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If I could give Budget Rent A Car zero stars, I would. I rented a car from them recently for an eight-day trip. When I arrived at the pick-up location at the designated time, it was closed. I had to change the pick-up location to an inconvenient one, and the return location was changed to that inconvenient one as well. I called twice during my trip about changing the return location back to the original, as it was more convenient. I was told that would be fine but would entail a small reservation modification fee. After I returned the car, I saw a $413 charge on my credit card (in addition to the full cost for the rental, which I had prepaid). I spoke with Budget customer service, which "informed" me that returning the vehicle to the original location instead of the inconvenient one constituted a one-way rental. That is patently false. This company cares not a whit about its customers.
NO customer service, rude agents that hang up on you, no way to speak to a supervisor. Bait and switch tactics on their website. Not given the type of car stated on their contract, ie, clean. I was given a filthy car with a broken left mirror and such bad stains on the windows that I had to cancel my road trip. I could have lived with the dirty interior and the compact car but the windows were so hard to see out of I could not risk driving long distance with my children. Budget would not replace the car without me having to go back to the airport to pick up another one and it was just too late in the game for me to do this. What a yucky, scummy company. GROSS.
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I reserved a vehicle on 12/30/2021 for pickup on 1/4/2022 from Atlanta airport for one day for $178.17. When I went to pick it up attendant wanted to charge $265.99. When I showed her the reservation she dropped it down to $178.17 on my CC. However, when I returned the vehicle at Tallahassee airport per contract they charged $200.85 on my CC. When I complained, the women at the returned desk told me to call Budget at Atlanta airport since they are independently owned. I called them a few times to complain but no answer from the manager's desk. I will never rent from Budget.
I hate to leave bad reviews. I understand that customer service is a difficult and thankless job. That said my experience with Budget rental was so terrible that I am trying to tell as many people as possible. Our initial experience was very positive. We got our car in a friendly and efficient manner, it was clean, well maintained and full of fuel. We went from the airport to the beach and that’s where the troubles began. I lost the keys. That’s my fault, I accept that and take responsibility. We contacted roadside services. They walked me through the process and assured me a wrecker would arrive within an hour to take us to the airport and we would have another car waiting.
After an hour the wrecker hadn’t arrived. It was a holiday and I understand that wrecker services can be busy during these times. After another 15 minutes we called the wrecker service. The owner informed me he had not received an assignment from Budget nor did he work in the area we were stranded in. I called back roadside services. They then transferred me through 4 departments before I ended up talking to the same department I was originally transferred from. I was frustrated but tried to remain understanding. My wife and I were cold and wet. Luckily we were near a local fire station and the firefighters broke into the car for us so we could change clothes.
Finally after being placed on hold repeatedly and asked to wait for a callback twice; a wrecker was again dispatched. I called him immediately to verify. He was friendly, helpful, and understanding (he was also an independent contractor and not a Budget employee). When he arrived, after a four hour wait since the very first call, he told us Budget had not emailed him with payment verification and while he wanted to help he had to be paid. So I called roadside services yet again to see to it that they would pay their contractors. This isn’t my responsibility, it is Budget’s. While I was on this call I verified that there would be a car for us when we returned (because everything else had gone so smoothly) and was assured there would be.
Our driver took us and the disabled car back to the airport. Most folks would expect a ride in a wrecker to be unpleasant but this was the absolute best part of the entire ordeal. After arriving at the airport and dropping the disabled vehicle we went back to pick up the new car and were informed the location had no vehicles available. After another call to roadside assistance and a discussion with management we finally got the vehicle. This process took nearly 6 hours and required a total of 22 phone calls from start to finish. After leaving the airport and driving halfway to our hotel the vehicle’s oil light came on. After checking the oil I discovered the oil level to be so low there was no oil touching the dipstick. I added oil myself because I knew trying to get help from Budget would be another catastrophe.
After a fantastic time on vacation we returned the car to Budget at the airport. Went to check our bags and discovered my wife’s wallet had been left under the seat of the rental. I rushed back to the rental department to ask them to check the car. It had been no more than half an hour between our drop off and return. After nearly an hour’s wait for them to “look for the car” they informed me they were unsure of the car’s location but that it was likely moved offsite and they were unable to help. Through the entire process start to finish they huffed and rolled their eyes. They made it clear that they were in no way interested in helping through their actions and attitude.
