Avis Vs Budget Car Rental [What Are the Differences? Which is Better?]

In most airports, car rental companies often share the same office space behind the counter. So when you need to rent a car, it is somewhat difficult to decide which company to choose. Avis vs Budget – what are the differences? Which is better?

Avis is regarded as a higher-end car rental company, while Budget is considered a cheaper option. There are some locations where the same mechanics services the cars of both companies. Both companies also rent from the same carpools. It is possible to rent the same car from either of the two and pay a different price depending on the company you rent from.

Budget is one of the most popular car rental companies in the world. The same can be said of Avis. While they have some differences, they also have some similarities because they are sister companies. Budget and Avis are both owned and operated by Avis Budget Group, Inc., which also licenses these brands worldwide.

Read on to learn more about the many differences between Avis and Budget and some of their similarities, and which of the car rental companies is better.

Avis Vs Budget Car Rental

avis vs budget

When it comes to Avis vs. Budget, Avis is known as the higher-end car rental company. Budget is regarded as the cheaper option. In some areas, the rental cars of both companies are serviced by the same mechanics. They also get their cars from the same carpools.

Customers can rent the same car from either company, but they will pay a different amount. The reason is that both Avis and Budget are owned and operated by Avis Budget Group, Inc. This umbrella company licenses the Avis and Budget brands around the world.

It seems there will not be much difference between Budget vs Avis since they belong to the same group of companies. While they have some similarities, they also have several differences that can help you determine which of them is better.

Avis and Budget Are Sister Companies

With many car rental companies offering their services to the public, many customers have a hard time choosing a rental car that would best serve their needs. If they only know that most of these rent-a-cars belong to the same group of companies, they will not be puzzled.

In reality, Avis and Budget are siblings. They are sister companies that are both owned by Avis Budget Group. This umbrella company also owns two other rent-a-car companies, namely Zipcar and Payless.

The same is true with Hertz. It also owns two other rent-a-car companies, Thrifty and Dollar. So, it is with Enterprise, which also owns National and Alamo. The same goes with Advantage, which also owns E-Z Rent-A-Car.

It is much like the industry of sunglasses. There are just too many brands in the market that makes it confusing to choose which to buy. The truth is: there is just one company that owns them all. Even if you are loyal to your brand, the money goes into just one pot when you buy it. It is the same with this Budget vs Avis issue.

Differences Between Avis and Budget

Our main topic is the differences between Avis and Budget, so we will discuss them first. It is surprising that even if these two are owned and operated by the same umbrella company, they still manifest a few differences here and there.

Here are their differences:

1. Target Market

Avis has a different target market than Budget. While they are both under the Avis Budget Group, Inc., Avis caters to the leisure and premium commercial segment, while Budget targets the budget segment or those who are more conscious about their budgets.

Premium Segment

What is the premium segment? The premium segment has newer cars, is slightly above average, and is more dependable. Avis and Hertz are among the two most popular premium car rental companies.

Middle or Medium Segment

The middle or medium segment is where the Budget is. The rental cars under this segment are characterized by their quality and type of service between premium and low-cost segments. Other car rental companies that belong to the middle segment are Dollar and Thrifty.

Low-Cost Rental Brands

There is a third segment in the car rental industry. These are the low-cost car rental brands. These brands offer the lowest car rental prices. The companies that populate this segment are Zipcar, Payless, and Flizzr. The first two are also under Avis Budget Group, Inc.

In this context, Avis and Budget are really different from each other. One is serving the rich while the other is serving the poor. So, it will not be surprising if you can get the same car from Budget for much less than the rental cost of the same car with Avis.

But there is a caveat: you will get fewer options at Budget than the options you will get with Avis. Additionally, the availability of your chosen car will be less with Budget than with Avis. Another thing: the rent-a-cars at Avis are fresher than the rental cars of Budget, which are relatively older.

But it really depends on the actual time that you are renting a car. It can happen that you booked a car with Budget and they give you an Avis car because it is the only one available at that time. Such things can happen. You can either have an Avis or Budget rent-a-car, you know.

2. Car Rental Prices

There are also some differences in the rental car prices between Avis and Budget. Here is a sample price comparison between the two car rental companies to rent an economy segment car.

CompanyBasic RentCost of Baby SeatCost of GPSDepositTotal Rent
Budget$249$91$84$100$424
Avis$258$89$112$100$459

In general, you can rent the same car at cheaper rates at Budget. However, Budget’s collection of cars is fewer than Avis’s.

3. Rental Requirements

At Avis, drivers should have a minimum age of 25. There are some exceptions in some locations where those who are 21 are allowed to rent and drive. But a fee may be charged. Additionally, the driver’s license of the concerned individual should be valid for at least 12 consecutive months. Non-English licenses require International Driving Permit.

