Is Rentalcars.Com Legit? An Honest Opinion

Last Updated: May 14th, 2024

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Rentalcars.com is one of the most popular platforms for booking rental vehicles around the world, thanks to its affordable rates and fantastic customer experience. However, as a 3rd-party booking site, the platform highly relies on the professionalism of local rental companies, which begs the question, is Rentalcars.com legit and is the Rentalcars.com website safe to use?

Is Rentalcars.com Reliable?

A-Person-Driving-A-Red-Car-On-The-Road

Rentalcars.com is a legit and reliable car hire booking service that connects travellers with the best car rental deals and companies for thousands of popular travel destinations. Owned by the same group behind Booking.com, it is trusted by thousands of people around the world, including myself.

However, as a 3rd-party booking site, Rentalcars.com relies on the professionalism of hundreds of rental companies around the world. While Rentalcars.com does its best to monitor its partners, some of these brands tend to be less legitimate than others, and user experience can vary between vehicle and partner companies.

What is Rentalcars.com?

A-Vintage-Red-Car-On-The-Road

Rentalcars.com was founded in 2004 as TravelJigsaw and was acquired by Booking  Holdings as Rentalcars.com in 2010. Since then, it has become the biggest car hire booking service in the world, with partners operating in 60,000 locations in 167 countries worldwide.

As a 3rd-party booking platform, Rentalcars.com doesn’t rent out vehicles directly. Instead, it works with hundreds of international and local car rental brands, working as the middleman that connects you to the best rental deals for any destination where it operates.

Is Rentalcars.com Safe to Use?

An-Old-Car-On-The-Street

A significant concern that arises with booking through 3-party rental websites is how the company can guarantee a booking when a local rental company could easily decide not to give you the car upon your arrival or, even worse, charge you extortionate service charges.

Luckily, Rentalcars.com has a few safeguards in place to ensure a smooth car rental experience that has earned Booking Holdings its reliable reputation.

Trusted Partners

Rentalcars.com has a strict vetting process for each of the rental companies they partner with and only features rental vehicles from service providers that they have a contractual relationship with on their platform.

Before being accepted as a Rentalcars.com partner, car rental companies must first pass a series of tests, including a visit from a representative from the platform’s specialist team.

Through this vetting process, Retnalcars.com ensures only reputable and professional car rental providers are offered through their platform for a safe and reliable booking experience.

User Reviews

Despite Rentalcars.com’s best efforts to only partner with professional traders, some of their associated brands are better than others, and user experience can vary between individuals and companies.

Rentalcars.com makes it easy to distinguish reliable car rentals from shady ones through user reviews. After each rental, the platform will ask you to review your experience for others. If a vehicle has only positive reviews, chances are it is from a reliable brand.

Conversely, if a vehicle has negative reviews, it may be best to practice caution. What’s more, user reviews also help Rentalcars.com monitor their partners. If a provider has enough negative reviews, it may be enough for Rentalcars.com to remove it from their platform.

24/7 Support

Another way Rentalcars.com ensures a smooth car rental experience is through its dedicated customer support team. Whether you need help managing your booking or are having problems with the associated rental company upon pickup of your vehicle, 24/7 customer support is always available to assist you through the process.

What Are The Benefits of Booking With Rentalcars.com?

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Now that we have established Rentalcars.com as a reliable booking service, the next question we must ask is why book with them in the first place. After all, why not just go to the car rental companies directly?

Well, there are several reasons why you should book with Rentalcars.com, with the following being just the top reasons why it has become the most reputable service for renting a vehicle abroad;

Most Extensive Car Catalog

The biggest advantage of booking with Rentalcars.com is that it has the most extensive aggregation of rental vehicles of any 3rd-party booking website. Since it is owned by Booking Holdings, Rentalcars.com is able to attract hundreds of international and local brands in 163 countries around the world.

Instead of having to visit dozens of websites to compare prices, you simply plug your destination into Rentalcars.com to find all the best deals and rentals collected in a single space.

Features Affordable Prices

As an extension of having the largest collection of car rental partners, Rentalcars.com also typically features the most affordable vehicle rentals. This is because, along with partnering with recognizable international brands, Rentalcars.com associates with small local rental services that are attracted to the platform thanks to its massive audience.

