Europcar Vs. Sixt: Better Car Rental Company For European Trip

When traveling through Europe, renting a car allows maximum flexibility to explore at your own pace. But with so many rental companies to choose from, which one offers the best service and value?

Two of the largest European rental providers are Europcar and Sixt. This in-depth comparison examines the key differences between Europcar and Sixt car rentals.

Read on to learn which company could be best for your upcoming trip based on coverage, locations, vehicle options and more.

A Brief Comparison Table

Locations~2,900 worldwide~2,200 worldwide
Countries ServedOver 140Over 110
Fleet Size and TypesFrom mini cars to luxury, 8 classes totalFocuses on premium and luxury vehicles, 4 classes
PricingLower base rates, but more feesHigher base rates, lower add-on fees
InsuranceLiability + CDW included by defaultMust add CDW for collision coverage
Mileage LimitsUnlimited mileage standardDaily and total limits apply
Pickup ProcessReserve specific car class aheadSelect model same-day based on availability
Best ForRoad trips, rural explorationUrban luxury rentals
Ratings3/5 stars on Trustpilot4/5 stars on Trustpilot

Overview Of Europcar And Sixt

Europcar and Sixt are major multi-national car rental companies with locations across Europe.

Europcar first opened in Paris in 1949 and now operates in over 140 countries worldwide. They boast one of the largest rental fleets in Europe.


Sixt was founded in Germany in 1912 and maintains its headquarters in Pullach. With over 2,200 global locations, they’ve expanded throughout Europe and beyond.

While both companies offer comparable rental services, there are some key distinctions:


  • Part of the Volkswagen Group since 2021
  • Wide range of vehicle classes
  • Priority booking for members


  • Still family-owned and operated
  • Specializes in premium and luxury rentals
  • Fast, streamlined booking process

Comparison Between Europcar And Sixt

Locations and Availability

A wider network of rental locations gives you more pickup and dropoff flexibility.

Europcar has around 2,900 locations in over 140 countries. Availability is especially high across popular European destinations.

Sixt has roughly 2,200 worldwide locations including over 1,000 pickup stations within Europe. Their presence is largest in Germany, France, UK and other western countries.

Both brands have strong airport location coverage. You’ll also find convenient Europcar and Sixt branches in most major city centers.

Europcar may offer slightly better location availability away from cities and airports. But Sixt is still widely accessible for trips focused on urban destinations.

Rental Fleet Offerings

The right rental vehicle depends on your travel party size, road conditions, and luggage needs. Here’s how the Europcar and Sixt fleets compare:

Europcar offers eight rental car categories:

  • Mini – Fiat 500, Toyota Aygo
  • Economy – Peugeot 208, VW Polo
  • Compact – Citroen C3, Nissan Micra
  • Intermediate – VW Golf, Opel Astra
  • Standard – Peugeot 308, Toyota Corolla
  • Full Size – Skoda Superb, Mercedes C-Class
  • Premium – Audi A4, Volvo S60
  • Luxury – BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class

So Europcar has options ranging from small hatchbacks to premium sedans. Fuel-efficient models like Toyota Yaris Hybrid are also available.

Sixt provides four main rental classes:

  • Economy – Hyundai i20, Fiat Panda
  • Compact – VW Golf, Opel Corsa
  • Intermediate – Mercedes A-Class, BMW 1 Series
  • Luxury – Mercedes C-Class, BMW 5 Series

Sixt offers high-end vehicles even in lower rental tiers. Their lineup focuses on German luxury brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Sports cars like the Ford Mustang are also bookable with some locations.

So while Europcar has budget mini cars, Sixt delivers luxury vehicles at great value across classes.

Rental Cost and Fees

Rental cost depends on the pick-up location, dates, vehicle type and rental duration. How do costs compare between providers?

For a 7 day intermediate rental from London Heathrow airport, sample prices are:

  • Europcar: $500
  • Sixt: $350

In general, Sixt offers significantly lower base rental rates, especially for premium vehicle bookings.

However, final pricing is impacted by:

  • Location surcharges
  • Taxes and fees
  • Insurance costs
  • Mileage overages
  • Add-ons like GPS and child seats

Europcar has a simpler fee structure, while Sixt nickel-and-dimes for extras. Mandatory insurance also costs more with Sixt.

For longer rentals, Europcar may be more budget-friendly once all costs are factored in. But for shorter luxury rentals, Sixt remains inexpensive.

Joining rental loyalty programs can help you earn free days and other discounts as well.

Insurance and Protection Plans

Rental insurance is crucial when driving in Europe. Here are the coverage options with each provider:

Europcar auto rentals automatically include basic protection for most countries:

  • Third-party liability insurance
  • Collision damage waiver (CDW) with deductible
  • Theft protection with deductible

Added cover like zero-deductible CDW can be purchased for ~$15/day. Europcar also partners with insurance providers like Allianz for extra peace of mind.

Sixt only includes legally required liability insurance in some countries. You must opt into Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) for around $30/day to reduce financial liability for damages. Other protection packages are also available at added cost.

Without CDW, drivers are responsible for the full value of the vehicle if damaged. This risk makes comprehensive CDW worth the extra investment with Sixt.

Reservation and Rental Process

A streamlined booking and pickup experience ensures a smooth start to your road trip. How do the rental processes compare between brands?

