Thrifty Car Rental Franchise

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Detailed Information

Capital Required
$564,300 - $12,494,000

Liquid Capital

Net Worth

Financing Assistance
Available Via Third Party

Training and Support

Initial Franchise Fee

CEO Name
Kathryn V. Marinello

Company Owned Units

Existing Units



Thrifty Car Rental is one of the largest and most recognizable car rental companies in the world. Its franchises rent out cars and other vehicles at airport and non-airport locations. The vehicles available include vans, trucks, SUVs, minivans, convertibles, luxury cars and economy cars. Customers have the option to choose different pickup and drop-off locations for added convenience. They can book a rental in advance or at the time of renting.

By nature, these franchises are capital-intensive to establish. After all, franchise owners need to have a stock of cars to begin. In fact, the Thrifty-estimated price for each car is $14,500 to $39,000, with luxury vehicles and SUVs possibly costing more. Thrifty explains that franchises must have a minimum of 30 rental vehicles (there is no maximum), and the vehicles must belong to either the current model year or to the previous two model years. The rental cars must meet specifications and standards set by Thrifty in areas such as emissions profile, brand, fuel source and quality.

Franchise owners do not get an exclusive territory. They can, however, also own franchises under the names of Thrifty affiliates Hertz and Dollar Car Rental. No co-branding is allowed.

The initial Thrifty franchise fee generally ranges from $25,000 to $55,000 for a fleet of 30 to 300 cars. The amount of the fee varies depending on factors such as the potential fleet size, the number of Thrifty account holders in the area and the potential for growth in the region as regards population, airport passenger traffic and the economy.

Depending on the location of the franchise and the fleet size, the franchise may need to have a car wash bay, parking area, service bay, parts area, two toilet facilities (for employees and customers) and a general office area. The car rental business is extremely regulated, and competition among the companies has led to increased pricing transparency for customers. Thrifty’s website often entices customers with deals and options for Wi-Fi and GPS.

Why Choose Us?

Owning a car rental is a capital-intensive business, no matter how owners do it. So, for business owners drawn to the car rental concept, Thrifty Car Rental is a good choice for several reasons. First, the value of the name recognition cannot be overstated. Thrifty is a name that consumers know and trust. Second, Thrifty has an extensive database of customers. Third, and perhaps most intriguing, it is possible that future franchise fees could be waived for those owners who already have a Thrifty franchise. In other words, once someone gets going with a Thrifty franchise and is successful, a second could possibly be opened for less money. Fourth, the car rental business is heavily governed, with a myriad of federal, state and local laws involved. By going with a franchise such as Thrifty Car Rental, owners minimize their risk of taking a wrong step legally.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate to open a Thrifty Car Rental franchise would enjoy doing business in the automotive and/or travel industry. This person should possess good sales and business skills, and be energetic and community-oriented. Experience in the car rental business is great but not required.


Thrifty Car Rental is a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group and focuses on both leisure and budget-conscious travelers. Thrifty has been under the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group umbrella since 1997 and with Hertz since 2012. Thrifty got its start in 1958 as people in the United States fell even more in love with their automobiles. Highways and better roads made travel via car even more feasible. Since that beginning in 1958, Thrifty has grown to become one most of the well-known car rental companies.

Training And Support

Initial training programs for owner, managers and critical employees are available.
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