Last month my whole family vacationed in Orlando, Florida. As my portion of the group was flying down and had a packed itinerary, I knew we needed a rental car. When I asked my parents, who travel frequently, who they recommended and Thrifty was the first company mentioned. Mom and Dad said that they’d always found Thrifty’s rates to be extremely competitive and frequently lower than other major car rental companies. They told me that their experiences with Thrifty were good and that the cars were in good shape and clean. I arranged for a minivan for the week we were in Orlando.
ABOUT THRIFTY CAR RENTAL
Thrifty Car Rental is one of the largest car rental companies in the world and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: DTG). Through corporately-owned and franchised stores, the company operates more than 1,000 locations in 70 countries. Thrifty is a value-oriented car rental company that has a significant presence both in the airport and local car rental markets, a marked difference from many of its major competitors who focus almost exclusively on the airport market. In the U.S., approximately 80% of its business is focused on the airport market and 20% in the local market. Thrifty is one of the most widely recognized brands in the travel industry that caters to cost-conscious business and leisure travelers.
Upon landing in Orlando we went to the Thrifty Car Rental counter, which was conveniently located right in the airport. That’s where we met Stephan.
Stephan was super friendly and extremely pleasant. He got us squared away in no time at all. Literally. It took us ten minutes, tops, to complete the paperwork. Nothing was hidden. Upgrades were offered but they were not forced and there was no guilt trip after turning them down. One option we were offered that I thought was really cool was a toll option, where we wouldn’t have to pay tolls out of pocket. Everything was clearly explained, from the rental contract to directions to the parking garage.
About the parking garage. That confused me a little at first. In the past when I’ve rented cars they were always brought to me. As it turns out, Thrifty lets you pick the car you’re renting, at least that’s the case in Orlando. Stephan explained that you just walk down the aisle and pick whatever one suits your needs or tastes. We were getting a minivan. We walked down the aisle with all of the minivans until my son said he liked a bluish-gray one, which is the one we went with. As it turns out it’s a bit easier not to lose your rental car when you’re the one that picked it out.
Returning the car at the end of our stay was painless. We brought it back to the airport, where it was checked in within minutes and we were given a receipt. No need to go back inside to a counter or anything.
I am very pleased with our experience with Thrifty and would have no problem recommending them.
Money is tough these days. We all try to make our dollars go as far as we can. Many of those flying to a theme park destination such as Orlando focus on cheap flights and don’t worry about a car, because theme parks like Disney have shuttle buses. The thing with the buses is that you’re at their mercy and they can only take you where they go – on property. There’s a lot of reasons a person would go off theme park property, including dining, sightseeing, shopping, and visiting friends and family. Exploring an area can be fun and educational, plus it’s good for local economy.
Renting a car is also great for travelers that aren’t staying at a theme park resort. Travelers staying in vacation homes, timeshares and hotels will definitely appreciate the freedom that having a car affords them. In my opinion staying at a vacation home and renting a car is far more affordable and flexible then traveling any other way, but that’s something I’ll tell you about in another post.
Now you may be reading this thinking to yourself you don’t need a rental car, as you aren’t planning a vacation. Are you sure? Thrifty has a wide selection of cars, one to fit every need.Their online reservation system allows for browsing available vehicles from classes including economy, compact, mid-size, standard, full-size, premium, luxury, mid-size suv, standard size suv, full size sub, premium suv, luxury suv, minivan, full size van and standard convertible. There are lots of uses for rental cars. Weekend getaways, for example. Why not treat yourself to a little luxury? Or what about business trips? It could be less expensive to rent an economy car than travel with your old gas guzzler. For those of you eyeballing the new Mustangs like I do and feeling a bit old, rent something like a convertible for a weekend and relive some memories. Then turn the car back in and be happy you don’t have the monthly payments or high insurance.
A week’s rental of the minivan was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing or review. I paid for my own gas and tolls. This post has not been monetarily compensated and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self. Please note that the opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.