The manager gave me the number for their loss department who I am now attempting to contact. At this point I have been on hold a full two hours and expect no assistance. Do yourself a favor and rent from anywhere but the Budget/Avis group. Everyone in customer service has bad days but this was obviously an issue with overall company procedures and processes top to bottom.
I WILL NEVER RENT BUDGET AGAIN. 1st I waited in the quick checkout line at Charlotte Airport (because the directional signs pointed me there for Budget Rental) for 30 minutes only to be redirected without being assisted at all. 2nd, the initial vehicle provided smelt strongly like cigarette smoke, I immediately requested an alternate vehicle. The 2nd vehicle provided had a slight odor upon receipt, however once we began our travel and turned on the climate system; the vehicle had a ridiculous odor of **. The presence was so strong that it caused headaches and nausea.
We were unable to use the vehicle on Christmas day and immediately requested an exchange on Dec 26. I was assured by the customer service representative that the Columbia Metropolitan Airport location had "plenty" of vehicles for me to exchange. Upon arrival to the airport that was discovered to be false and the location had no SUVs to accommodate us. We were given a minivan instead that had multiple areas of internal damage. I was extremely disappointed in my rental and even more disappointed in the customer service that was provided to me from Budget employees.
I selected a car to rent scrolling down after selecting So West Airlines flight plan. The car selected compact was advertised for $57.99. The rental company charged $127.79 per day. Included in the cost Veh license recoup fee $2.80, Concession recovery fee $17.81, CA sales tax 13.80 Facility charge $10.00, CA tourism fee $5.51. Advertising a special price then doubling the cost is clearly Deceptive.
Here is a brief summary of our experience with Budget:
2. They did not have our car ready so we were moved to another worse vehicle without any apology.
3. We asked for 2 child seats, one of which was soiled in pee and stank insanely (causing our 2 year old to throw up).
4. The car we received was overdue for maintenance (by a lot) and had a warning beep due to this.
5. The car was vandalized (not Budget's fault), but having Budget replace the vandalized car took several days (due to the rental having exceeded 30 days, which apparently causes some breakdown in the Budget system... it has to be renewed which they forgot to do).
6. Calling the Budget customer care at any point puts you on a 1-2 hour hold time. They do not offer online chat, email support or any such modern thing. You need to say that you're about to place a new rental to get a phone wait time < 30 minutes. They will completely ignore their existing rental customers.
7. They overcharged our card with 20% and they have still not returned the refund - it's been 4 weeks. Having trying to contact their useless phone support is painful (see 6) and they still are trying to fight the overcharge. We'll see how that is resolved.
Regardless of the overcharge, the entire Budget experience is enormously terrible and it's not cheaper than the alternatives (we rented the last stretch of our trip with Hertz which felt amazing in comparison at the same fee).
My name is Kevin ** and my phone number is **. I am writing to file an official complaint about one of your employees at Miami International Airport. His name is Ivan. I arrived at around 8:30 p.m. from Chicago on December 19. The car was dropped off on December 24th at around 4:00 p.m. The issue has to do with the $59.95 I paid for the use of the Sun Pass transponder. I was having a difficult time deciding what I should do. I was told I had to decide at that time whether I wanted it or not. No changes would be allowed after the fact. I am about to tell you exactly what Ivan said to me as I was pondering what to do. I remember vividly what he told me and it was deceiving at the least or even downright dishonest.
1. Ivan told me that there was no way to exit the airport without paying a toll. When I repeated what he said as a question he confirmed again what he just told me. I talked to someone who works at the airport and they informed me that wasn't true.
2. Ivan told me that if I didn't elect to pay for Sun Pass, I would be charged a $6 administrative fee every time I went through a toll. When I repeated what he said as a question he confirmed again what he just told me. That was not true because when I called 1-800-527-7000 to file a complaint I asked the agent about that and he said it was $6 per day and not per toll.
3. Ivan said that there was no way to get to Key Largo without having to pass through 6 or 7 tolls. When I repeated what he said as a question he confirmed again what he just told me. That was also incorrect.
