If you are moving to Lisbon, Portugal, to work or study, you should know that the public transportation system doesn’t cover every part of the city. You will have to use a car, whether it is to travel from downtown to Cascais for weekend shopping or to go out on a long drive out of the city limits.
The best way to rent a car is to know about the best companies that offer quality services. This article will discuss Lisbon’s best car rental companies, ranging from the highest to the lowest with advantages and disadvantages.
1.- Europcar 🏆
This is one of the biggest international companies that has gained trust because of its reliability and convenience. It offers many free add-on services such as GPS, child seats, and in-car Wi-Fi for drivers who need more than just a car when on the road. The prices aren’t always competitive since it is an international company, but you can get special deals online or through your travel agent. The Europcar branch in Lisbon is easily accessible with plenty of parking spaces and customer service representatives available around the clock to answer questions and provide assistance even during off-hours.
Unfortunately, there have been multiple complaints regarding long wait times during processing, especially when using coupons.
2.- Alamo 🥈
Alamo is most famous for its rentals to the United States Armed Forces, going on since 1947. It has a branch in Lisbon with competitive prices and offers special discounts online with no minimum requirements. It provides excellent customer service, and a big plus is that they don’t charge extra fees for additional drivers or if you need to change the pick-up and drop-off times.
The downside is that they don’t provide free add-ons like GPS or child seats.
3.- Sixt 🥉
Sixt is one of the famous best car rental companies among the locals and tourists alike due to its competitive prices. Customers have been happy with the helpful staff, clean cars, and short processing times. On weekends, it is customary for the wait time to increase as more people travel across the city, but you can avoid this by going during off-peak hours or later in the evening.
The biggest downside of hiring from Sixt is that you will need a credit card to make a reservation which increases security risks if lost or stolen. Some renters also complain about long lines at pick-up and drop-off, especially on busy days such as Easter Sunday or Festa Do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (Feast of Lord Holy Christ of Miracles).
Budget is a company that provides affordable prices and a budget-friendly experience. You can also get special offers on their websites or through your travel agent. Many have been happy with the customer service, clean cars, and short wait times, but others feel that they don’t provide enough staff for busy days such as holidays which means long lines at pick-up and drop-off.
Firefly offers the best car rentals starting at very affordable prices with discounts during holidays and special events such as St Patrick’s Day Festival or Festa de Santo António (Saint Anthony’s Festival). Although it used to be one of the lowest-priced companies, it has hiked its rates significantly, making it more expensive than other major international companies.
The biggest downside of hiring from Firefly is the long lines during peak season. Other complaints include rude staff, dirty vehicles, and hidden fees to renters who don’t return vehicles on time or exceed mileage limitations.
Enterprise offers affordable car rentals starting at meager prices with no hidden fees for one or multiple days. They provide different types of vehicles, from small economy cars to SUVs, minivans, and luxury vehicles depending on your needs, whether you are traveling with family or need a vehicle for business purposes.
The biggest downside is that there can be long lines during peak hours, especially if you have a lot of luggage in tow. Other complaints include unfriendly staff who don’t smile, dirty vehicles, and forgetful staff forgetting to print reservation details, causing customers to have less time to pack up their things before departure or miss flights due to delays in processing time.
7.- Auto Jardim
Much like car rentals, Auto Jardim’s most significant advantage is that it offers one-way rental options, allowing customers to return the vehicle to a different location. This flexibility makes renting more economical if you wish to visit several cities and countries during your trip instead of wasting money on return shipment fees. Another benefit of hiring from Auto Jardim is availability, especially for last-minute travelers, but this can also be seen as a downside because you might find yourself picking up your vehicle on concise notice depending on the availability of cars and getting stuck with what was left over for the day. Other complaints include damaged vehicles and rude staff.
Goldcar offers new and expensive vehicles with comprehensive insurance, which is unusual among rental companies. Customers are happy with the helpful staff, short wait times on busy holidays, and affordable rates during low-peak seasons.
One downside might be traveling to pickup locations on weekends if you don’t have a car due to the high volume of customers who rent vehicles for day trips and sightseeing excursions. Also, resorting to higher-priced luxury vehicles in popular travel destinations isn’t uncommon. Another inconvenience is that they do not provide child or booster seats for free even if you pay an additional fee upfront, even while cheaper companies offer them for no charge at all.
Dollar offers affordable prices on basic economy cars, perfect for traveling on a budget with little luggage. The company has been around since 1955 and is known for its large fleet of vehicles at the most affordable rates in the market.
One downside might be that they charge additional fees to individuals who return their car late or exceed mileage limitations unless you pay extra insurance. Another inconvenience is that it’s only available in select locations and does not offer one-way rentals as some other companies do. It also does not provide accessible child seats. It sometimes requires renters to show proof of citizenship (e.g., passport) before renting a vehicle if the operator believes the renter doesn’t have any ties to Portugal, even when using foreign driving licenses.
10.- Rent a Car 4 Less
Customers love Rent a Car 4 Less for affordable rental rates, especially when other companies charge higher prices during peak hours. Customers also love the brand because it offers clean vehicles with good customer service to matchmaking. Renting from this company is more enjoyable than others lacking in one or more areas. The company provides various types of vehicles depending on your needs, whether traveling alone, with family, or with a group of friends. Another plus is that they have branches both at the airport and city center, so you don’t have to worry about waiting long hours to pick up your car during the high season. Rental cars can also be reserved online through their website, over the phone, or through booking agents like CarRental.Deals, making renting faster and easier.
The most common complaint with Rent a Car 4 Less is its limited vehicle choice during peak hours which can be frustrating, especially if you are traveling with family members or a group of friends who have different needs for the car like size, type, and features.
Interrent is a famous car rental company based in Lisbon and has high customer satisfaction rates. It has an extensive collection of cars for any traveler, whether traveling as a family, couple, or for business purposes. The Internet offers affordable weekly rentals, making the experience more enjoyable even if you’ll be away from home for several days. The staff is also friendly and helpful whenever assistance is needed, making the entire process quick and easy.
One downside to renting with this company might be that their vehicles can sometimes be older than other fleets, and they do not provide one-way rentals. The cheapest vehicle option offered by Interrent may also turn out to be too small if you have large friends and family members.
12. Drive On Holidays
Drive On Holidays is another company that offers personalized service with affordable rates, especially for longer rentals. Their vehicles are newer models that customers enjoy while renting, and their employees are known to be very helpful when assistance is needed during the rental process.
One downside might be that they require renters to show proof of valid credit cards (e.g., Mastercard or Visa) before picking up their cars, even when using a local driving license, unless the renter pays for an additional insurance policy like a third party protection plan. It also does not provide accessible child/booster seats on some occasions despite charging an extra fee upfront even though it allows for a wide array of vehicles, so having different size options isn’t a problem.
In conclusion, the best car rental companies in Lisbon (Portugal) offer excellent customer service and a wide variety of vehicles to choose from depending on your needs, especially during peak hours when other companies charge higher prices. Several complaints include damaged vehicles, staff with poor communication skills that speak multiple languages, and lack of additional features like child seats and GPS devices mounted on the dashboard for more significant safety measures during the trip.
Now you can continue reading our article about the differences between Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Payless, Sixt, Thrifty, Dollar, Alamo, National, or 9 day Road Trip – Portugal From North to South.