At Budget, drivers must be no less than 21 years old. They should have a valid driver’s license and a debit or credit card in their name. Foreign drivers who hold a Foreign-language driver’s license should get an International Driving Permit or its official translation.

4. Unlimited Mileage

At Budget, not all rentals come with unlimited mileage. Expect additional fees if you exceed your mileage limit.

At Avis, most rentals come with unlimited mileage. But some car rentals come with a mileage limit. So, expect additional fees when you exceed the mileage limit.

5. Additional Discounts

Budget offers a Budget Business Club class. So, if you have a small or medium-sized business, the company will give you the following:

  • Discounted rates,
  • Discount coupons and free upgrades,
  • Extra Qantas points, and
  • Free day rentals for selected promotions.

Avis has the Avis Corporate Rewards, which provides the lowest rate for small and medium-sized businesses. You can also get free upgrades, free rental days, and extra Qantas points on selected promotions.

6. Availability of Service Features

At Avis, they offer a service that allows you to pick up the rented car and leave it from your location without standing in line. Similarly, Budget has this service, but they offer it in fewer locations. 

Similarities Between Avis and Budget

avis vs budget

Since they belong to the same group of companies, there are similarities between Avis and Budget. In fact, there are more similarities between the two than differences.

Here are some of their similarities:

1. Business Model

Budget and Avis are operating on the same business model. That is not so surprising since they are under a single company. Many have suspected that Avis Budget Group, Inc. wants to hang on to the branding. It’s not people’s fault if some people are loyal to Budget while others are avid Avis supporters.

2. Age Requirement

At Budget, you will not be able to rent and drive a car if you are less than 21 years old. In some cases, you will be allowed to drive if you are less than 21 years old, but you will be charged with certain fees with certain restrictions. The same requirements are followed at Avis.

3. Deposit

Avis or Budget does not require customers to pay a deposit. However, you are encouraged to give a deposit. If you do, you will be given a discount on their normal rates.

4. Insurance

Both Avis and Budget will cover you for any unforeseen mishap. Their insurance coverage includes personal and property insurance, loss damage waiver, and third-party insurance. You can buy additional insurance if you wish.

5. Option of Adding a Driver

Both Avis and Budget allow you to add another driver without additional charges. They may be a family member or a co-worker. But if you want to add more drivers, you have to pay an additional $5 per day. All extra drivers should at least be 25 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. The surcharge will be added for drivers who are between 21 and 24 years old.

6. No Charge per Mile

Both Avis and Budget do not charge extra fees for mileage taken. But some rentals have distance limits. Meaning, they will charge you additional fees if you exceed those limits.

7. Cancellation Fees

At Avis or Budget, there are no cancellation fees if you cancel your contract before the trip. But both companies will charge you a cancellation fee if you cancel during the rental period.

8. Types of Rental Cars

Both Avis and Budget offer the same types of cars. The kinds of vehicles these two companies are offering for rent are the following:

  • Sedan
  • Compact cars
  • Eco-friendly vehicles
  • SUV/minivans
  • Sports cars
  • Vans/trucks
  • Commercial vehicles
  • 4WD
  • Specialty vehicles

9. Mode of Payment

Both Budget and Avis accept cash and debit cards as modes of payment.

10. Price Matching

Both Avis and Budget practice price matching. Avis will beat the price of a competitor for the same type of car by about 10%. Budget will give you a free-day rental certificate for the same rental car as a competitor.

Avis Won’t Go the Way of Hertz

avis vs budget car rental

It seems that Avis is a stable company and won’t follow Hertz, which is already bankrupt. Hertz was one of the nearest competitors of the Avis Budget Group, Inc. This car rental company had a higher utilization rate than Avis. But that didn’t stop Hertz from falling into bankruptcy.

On the surface, it seems Hertz is a better company than Avis. While Hertz had more of its vehicles rented out than Avis, the revenue per vehicle of Avis is a lot higher. That means Avis earns more than Hertz, even if Hertz has a higher utilization rate.

Statistics show that Hertz’s utilization rate is 79%, which is slightly higher than Avis’s utilization rate of 71%. But Avis’s revenue per vehicle per day is $54.63, whereas Hertz’s is only $43.73. That translates to revenue per vehicle per month of $1,157 for Avis and only $1,049 for Hertz. That’s why many industry observers believe that Avis won’t follow Hertz in its bankruptcy.

Conclusion: Budget Vs Avis Car Rental

Avis is famous as a higher-end rent-a-car company. On the other hand, Budget is regarded as a cheaper option. In some locations, the rental cars of these companies are serviced by the same mechanics. Both Avis and Budget also get their cars from the same carpools.

You will be able to rent the same type of car from either Avis or Budget and pay a different price depending on the company you rent from.