The only reason I decided to purchase the Sun Pass transponder was based on the information that Ivan gave me. I immediately called 1-800-527-7000 after dropping off the car and filed an official complaint. I then went to the booth on the second floor to get a print out of my charges. That is when I noticed the gas charges. I dropped the car off with a full tank of gas. The lady told me I would have to go to the 4th floor to get the charge corrected.
By luck, as I waited in line, the next available agent to help me was IVAN. I THINK THEY CALL THAT KARMA. As you can imagine, I let him know exactly how I felt by being lied to. Could I have done it in a less confrontational manner? Yes, but I was taken advantage by Ivan and was not happy. It is very alarming that he is your company's representative. I hope this is not standard business to take advantage of your customers? I will be sharing my concerns with Costco Travel since I signed up through them.
Budget does not pay commission on rental charges other than reserved 'time and mileage' charges, including, but not limited to, all optional charges incurred beyond the reserved base rates, Garmin GPS System, additional driver fees, Loss Damage Waiver, Personal Accident and Effects Insurance, Emergency Sickness Plan, and Supplemental Liability Insurance, ski racks, child safety seats, fuel recovery service fees, airport concession recovery fees, other surcharges and taxes, or any other fee or charge besides the base rate. When I asked Ivan if he makes more when a customer chooses optional products and services, he said no. I am requesting a refund on the $59.95 I paid for the optional services related to Sun Pass. I sincerely hope that there will be consequences for Ivan.
Budget Rental offers no designated walk up line for paid, online reservations. However, you can immediately sign up for Fastbreak and get a rental then and there. How stupid!!! I waited in line with 70+ people in front of me to get my PAID rental for almost 3 hrs!! Worst ever!!!
Why bother planning your trip ahead, PRE PAYING your car rental 2 months ahead of time? Don’t, Budget will take your money and NOT have your car. Oh and I checked in on their website, so is not like they thought I wouldn’t show up. No, they overbooked and had no cars when I went to pick it up. They told me they only had a full size car, when I prepaid for a category above it (note the manager actually lied to me and told me it was a category above, BUT IT'S NOT). Then the employees from the store told me "there’s nothing we can do, you have to take this car and try to exchange in another location". So Budget transferred THEIR problems to me. I would have to check with other locations IF they have my car and drive there to exchange it.
And well I tried calling the other locations and no success, their reservations central checked and it didn’t look like they had the car as well so I would have to go there the next day (well they suggested I go to the location to check - but no guarantee). I have a newborn, so basically NO TIME to lose, I’m breastfeeding which means the time I’m away she’s not able to eat. It’s so BEYOND horrible experience, NO one could help me, Customer Service wasn’t working. I lost a day rental on the car, on the house, insurances I paid for the car… that totals $485. THAT’s NOT little money. Ruined my Christmas. I went to the airport to exchange the car, and yes they had a car on the same category but an OLD car. Jesus Budget what a TERRIBLE customer experience.
Budget Rent-A-Car author review by Lauren Fix
Founded in 1958 to appeal to the cost-conscious consumer, Budget is one of the most popular car rental brands. It serves renters in over 120 countries from its more than 3,000 locations. Budget is owned by Avis Rental Car.
Business-friendly rates: Business customers can save up to 30 percent on car rentals with a BudgetBusinessProgram account.
Prepay and save: For customers who book and pay in advance, the Pay Now rate saves up to 35 percent on the cost.
Inexpensive no-show fee: At Budget, the fee for a no-show is only $50 on a missed pickup; everything else is refunded.
Discounts: Active duty, retired military and their families can all save up to 25 percent on rentals. AARP members can enjoy savings of up to 30 percent off Budget base rates when renting a vehicle from a participating location in the contiguous U.S. and Canada. Rent a car for up to four consecutive days, including a Saturday night, and save $20.
Fast reservations: Budget advertises a 60-second reservation process, letting travelers reserve the vehicle of their choice on the go and in just a minute.
Truck rental: Budget features a reliable, diverse commercial truck fleet, nearly 1,900 convenient U.S. locations, daily, weekly, monthly, local and one-way rentals for business or moving.
Budget Rent-A-Car Company Information
- Company Name:
- Budget Rent-A-Car
- Year Founded:
- 6 Sylvan Way
- Postal Code:
- United States
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