redeem points toward free rental days.

    Get help when you need it
    Contact roadside assistance or 24/7 customer support, and look up your rental branch details including phone number, address and directions.

    Favorite a location
    Visit a location frequently? Make it a "favorite" to quickly access the information you need or start a reservation.


    We're there when you need us. And now we're making it even easier to experience the benefits of Enterprise from your mobile device.


    By clicking on "Install", you consent to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy including access to or storage of performance and usage device & app related data for analytic purposes by Enterprise Rent-A-Car or its third party providers
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    No
    Exclusive savings on hotels, flights, cars, and travel for the ultimate travel experience.
    Book your hotels, flights, rental cars, things to do and bundle deals on the app and get Double Expedia Rewards points! Over 500,000+ hotels worldwide including some of the best hotels in the US, including boutique hotels, luxury hotels, airport hotels, hostels, B&Bs and resorts. Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

    From planning to booking, the Expedia App is designed to enhance your travel and hence acknowledged as Webby for People's Voice: Best Travel App. Save with mobile-exclusive hotel deals and stay one step ahead with flight, hotel and car alerts and view your trip details anytime, anywhere.

    Save big when booking bundle deals:
    - Select your perfect hotel and ideal flight
    - Keep an eye out for Unreal Deals
    - View your flight and hotel details together and marvel at all you’ve saved

    Save big on hotel rooms:
    - Save up to 25% with mobile-exclusive hotel deals for tonight, or any night
    - Sort by price, free cancellation, deals or reviews to find a hotel perfect for you
    - Read real reviews from verified hotel guests

    Find your perfect flight:
    - Choose from hundreds of airlines
    - Sort by price, no change fees flights, duration or departure and arrival time
    - Book all class types, from economy to first class seats

    Get going as soon as you land:
    - Enjoy round-trip car rentals from any airport – with no cancellation fee
    - Reserve a car rental up to 30 minutes in advance
    - Choose from our selection of standard car rentals, luxury autos, SUVs and more

    Discover and book things to do:
    - Browse and book activities for hundreds of destinations worldwide
    - Get tickets for tours, shows and theme parks, museums and more
    - Reserve airport shuttles and ground transportation

    Book in a flash and get rewarded for your travel:
    - Already signed in? Complete your booking in less than 30 seconds
    - Earn double Expedia Rewards points on all your purchases

    Your trip companion, no matter the device:
    - View upcoming trip details, hotel address information and get maps for directions
    - Receive alerts for flight delays, hotel check-out times and more
    - Share itineraries with family and friends via email or text message
    - Get inspired with our curated tablet travel collections

    Download the Expedia App for hotels, flights, cars rentals, activities and bundle deals today!

    *Limited quantity, while supplies last. Terms and conditions apply. Only available for customers residing in the US.

    *Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from September 2013 through February 2014, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.

    The Expedia app uses information for analytics, personalization, and advertising. By using our app, you agree to our privacy and cookies policies.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    No
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The 411 from our Appventurer

Caroline Rothnie
Written by:

Caroline Rothnie

Car Rental Apps Showdown: Testing Expedia, Kayak, Hertz, and more

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