Customer Care

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you will be charged for each hour or part of an hour in excess of the time you were required to return the vehicle.

In addition, in order to ensure that your car is ready and waiting for you, Thrifty has introduced Change Fees that will reduce last-minute disruptions to vehicle planning.

  1. Early Return Fee: Applies if you did not prepay your rental charges and returned the vehicle more than 24 hours early before the return time indicated in your rental agreement. You will only pay for the days used, but there will be a $25 charge to partially compensate Thrifty for our inability to rent your vehicle during the remaining time reserved for your use. You can reduce the fee paid by calling the On-Rent Help Desk at 1-877-283-0898 to update the date and time of your return.  
  2. Late Return Fee: In addition to charging additional rental days for a late return, we reserve the right to charge $16 per day (maximum of 5 days) to compensate us in part for the costs we incur in finding an alternative vehicle to satisfy our next booking for your vehicle. You can reduce the fee paid by calling the On-Rent Help Desk at 1-877-283-0898 to update the date and time of your return.  
  3. Return Change Fee: Applies if you change the location or date/time of your rental and proactively notify Thrifty by calling the On-Rent Help Desk at 1-877-283-0898. There is a nominal $10 fee associated with the change to your rental agreement.

Please contact our On-Rent Helpdesk at

  • Thrifty: 1-877-283-0898 - listen carefully for ALL options. Select Option 2: currently have vehicle, then Option 1: if your need to change the time or location of your return. To say this, Please Click here if you need to change the time or location of your rental.

To report an accident, please complete Vehicle Incident Report form and submit via email to  Click here for form.


Once a claim has been opened, the customer is provided an event number and the name of the adjustor handling the claim and their contact information (direct number and email). If this is lost or not provided the customer can call:

Please click on the applicable link below to find the claim form you need.

  Personal Accident Insurance Claim Form

  Personal Effects Coverage Claim Form

For assistance with broken down car or flat tire, please visit our Contact Us page.

The rates are based on a 24 hour rental day starting with the hour you pick up the vehicle.
Base rate is the total cost of rental not including the taxes, fees, surcharges, mandatory coverages, mileage (if applicable) and optional items (child seats, navigational systems, additional driver, coverages, etc.).
The renter must be at least 20 years of age, though there are a few areas in which those under 20 have the opportunity to rent. Renters under the age of 25 will be subject to a daily surcharge. Thrifty Car Rental will rent to government renters under the age of 18 who are on official business. Outside the U.S., Thrifty Car Rental operators impose a maximum rental age that varies by country. Thrifty Car Rental recommends that renters check with their travel agent or car rental company prior to traveling.
Thrifty guarantees that you will get our best rate online. You can book directly from our home page, or browse through our deals to see special offers. See our Best Rate Guarantee to learn more.

While it may cost less to rent a smaller car, be sure to rent a car adequate for your space and luggage requirements.See our listing of Thrifty vehicles to find the best vehicle for your needs. Your passengers will thank you for it!

Keep in mind, just like airlines, availability at promotional rates may be limited, so the sooner you call, the better your chances of receiving one of these rates.

Thrifty has a strict no smoking policy

If evidence of smoking is present in the vehicle, customers will incur a Smoke Cleaning Fee of $400 and may be placed on our Do Not Rent List.

If smoking evidence is found, the Vehicle will be treated with our Freshwave product and deodorized with a specially developed electronic oxidation device, to eliminate the smoke/e-Cigarette odor. De-smoking requires the vehicle to be taken out of service for up to 24 hours, therefore a Smoke Cleaning Fee of $400 will apply when evidence of smoking is present.

The best policy is to know the answer before you leave home. Check with your insurance representatives or credit card company to see if your auto policy or credit card agreement covers any damage done to the rental vehicle, damage or injury to other people caused by you, injuries to passengers in your rental vehicle, and theft of personal belongings left in your rental car. Once you know these answers, you can make an informed decision about the options at the time of rental. The options you may choose from are:

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) - If you accept LDW at the beginning of the rental (for an additional daily fee), your responsibility for loss of or damage to the vehicle is waived in full or in part (depending on the LDW plan accepted), provided the rental agreement is not violated. If declined, you will be fully responsible for all loss or damage to the vehicle, regardless of fault. Your personal automobile policy and some credit cards may provide coverage for these losses. LDW is not insurance or an insurance product.Some locations outside the U.S. require renters to purchase Theft coverage.

Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS) - This optional coverage is available at many Thrifty locations. If available and accepted at the beginning of the rental, for an additional daily charge, the renter and any additional renter will be protected against third party auto liability at-fault claims for up to $1,000,000 if you are involved in an accident with other people. Unlike LDW, there are no credit card waivers for liability for a third party's injury or property damage. You should make sure you are adequately covered for claims by third parties either by your own personal or business automobile policy or by the car rental company.

Personal Passenger Protection (PPP) and Personal Effects Insurance (PEI) - PPP is optional coverage available at most Thrifty offices and covers accidental death and accidental medical expenses for the renter who signs electing to be covered under the policy. PEI is an optional coverage that will protect the personal effects of the renter while in the rental car. Both coverages have specific limits. Full details can be found at the rental counter. Check with your insurance agent regarding your own insurance policies on accidental death or medical expenses, or refer to your homeowner's policy regarding theft of your property.

Protection Plus (PP) - In Canada, where available, if you purchase PP, it will provide limited benefits to the authorized driver and passengers of the vehicle during the rental for accidental medical expenses, ambulance expenses and accidental death, repatriation, legal defense, emergency road service and mechanical breakdown towing benefits, and loss to personal belongings if certain conditions are met.

