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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:

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Apps We Selected
  2. Our Pick Priceline: Hotel, Flight & Car Priceline: Hotel, Flight & Car Runner Up Turo - Rent the perfect car Turo - Rent the perfect car Also Groovy Enterprise Car Rental Enterprise Car Rental Also Groovy Expedia: Hotels, Flights & Car Expedia: Hotels, Flights & Car
  3. 2. Everything We Recommend
  4. 3. The 411 from our Appventurer
  5. 4. Other Apps Considered
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. Whether you're flying in from afar or looking for a car down the street, searching for a rugged truck or something smooth and swanky, guests can take the wheel of the perfect car for any occasion, while hosts can take the wheel of their futures by building an accessible, flexible, and scalable car sharing business from the ground up.

    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 600,000 vehicles listed worldwide, Turo lets you find the perfect vehicle for your next adventure.

    Turo offsets 100% of our estimated global carbon emissions, so you can rest easy building your businesses and satisfying your wanderlust knowing that our carbon footprint is accounted for.

    Browse endless options
    Choose from a totally unique selection of cars and find the perfect one for any occasion. Book a comfy minivan for a family road trip, a pickup truck for moving, something small for getting around town, or an efficient hybrid car to go run errands.

    Book cars directly from local hosts
    Book cars shared by car owners in your neighborhood or wherever you’re going, starting from $25/day. With car sharing on Turo, you get to enjoy a personalized service from local hosts sharing their own personal cars.

    Discover new places
    Find cars on Turo in every metro area and in thousands of cities across the US, Canada, and the UK. Treat yourself to a luxury car while vacationing in Las Vegas or Miami, book a minivan while family’s in town visiting, or find a rugged 4x4 for a winter road trip to the mountains.

    Skip the rental car counter
    Have your car delivered and save time and hassle by picking it up near your airport, hotel, or vacation rental. Meet your host at the curb or safely access cars through a variety of contactless check-in options.

    Embrace the open road
    Going on a vacation or business trip? Don't use a ride sharing app, carpool with strangers, or rent boring rental cars — upgrade your travel plans and book the perfect car on Turo so you have the freedom to cruise around on your own schedule.

    Start your own car sharing business
    Share your car and turn your depreciating asset into an earnings engine. Car owners can earn money by sharing cars when they’re not using them, and can build a car sharing business that’s scalable and flexible.

    Insurance included
    You’re covered with $750,000 in liability insurance from Travelers Excess and Surplus Lines Company backing each trip. Plus, choose from an array of protection plans that include varying levels of reimbursement for physical damage.

    Upgrade to car sharing
    Unlike rental car companies, Turo is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace where you can book cars directly from trusted local car owners. Turo does not own any cars — when you book a car on Turo, you get a personalized service and experience from hosts who share their own personal cars and set their own prices, discounts, vehicle availability, and delivery options.

    Note: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    No
  • Also Groovy
    Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand is part of the world’s largest car rental provider. With over 9,500 car rental locations around the world, it has never been easier to rent a car while on the go. The Enterprise car rental app is your free travel planner across the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America and more. Our award-winning customer service and variety of vehicle options from economy to luxury car rental will keep your travel worry-free. As a commitment to your safety, we follow an industry-leading procedure with our Complete Clean Pledge to clean and sanitize every rental car at Enterprise.

    The Enterprise car rental app allows you to easily find a rental car, view or modify upcoming reservations to extend your travel plans, get directions to your rental car branch or call roadside assistance for 24/7 help on the road. Stay signed into your Enterprise Plus account on the app to make reservations faster and earn points you can redeem for free rental days.

