Thrifty Car Rental Discounts Disguise Hidden Fees

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Thrifty Car Rental’s discounts aren’t worth the customer service and hidden fee  hassle.

One of the lowest rated rental car companies on Viewpoints, Thrifty Car Rental has a 1/5 average rating for customer service. Car rental reviews are generally low due to varying experiences at different locations and with different employees around the globe. But with a score of only 31/100 based on 77 reviews, there’s more to Thrifty Car Rental’s negative customer comments than a few bad retail locations. We’ve got five Thrifty Car Rental reviews that will make you want to steer clear of this discount car rental company.

About Thrifty Car Rental

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Thrifty Car Rental and Budget Rent A Car are both part of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. In 2012, Dollar Thrifty was purchased by Hertz Global Holdings for more than 2 billion dollars.

Thrifty Car Rental and Budget Rent A Car are owned by the same company. This could explain their relatively close low scores for customer service and vehicle selection. Thrifty Car Rental offers programs and discounts for government employees and frequent travelers. It also offers cars for sale and moving vans and trucks for rent. Its wide range of services and programs may be part of the reason that Thrifty Car Rental hasn’t kept customers happy.

Hidden Fees

Beware of extra fees for processing and administration. Reviewers say Thrifty Rental Car is especially sneaky when it comes to tolls, lateness and required insurance.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you very easily can get lost onto a toll road. If you are in a Thrifty rental car, as I was, they send the toll fee to Thrifty. Thrifty then sent me the toll charges of $18.35. No problem. That is fair. Except, Thrifty then imposed an “administrative” penalty, a Thrifty charge of $175.00! My car rental charge for 3 days was $78 and they thought this $175.00 add-on fee was reasonable!  Worse part of the story was, they refused to deal with me when I complained. I phoned and emailed for a month and they would not respond. They did respond to the credit card company to whom I complained but not to me.” - travelwriter, Reviewer since 2010

“Beware of hidden charges from Thrifty. I wanted to extend rental by 5 days, and the extra charge of $10.95 was going to be added for EACH day. This was beyond the additional daily rental, (which had already had a $10 a day hidden charge).” - pawwap, Reviewer since 2012

“The website pricing does not reflect the final price at the counter. When the insurance is added and all taken into account is not as cheap you would think. Beware! Make sure the gas tank is full! They short change you with a couple of gallons by filling the tank so the needle just barely touches the “F”.” - rahdac, Reviewer since 2012

“We had a billing issue with one of our company employee car rentals.  We were charged over $300 per day for a car that was supposed to be $139 per day (which is insane for an economy car to begin with) for an upgrade.  Now they are refusing to refund any portion of the bill – and I’m only asking for a reasonable daily rate! ” - LysaHoskins, Reviewer since 2010

Know before you rent

Like most car rental companies, Thrifty Car Rental has a lot of fine print on its contracts. Before you rent a car from Thrifty Car Rental, make sure that you’re well aware of all of its policies. You’ll save yourself extra fees for gas, tolls and maintenance if you stay one step ahead of the rental company.

Amber Rambharose Amber Rambharose (50 Posts)

Amber Rambharose is a former writing intern at Viewpoints. She graduated from Hollins University with a B.A. in English Literature and is continuing her studies at the University of Cincinnati.