If you are in the market for a rental car for a business trip or your next vacation, you are likely evaluating different companies. Your research might have brought you to Avis and Budget, deciding which one is better. The differences and similarities between the Avis vs. Budget car rental companies might surprise you.
In this guide, I look at the similarities and differences between the two car rental companies. I also help you decide which one is best for your rental car needs, based on the information I reveal about both options.
Differences Between Avis vs. Budget
Avis and Budget come from the same parent company. They are both part of the Avis Budget Group. However, Avis targets high-end customers with higher prices, imposing more age restrictions. On the other hand, Budget is focused on cheaper options with fewer age regulations.
Avis was created by Warren Avis in 1946, making it one of the oldest rental companies in the country. It was initially operated from the Willow Run Airport, found in Michigan. At the time, the company only had three cars. By 1953, it became the second-largest rental company in the U.S. Just a few years later, the company was also operating in Mexico, Canada and Europe.
In the 1970s, Avis created “Wizard,” an automated reservation system that is still operational today. Today, Avis is one of the top companies in the rental game, continuing to grow in popularity.
Budget Rent a Car was founded by Morris Mirkin in 1958. Even though only ten cars made up the initial fleet, two years later, Budget offered franchised rentals around the nation. Throughout its years, the company has been owned by multiple corporations.
However, in 2002, Cendant Corporation bought Budget, which was the same parent as Avis. By 2006, the parent company divided up into multiple divisions, with both Avis and Budget ending up in the Avis Budget Group.
You can find both car rental companies in a multitude of countries around the world. However, Avis is found in more locations than Budget.
Currently, Avis operates in over 160 countries. In comparison, Budget can be found in about 120. If you are looking to travel within the United States, you might not notice the difference in availability, as both companies tend to operate together on the same lots.
For the most part, both Avis and Budget will provide a nice variety of cars. However, it’s the variety that’s offered that is different.
For example, Avis tends to focus more on higher-end cars and luxury models, with some budget-friendly options thrown in. Budget is the opposite, with a higher focus on cheap rentals and a few higher-end models scattered about.
With both companies, you can find a relative amount of insurance coverage, deposits required and discounts available. Still, Budget is going to charge a slightly lower rate for comparable cars.
On average, you are only looking at a few dollars’ difference. Yet, when you are trying to save as much money as possible, those few dollars count.
5. Driving Age
If you are a younger driver, you might have trouble getting a car with Avis. Anyone 25 or under must pay some extra fees, plus the company requires that your driver’s license is valid for at least a full year.
Budget’s age limit is anyone over 21 years old. To rent, you must also have a valid license and a debit or credit card in your name.
6. Mileage Limits
When you drive with Avis, it’s simple to get a rental that offers unlimited mileage. With this option, you don’t have to pay more based on how much you drive.
On the other hand, Budget tends to have stricter mileage limits. You are going to pay additional fees unless you are comfortable driving within the constraints given to you.
If you compare the two companies side-by-side, Avis tends to have a better reputation overall. In a lot of ways, the better reviews simply have to do with the company being around longer, as it is one of the oldest in the nation. It’s also been a company at the forefront of technology since the beginning. With the extreme selection of luxury cars and superior services, discerning customers seem to rave highly about this rental company.
On the other hand, Budget also has a good reputation, but with a different classification of people. Because of the lower cost associated with the rentals, people rave about the affordability and flexibility of the rental.
Overall, the two are part of the same company. For that reason, you can expect a lot of the customer service and general policies to remain the same. Many people note that their experience with both Avis and Budget was approximately the same when dealing with employees or online services.
Similarities Between Avis vs. Budget
While I’ve discussed the differences between Avis and Budget, there are also plenty of things both companies do similarly. For this reason, I wanted to outline what you could find from both companies.
Here are just a few similarities you will note:
- Long-term rentals available
- One-way airport rentals
- Van rentals, which include minivans, plus 12- or 15-passenger options
- Pickup rentals for hauling and towing purposes
- SUV rentals – available in many sizes
- Sedan rentals – from low-cost economy models to prestigious high-end options
- Luxury sports coupes, sedans and convertibles
- Signature models that turn heads
- Hybrid vehicles for more fuel-efficiency
- Online ordering/reservation system
- Receive many notable achievements
- No cancellation fees
- Additional driver allowed
- Discounts offered
Before you go on a trip, it’s important to fully evaluate both companies before making a decision. I recommend getting quotes from both companies to see what’s different and what’s the same as you read the terms.
Avis vs. Budget: Which One is Best for You?
It’s difficult to pick a winner between the two car rental companies, because both have a lot to offer. With that said, the benefits of each company are going to appeal to different markets.
If you are looking to save as much money as possible, Budget might be the better option for you. With this company, you can get a no-frills car for less money. You can also get behind the wheel at a younger age. For this company to be the best option, you can’t care as much about what type of car you are driving.
On the other hand, if you are trying to impress clients or you want to treat yourself to the best and price isn’t a problem, Avis is going to be better suited to you. There are more luxury models to choose from, all equipped with the latest technologies for a smoother ride. However, you need to be older to rent from Avis, and you are going to spend more.
You might find that one size doesn’t always fit. For example, you might prefer to use Budget for your next family vacation, but Avis could be the better fit later for a business trip. It’s good to try both companies out to see which one you prefer. Maybe you will find an overall favorite.