    Introducing Enterprise ReadyPass℠
    Explore the benefits of this optional service, offered free of charge at select locations.
    • Check in ahead of time
    • Bypass the airport counter
    • Get to your vehicle faster
    • Try our newest innovations - now and in the future

    Make a car rental reservation:
    • Find car rental locations near you for your upcoming travel
    • Narrow your search with location and vehicle filters
    • Book long term car rental for extended travel plans
    • Save rental details to make future reservations even faster

    Access all your car rental information in one place:
    • Easily view the details and information of your rental car and trip
    • Quickly reference pick-up or drop-off times for your car rental
    • Get directions back to your rental car location

    Manage your Enterprise Plus account:
    • Earn points on every dollar spent
    • View your reward points balance
    • Update account details
    • Redeem your reward points toward free rental days

    Get help when you need it most:
    • Call roadside assistance or our customer support for help
    • Find car rental branch details including phone number, address and directions

    Do you have a favorite Enterprise rental car location?
    • Make a location your “favorite” in the app
    • Quickly access information to reserve a rental car at your most visited location.

    Are you ready for a road trip?
    • Find the best road trip cars – choose from a wide selection of cars, trucks, SUV’s and
    vans
    • Reserve a vehicle at any destination with thousands of rental car locations
    • Stay safe with our complete clean pledge. Every vehicle will be cleaned and sanitized.
    • Never get stuck on the road with access to 24/7 roadside assistance

    Enterprise is always there when you need us. Now with our rental car app we are making it even easier to experience all the benefits Enterprise has to offer from your mobile phone.

    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
    The Expedia app is your all-in-one travel companion, making it fast, easy, and convenient to find and save on all your amazing adventures ahead. Dreaming of a beach vacation in Florida? Or a romantic getaway in Paris? Whatever your reason to escape, you’ll find Member Prices to help you get there for a great price. Plus, earn double Expedia Rewards points for every eligible trip booking you make in the Expedia app.

    Members get more through the app, including:
    - Lower Member Prices of 10% or more off thousands of hotels*
    - Double points on all eligible app bookings*
    - In-trip extras as your status rises, like free hotel room upgrades and late checkout

    Simply log in, or join for free to begin enjoying your Expedia member benefits.

    Get inspired for your next trip by exploring over 500,000+ hotels worldwide, including boutique hotels, luxury hotels, airport hotels, hostels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, and resorts. Plus, enjoy free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.*

    From trip planning to booking, the Expedia app is designed to enhance your travel experience and keep you one step ahead with real-time travel alerts and the ability to view your trip details anytime, anywhere.

    Search for hotels to fit your escape:
    - Save 10% or more on thousands of hotels with Member Prices
    - Sort by price, free cancellation, deals, or reviews to find a hotel you’ll love
    - Read real reviews from verified hotel guests

    Find your perfect flight:
    - Choose from hundreds of airlines and flights
    - 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 rental cars 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 app 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
    - Browse inspiring travel guides

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


    *These offers are only available to Expedia Rewards members. The discount will be applied to the price of selected hotels (excluding applicable taxes and other fees). Prices displayed include the promotional discount and are per room, per night, based on two people sharing a room. Blackout periods may apply and a minimum hotel stay may be required. Please check individual hotel for details. Offers are subject to limited availability and may be discontinued without notice. Expedia’s usual booking terms and conditions apply. Bonus point offers are calculated on the base points earned for an eligible booking only and are not calculated on any bonus points earned for being Silver or Gold members, or otherwise. Free cancellation on most hotels. Some hotels require you to cancel at least 24-48 hours before check-in. See property pages on our app for details.

    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

Hard as I try to keep a minimalist phone, I can't stop downloading more apps. In addition to my can't-live-without apps for organization, music and podcasts, fitness, and meditation, I'm constantly trying out new ones. So I love apps, but it's a complicated relationship -- some of my favorites are for keeping me off my phone/internet.

In second grade, I attempted to do a book report on a story I had written myself, so you could say I've always thought of myself as a writer. These days, I write a wide variety of web content with a focus on mental health and productivity. I also write personal essays. I live in Kansas with my husband and two dogs. 

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

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