What’s The Best Rental Car You’ve Ever Driven?

Rental cars can help or hinder your holiday plans, but what's the best car you've ever hired?

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A red Seat Ibiza hatchback parked at the waterfront
What’s the best rental car you’ve ever driven?
Photo: Seat

Rental cars are the fastest cars you can drive. That’s an undeniable fact. But not all rental machines are created equally. Sometimes, they’re plasticky boxes that suck all the fun out of driving, while other times, they can wind up being the best car you’ve ever driven.

From international rental companies and corporate fleets to local hire companies and mobile services that offer you cars by the hour, we’re treated to a multitude of options when it comes to borrowing a car.

According to one US rental firm, its most popular choice is the Hyundai Accent sedan, while in Russia you might end up stuck with a Proton for your road trip around St. Petersburg. But popular doesn’t always mean good.


Instead, let’s talk about the hidden gems you’ve borrowed on your travels, day trips or automotive adventures.

From a surprisingly sporty Seat in Spain to a fantastic little Fiat I used to live out all my Italian dreams, I’ve tried out a few of the best Europe’s renters have to offer. For my pick, though, the most fun I had in a rental was in Scotland when I took a VW T5 short wheelbase van out for a week around the Highlands.

It remains the biggest thing I’ve ever driven, and it was the perfect set of wheels for that trip. We could throw everything we needed for camping, hiking and cycling in the back, and it was unexpectedly agile and responsive on the twisty, turny Scottish roads. Also, there’s a nice sense of camaraderie between T5 drivers, so everyone else you pass in one either waves or toots.

But what suggestions do you have? For today’s question, we’d love to hear your picks for the best rental you’ve ever driven. Let us know your suggestions in the comments below.