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Thrifty vs Budget: Which Is Better? [2024]

Thrifty vs Budget: Which Is Better? [2024]

Thrifty vs Budget: While the internet is full of different car rental companies, it is quite hard to choose which among them is the best option, service and experience for you.

Among the many car rental companies, Budget Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental service are competing a lot recently.

Which among the two offers the best services? What are their driver and car rental requirements? How much do they hold onto your cards? Which car models are included in their fleet list? How much do they charge?

If you wish to know answers to all the above mentioned questions, we are glad to inform you that all of them are present in our article.

Thrifty vs Budget: Overview


Thrifty vs Budget

Thrifty car rentals, popularly known as Thrifty is an American-based car rental agency founded in 1958 and owned by The Hertz Corporation. The company has over 1000 locations established across the world.

Thrifty offers you a huge selection of cars, trucks and fans. They offer you to choose more with your great promotional deals along with the best prices and guaranteed good experience. 

You can visit one of their physical stores for enquiry or simply visit their official website. You can rent a car completely through the online process without needing to visit the store. Their official website comes with an on-site store locator. Thrifty offers some easy modification and cancellation services. 

It also offers a club service called Blue Chip Rewards where consumers can experience an additional set of rewards. The highlight of their club is that it is free to join. Thrifty does not ask for any fees for any membership plan.

The list of Blue Chip Rewards and benefits include free authorised additional drivers, spouse or domestic partner will do. Users can enjoy quicker reservations, pick-up and returns. 

They will receive exclusive discounts and priority counter service whenever needed. Also, they will be allowed to skip the counter and visit the lot straightaway.


Budget vs Thrifty

Budget Rent a Car is a leading car rental company in the United States. It was founded in 1958 and works under Avis Budget Group. Budget offers professional services and has more than 18,500 rental locations across America and other parts of the world.

If you are looking for cheap rental services, Budget is one of the best choices you have. One of the major highlights of  Budget is that it does not ask for your credit card compulsorily. 

Budget allows you to make a reservation, per-paid and do everything online. You’re not required to visit their store unless you wish to do so for any face-to-face enquiry session. From their vast collection of cars, you are set to have a nice car rental experience with Budget.

Thrifty vs Budget: How do they work?

As every car rental service provider requires you to follow certain requirements from their side so that they can trust you with their asset, Thrifty and Budget both have the similar process. We are now going to mention the main car rental requirements from both the brands below,


  • Have a license issued by any state of the same country, valid till the complete period of rental.
  • Have a traffic citation valid for the complete rental period.
  • Must be at least 20 years old to rent a car in most of the locations in the United States.
  • Thrifty will charge different charges for drivers between the age of 20 to 24 years old.
  • The person in charge of driving must be an authorised driver.
  • In other parts of the United States, drivers between the age of 18 to 24 years old will be charged an underage driver's fee.


  • Have a valid driver's license. He or she is required to show the driver's license when they arrive to pick up the car.
  • The driver must possess a clean driving record.
  • They will charge rental extension fees as soon as the limit is over and you are yet to submit the rental car.
  • If you are below 25 years old, you are required to present your credit card, debit card is only for those about 25 years old.

After you have agreed to and have been qualified for all the basic and detailed requirements by Budget, the rest of the renting process is easy and just like any other brand.

You have to start by visiting the Budget’s official website if you are going to do everything online. You can have a look at their list of leads and all the currently available cars and other vehicles.

After reviewing everything including additional charges, description and actual price of the rental, you can move ahead with the booking process. You have to make sure you adhere to all the rental and driver requirements by the company you have chosen before moving ahead.

Once your request is sent, they will review everything and get back to you with the confirmation accordingly.

Thrifty vs Budget: Pricing


The car rental charges differ according to the times, days, seasons and months. 

However, on normal days, the pricing for car rentals starts from $46 per day for standard, $47 per day for full size, $42 per day for supplier choice, $55 per day for compact SUV and $55 for a day for standard SUV. The pricing, in short, starts from $41.


The pricing at Budget car rental is insanely cheap and affordable. It is set to fit in any middle-class person’s Budget. 

For instance, even though the charges seem to waver according to the time of booking, month of booking and festive season, the charges for the normal day for a 12-foot truck or 16-foot truck, local round-trip move under 50 miles will cost you only $29.99 per day. 