The Europcar booking process involves:

  • Check rates and availability online
  • Reserve a specific car class
  • Select protection plans
  • Pay deposit to complete booking
  • Pick up car at scheduled time

Sixt uses a faster, more flexible booking system:

  • Enter trip details to view realtime availability and pricing
  • Secure your rental with a credit card
  • Select optional coverage like CDW
  • Choose your exact rental car on arrival
  • Complete quick checkout at the counter

With Sixt, you don’t reserve a specific car model ahead of time. This allows some flexibility to upgrade vehicles subject to availability.

Overall, Sixt offers a quicker rental process. But Europcar lets you guarantee a certain vehicle class further in advance.

One-Way and Cross-Border Rentals

Driving through multiple European countries is part of the fun of a rental road trip.

Both Europcar and Sixt allow one-way rentals between cities and countries for a small fee. This means you can pick up in Paris and drop off in Rome, for example.

Just be aware some countries require you to purchase additional insurance for cross-border travel. Make sure you have adequate protection that’s valid throughout your entire route.

Sixt in particular limits cross-border travel in luxury and sports vehicles. So if planning an international driving holiday, double-check restrictions for your desired car class.

Also Read: Comparison Between Alamo And Sixt Car Rental.

Mileage Limits

Understanding mileage restrictions prevents surprise overage fees at the end of your rental.

Europcar allows unlimited mileage in most countries except Poland. No worries about extra mileage charges.

Sixt enforces strict daily and total mileage caps that vary by rental station and vehicle type. Going over can lead to charges around $0.50/mile – which adds up quickly.

Be realistic when estimating your travel distances so you can choose the right Sixt mileage package. Going unlimited is often worthwhile for longer rentals.

Where Each Brand Excels

To summarize the key differences:

Europcar is ideal for:

  • Multi-country European holidays thanks to wide location network
  • Exploring countryside and rural regions
  • Longer rentals with unlimited mileage
  • Traveling with lots of luggage

Sixt excels at:

  • Premium and luxury vehicle rentals at affordable rates
  • Quick, easy reservations and rental pickup
  • Short urban getaways
  • Cross-border travel in western Europe

So Europcar is equipped for adventurous road trips, while Sixt provides luxury car access across cities. Pick the brand aligned with your specific rental needs.

User Ratings and Reviews

It’s always helpful to read objective customer reviews before making your rental choice. Here’s what users praise and criticize about each company:

Europcar earns 3/5 stars on Trustpilot based on over 11,000 reviews. Positive feedback includes:

  • Smooth rental process and customer service
  • Good value for longer rentals
  • Wide vehicle selection and availability

Common complaints involve:

  • Hidden fees and surprise charges
  • Pushy upsells for insurance and extras
  • Vehicle cleanliness issues

Sixt garners 4/5 Trustpilot stars across 20,000+ reviews. Favorable comments highlight:

  • High-end car rental deals
  • Quick, easy bookings via mobile app
  • Premium features like complimentary exit cleaning

Negative critiques focus on:

  • Poor communication and inflexibility with changes
  • Mileage overages and fuel policies
  • Inconsistency in service quality

Overall, customers seem happiest with Sixt for short urban luxury rentals. Europcar satisfies for more extensive European road trips.

Also Read: Comparison Between Boatsetter And GetMyBoat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is the most reliable car rental company in Europe?

Based on customer reviews and ratings, Europcar is generally considered the most reliable major rental provider in Europe. Their vehicles are reasonably modern and well-maintained, and inclusive insurance offers peace of mind. Slowing down the process can be some attempts at upselling extras. But Europcar delivers a consistently acceptable rental experience across Europe.

What is the best company to rent my car?

The best car rental company depends on the specifics of your trip:
Europcar is ideal for extended itineraries crossing multiple countries. Their huge network is suited to exploring small towns and countryside. Unlimited mileage and automatic basic insurance make Europcar a reliable choice for road trips.
Sixt shines for short urban getaways requiring a luxury vehicle. Their discounted rates on premium cars appeal to couples and small groups. But confirm insurance needs and watch for mileage overages with Sixt.

Is Sixt owned by Avis?

No, Sixt remains independently owned and operated. It is a German company that started over 100 years ago, and the Sixt family still owns a majority stake.
Avis Budget Group does have a strategic partnership with Sixt that allows cooperation on fleet-related matters. But the two companies continue to function as fully separate businesses. Sixt maintains its own unique brand identity and corporate management.

What is the alternative to Europcar?

The main alternatives to consider instead of Europcar are:
Sixt – Affordable luxury rentals best for urban travel
Enterprise – Popular with US travelers and those wanting SUVs or passenger vans
Hertz – Major global brand with big European presence
Local providers – Smaller independent companies with lower prices
Review each company’s location network, vehicle fleet, pricing and insurance inclusions. Weigh the pros and cons based on the nature of your rental needs on a European trip.

Enjoy the video to know more about Sixt!


For most Europe-wide adventures, Europcar is usually the best fit thanks to their enormous branch network, roomier vehicles and unlimited mileage. Protection against accident liability is also automatically included with standard rentals.

Travelers visiting cosmopolitan areas like Paris or Milan will appreciate Sixt’s luxury fleet and discounted premium pricing. Just be vigilant to avoid mileage overlimit and damage excess fees that can quickly erase savings. Also confirm insurance needs early.

Carefully compare total pricing for your specific trip details before booking either brand. Joining loyalty programs also helps unlock the best deals as a frequent renter.

With the right provider matched to your travel style, you can embark on an unforgettable European road trip at the wheel of a quality rental vehicle.

Enjoy newfound freedom to travel at your own pace and explore off the beaten path.

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