These local companies often feature more affordable prices to compete with the familiarity of booking with a more iconic brand.

Price Match Guarantee

In the rare case that you find a lower price on another website, Rentalcars.com will match it.

This price match guarantee is valid after you have made a booking through the platform and requires you to submit a claim with proof of the lower price.

There are some limits and conditions, but the price match guarantee is a great way to ensure you are getting the best rates with Rentalcars.com.

Collision Damage Protection

Another benefit of booking through Rentalcars.com, as opposed to booking directly with a car rental company, is its optional collision damage protection insurance policy.

While there is an additional charge for this protection, it is typically much more affordable than policies offered by local rental companies.

Depending on your destination, having rental insurance may or may not be required to rent a vehicle. Regardless, I recommend opting in for the coverage, which protects you against a variety of unforeseen circumstances, including;

  • Damage costs relating to single vehicle & multiple vehicle accidents
  • Theft of vehicle
  • Glass/windshield damage
  • Tires
  • Key Coverage
  • Lock out
  • Towing charges
  • Salvage, fire department charges, customs duties costs
  • Loss of use fees (also called “demurrage”)
  • Administrative fees
  • Drop off/relocation of Rental Vehicle
  • Credit card fees

Great Cancellation Policy

While a few listings are marked with a non-refundable label, most vehicles on Rentalcars.com feature a free cancellation policy. Cars not labeled with the non-refundable marker feature a full refund when canceled more than 48 hours before your pickup time, while those reservations canceled within 48 hours of their pickup will receive a refund minus three days of their rental period.

Why is Rentalcars.com so Cheap?

A-Person-Driving-An-Suv-Car-On-The-Road

One of the most significant factors leading people to question the legitimacy of Rentalcars.com is that the platform features rental rates that are much lower than those of other rental booking websites.

However, Rentalcars.com is able to offer these rates thanks to its extensive list of partner rental companies around the world.

Requirements for Renting with Rentalcars.com

There aren’t any requirements to book a car on Rentalcars.com other than confirming your booking with a credit card. However, there are a few things you will need to bring with you when you go to pick up the vehicle.

  • Valid driver’s license (and an International Drivers’ Permit if required in your destination)
  • Your Rentalcars.com booking voucher
  • Credit card
  • Passport

How to Book with Rentalcars.com?

The-Cars-Parked-At-The-Town-Road

Rentalcars.com makes it extremely easy to rent a vehicle abroad. First, head over to their homepage. Here, you simply insert your destination, followed by your pickup and drop-off dates and the age of the primary driver.

Rentalcars.com will then search through its catalog of rental companies and list all the vehicles available for your destination and time frame. You can search through the vehicles using a variety of filters. Take your time to review specifications and reviews.

Once you have decided on a vehicle, you simply click “Continue to booking.” This will bring you to the next step of the process, which allows you to opt into the Collision Damage Protection policy.

Whether you decide to purchase the insurance policy or not, the final step in the booking process involves plugging in your driver’s details, along with your billing information. When all looks good, simply click “Book now” to confirm your reservation.

Rentalcars.com will then email you a confirmation code, which you will bring with you to your pickup.

Final Thoughts

Rentalcars.com is a legit car hire booking service and delivers exactly what it promises by connecting its users to the best car rental providers around the world. Unfortunately, not all of its associated partners are always as authentic.

While Rentalcars.com has an extensive vetting process and monitors its partners to ensure a reliable booking process and rental, user experiences can differ between individuals and rental companies.

Luckily, between its 24/7 customer support, user reviews, and the ability to pay for the entire rental through the online website or mobile app, Rentalcars.com gives its users all the tools they need to identify trustworthy car rentals, from the ones that may be scams.

About The Author

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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Picture of Kurt Norris

Kurt Norris

A Canada-based freelance writer, Kurt acquired his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, Kurt left the courtside media desk behind and began venturing the globe. Throughout his journeys, Kurt enjoys partaking in slow travel and loves to explore the histories and cultures of each destination, which he shares with others through his writing.

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