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From Nissan to Chevrolet. Who wins the rental race?

One of the great things about hiring a car is that it lets you try out models that you might never otherwise consider buying. It can also give you some handy pointers towards the makes that you might want to choose for yourself when you’re next due to change. Having said this, the criteria you have for renting a car are often very different from the ones you may have for buying one.

For example when you’re only driving a particular car for a couple of weeks then perhaps fuel economy may not be so important for you. Or, on the other hand, if you’re planning to travel long distances while you’re away then the car you choose will be very different from the runabout that you drive round town at home.

There are also all sorts of other things to think about with rental cars, from arranging the excess insurance that could save you a big bill if you have a scrape to whether you’re better off taking your own child seats and sat nav instead of including them in your rental. While we can’t really give any guidance on these we can direct you towards some of the best models to rent while you’re away.

Starting off with a small city car, perfect for a weekend break when it’s probably just the two of you without much luggage to carry, then the Hyundai i10 makes a great choice – and it was also What Car’s 2017 Car of the Year for the category. It’s economical, easy to park and has a nicely-finished interior too. Alternatively, the Chevrolet Spark is also very highly thought of – especially as it’s a 5 door, 5 seater, a rare combination for the category.

Moving on to the sorts of cars suitable for smaller families the Ford Focus is an ever-popular model thanks to its relatively low rental costs and the wide number of variants available in the range. For a little more luxury the Audi A3 is also highly regarded thanks to the typically high quality of Audi’s interiors as well as its versatility which covers both city and motorway driving.

Larger families or groups will be looking for more of an MPV which will have the capacity for both more passengers and their luggage, for them the Volkswagen Touran is a natural choice. It’s spacious, has many safety features and Autocar found it “comfy, slick and consistent” to drive. Also worth a mention is the Nissan Qashqai. Although smaller than the 7-seat Touran it’s still reasonably spacious and will also be in a lower rental category, meaning cheaper rates.

Finally, for those looking to rent an executive car the Audi A4 comes highly recommended. It looks great inside and out and is supremely comfortable even on the longest of journeys. Choose a diesel model and you can look forward to fuel economy of anything up to 74 mpg.

Of course, these are all just subjective opinions and you may well be led by your own preferences or simply the models that are available at the time. Nevertheless, we hope that this brief guide has helped and wish you happy motoring – wherever you may be headed.

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