On top of this, the brand offers free cancellation and modification services. Drivers can opt for additional roadside assistance which will cost them an additional amount.

The bottom line says Budget offers cheaper deals than Thrifty. In general, both car rental companies offer affordable rates for different cars and services. But, if you need a brand charging the lowest prices then Budget is the name.

Thrifty vs Budget: How much do they hold onto your card?


Thrifty holds different prices on credit card and debit cards. They will first hold an authorised hold on your credit or debit card to cover the estimated rental charges which will include your car rental actual price along with additional charges.

Along with that, they will hold $200 on your credit card for a security deposit. On your debit card, irrespective of your age, they will hold $500 as the security deposit.

After you have submitted the car, Thrifty will take between 5 to 10 days to process the refund of your security deposit and other charges. If there is an extension in the refund period, then that will be your bank’s issue.


Unlike Thrifty, Budget will place one set amount to hold on your credit or debit card. Along with the estimated charges including the car rental price and additional charges, Budget will hold $300 as a security deposit on your debit or credit card.

After you have returned the car and they have done a thorough checkup for any damage and relevant issues, they will take up to 2 weeks to process your refund and return your security deposit. There can be a change in the refund period due to your bank.

Although you get most of the security deposit transferred back into your account, Budget still has an upper hand in this case because it charges one set amount of $300 as a security deposit on both cards. You are at a plus point at Thrifty only if you are going to pay through your credit card.

Thrifty vs Budget: Fleet

Thrifty offers a wide selection of cars in its fleet collection for the US residence. The list includes Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Nissan Rogue, Jeep Compass, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Armada and Chevrolet suburban.

The list also includes Chrysler Pacifica, Ford E350, Chevrolet express cargo van, Ford mustang convertible, Dodge charger, Dodge RAM 1500, Ford transit cargo Nowruz, for fusion hybrid, BMWX1, BMWX3, Mercedes Benz C300, Mercedes Benz AMGE 63 sedan and more.


Budget offers a huge collection of cars and vehicles. Its list fleet includes Ford Fiesta, Kia Soul, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat, Chrysler 300, Ford mustang convertible, Ford Expedition, Nissan Pathfinder, Chrysler Voyager and Chevrolet Tahoe.

The list also includes Chevrolet Corvette, Toyota Prius hybrid, Kia Niro EV, Range Rover Vellore, Mercedes Benz C300, Jaguar F-PACE, Tesla Model 3, Jeep Wrangler 4-door, Dodge Challenger R/T, Chevrolet express 15-passenger van and more.

Both brands are average when it comes to fleet options as they both offer various styles to suit different tastes and preferences.

Thrifty vs Budget: Which one is better?

To start with, Budget is a more popular, reliable and trusted service provider than Thrifty car rental services. Secondly, compared to Budget, Thrifty has obligated more requirements and qualifications for drivers in car rental.

The next point talks about how Budget starts the pricing for trucks only from $29.99 per day. Whereas, Thrifty rental car services start from $41 per day for a normal car. 

Indeed, the truck is to be driven for fewer miles compared to the normal car, but even when taking everything into consideration, Budget rent a car is offering better price deals than Thrifty car rental.

While Thrifty holds different amounts on your credit and debit card, Budget will hold one amount for both the cards. However, if you are going to pay through your credit card at Thrifty, you will be saving $100 compared to Budget.

However, Thrifty car rental has received a positive response from its past customers for a good user experience for several reasons. If Budget has given you a bad expression before, we suggest you try out Thrifty car rental services this time.

Final Words

Both the car rental companies are famous among customers. If you ask us, we will definitely suggest you go for Budget if you have not tried the car rental service yet before Thrifty.

Not only is it ahead of Thrifty in many ways, but it is also a more stable and reliable brand currently in this industry.

However, if you have already had the experience with Budget’s services and still wish to opt for other car rental companies then it is time you try out Thrifty.

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Frequently asked Questions 

Is Thrifty and Budget the same?

No, Thrifty and Budget or not the same companies. Both of them work in the same industry of car rental and offer similar services. But, while Thrifty is owned by The Hertz Corp, Budget works under Avis Budget Group as its parent organisation. This clearly states that both the brands are not same.

Why is Budget car rental so expensive?

Budget car rental charges reasonable and affordable rates compared to many other car rental services. For instance, if we compare Thrifty and Budget car rental service providers, Budget car rental offers cheaper deals than Thrifty car rentals.