Hertz buys Dollar/Thrifty rent-a-car


In a blockbuster deal that is sure to have significant effects on the consumer rental car market, Hertz has bought Dollar/Thrifty in a $1.2 billion takeover. Hertz will regain its title as the largest rental car firm with this buyout.

From a consumer traveler’s point of view, the pending results of this merger are murky. This combination of Hertz together with Dollar/Thrifty would link a company that has been known for some of the most expensive rental car prices together with a group that normally offered some of the least expensive rentals.

From a consumer’s point of view it seemed that Hertz focused on business travelers and Dollar/Thrifty marketed to the leisure market and families. Building a new brand image will be a challenge.

Perhaps Hertz will keep the companies operating under two separate brands here in the U.S. and combine brands overseas.

CNN noted: Hertz CEO Mark Frissora said in a statement that Dollar Thrifty was an “excellent strategic fit” and that the addition of its network will help Hertz extend its foothold in Europe and other international markets.

In whatever corporate direction this Hertz/Dollar/Thrifty combination moves, consumers have just seen a consolidation of companies in the rental car space. Whenever competition disappears, it never bodes well for consumers.

Photo: stevendamron, Flickr Creative Commons

  • SirWired

    This is a shame… I have been consistently impressed with Hertz, and consistently unimpressed with Thrifty. Here’s to hoping the low-budget mentality of Thrifty doesn’t “infect” Hertz.

  • cyn

    I have the immediate opposite reaction of SirWired: I hope that the overcharging mentality of Hertz doesn’t “infect” Thirfty. I use Thirfty almost exclusively when travelling for pleasure (although I always compare prices with Hertz, Avis, Dollar, and any others I can find available at my destination) and have always been quite pleased with both the service and the condition of all vehicles.

  • catfish

    Perhaps this is why the hertz equipment rental workers are only gettig 35 hours a week.Since last june.

  • Bodega

    I am a Hertz Gold member and while I like the way canopy service works, we have had several recent issues with Hertz from filthy cars, inside and out to being give a car that had outdated registration requiring us to find another location for a car exchange. We have serveral Hertz reservations for this year and we hope to find improvement!

    As an agent, I just had an amazing experience with Thrifty. I had a client on a job assignment die. We had arragned a Thrifty car which he picked up but we had to get the car back to a rental location. Thrifty worked with us to get this done for no extra drop off fee to a location that wasn’t where the car was picked up and allowed a third party payment by the company who the man was working for to pay for it. They also had to approve for someone to drive the car to the location as the deceased was the only person on the contract. Thrifty called me serveral times while setting all this up and on the last call the agent, who was a young man, asked me to extend his sympathies on behalf of Thrifty Rental Car to the deceased widow. Now that was amazing service IMHO!

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  • http://www.loran.md Loran

    It is just not right to make one type of business subsidize another and that is what this is doing. Why not put another tax on taxi cabs or buses and limosine services?
    Quote: “local car rental companies protested that most of their customers are local residents who would face higher costs”
    Exactly, council knows that local people will pay for it and they are turning a blind eye to it just to raise taxes. Council who voted for it should be voted out in the next election.
    I bet if one of the council members owned a car rental franchise this would never pass.

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