If the car is stolen or has been involved in an accident, first call the local police or appropriate law enforcement agency. Next, call the nearest office of the rental car company, give them your rental agreement or confirmation number and explain what has happened. If it's after hours, Thrifty customers always can call toll free to 1-800-THRIFTY (1-800-847-4389). You'll be led through the procedure to get you going again. Finally, call your own auto insurance company with information on the incident. Be sure to check with the rental company on their breakdown policy before you drive away.

Accidents and vehicle theft aren't something we like to think about, especially on a trip, but they can happen even to the most careful driver. Optional waivers (as outlined above) can be purchased to reduce or eliminate your financial exposure which could include the full value of the vehicle and lost rental revenue during its replacement period.

Be careful not to violate your car rental agreement by driving while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, allowing an unauthorized personal to drive the vehicle, leaving the windows, doors or trunk unlocked, or leaving the keys in the ignition when parked. If the agreement if violated, it makes the waiver void. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

Remember that, as the renter, you are liable for all parking and moving traffic violations, both domestic and international, so please drive safely and observe all ordinances.

In the U.S., before we will rent a vehicle to you and when you arrive at our location, you and any additional authorized drivers may be subject to a driving record and license check with the DMV. In the rare instance the driving record and license check fails to meet our criteria, we reserve the right to deny the rental based on the DMV report. A list of our criteria can be found in our General Policies.
Additional charges to your daily rental rate may include company imposed surcharges or city and state imposed taxes that are in addition to sales tax. Increasingly, city and state governments are taxing car rental customers so they can pay for sports stadiums in their cities without having to tax local residents for the money. The number of people you anticipate driving the car can also impact your cost. Only authorized drivers are allowed to drive the car. At most Thrifty locations, there is an additional daily charge for additional authorized drivers including spouses. If you are under the age of 25 you may also be charged an underage driver fee in addition to the rate that will increase your cost as well.
When the renter chooses to receive frequent flyer miles or credits, a frequent flyer surcharge will be collected at the time of rental to offset a portion of Thrifty's annual cost of participation in these frequent flyer programs. The surcharge varies per airline.
The decision is yours. All states and several countries require children under a certain age to be secured in child seats. You can save time at check-in by placing a request for your child seat when you make an advance reservation. A few new vehicles, like the Chrysler minivan available through Thrifty, have child seats built in. You should know that we cannot guarantee the availability of child seats, so please make your decision accordingly.
No, Thrifty does not accept the small credit cards issued by credit card companies that fit on a key ring. If you should present a key ring credit card at the time of rental, the rental location may ask you to present the standard size credit card or another form of payment.

Yes, however there are some restrictions regarding the use of a Debit Card if the rental is not booked at least 24 hours in advance or for a Convertible, Premium or Luxury rental. Please refer to the General Policies section for specific information regarding the debit card policy at the Thrifty Location where you intend to rent.   


Thrifty accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover debit cards. 

Yes, both debit cards and prepaid or store value cards may be used as a form of payment when a customer returns the vehicle. For more information, please see the General Policies section.


At the time of rental, an authorized hold will be secured on your credit/debit card provided to cover the estimated rental charges and any additional charges that may be incurred. These funds will not be available for your use. To cover incidental charges, such as extra hour charges if the vehicle is returned late, we may require an additional authorization for incremental charges that may be incurred. Approval for this additional amount cannot be waived. If authorization for the estimated amount cannot be obtained, the rental will be denied. We may place an authorization amount of USD 200.00 for credit cards and $500 for debit cards, plus the estimated charges on a customer's card, given certain conditions that will be outlined at time of rental.

Additional authorizations (holds) will also be obtained if the vehicle is not returned on the date/time noted on the Rental Agreement or if the original terms of the rental change which result in additional charges.

When the car is returned, a charge for the total amount due is submitted to your credit/debit card company.  Depending on the credit/credit card company, there may be a delay between the time the charges are received and when the hold is released.  The length of time this takes is not determined by Thrifty.  Since the card issuer is responsible for releasing authorization holds/funds back to their customers' accounts, you must contact the card issuer directly for assistance.

Cash Deposit Identification Cards - Cash rentals – which require an up-front deposit of cash – are accepted from customers who have obtained a Cash Deposit Identification (ID) Card. Applications for a Cash Deposit ID Card are available.  Click here for the Cash Deposit ID Card application.  Applicants must be 20 years of age or older (18 in Michigan and New York) and the application process can take approximately thirty (30) days – except as otherwise required by law. There is a U.S. $15 nonrefundable processing fee which offsets the cost to have a modified credit check performed on the applicant.


When making reservations, check on policies regarding crossing foreign borders in a rental car. Find out if your insurance company either limits the coverage amount or refuses coverage on international rentals. If you're planning on using the damage waiver coverage provided by your credit card company, confirm with them it will be available to you on an international rental. Many won't. Another tip for foreign travelers is to confirm which country's currency your rate is being guaranteed in and what credit cards will generally be accepted locally for gasoline and other purchases.
Sometimes the daily rate on a rental car with a mileage cap will be cheaper. If you are going to be driving fewer miles than the mileage cap allows (a typical cap is 150 miles per day), you may save from $3 to $7 per day on a rental car if you opt for a rental rate with a mileage cap.

On the other hand, unlimited mileage rates offer freedom from watching the odometer. Whatever your choice, it's best to calculate your costs ahead of time so you can take the least expensive approach that meets your needs.

Safety on the road, particularly in a city other than where you call home, is important. Thrifty has some traveling recommendations for you as well as some tips from other veteran travelers.

If you are new to the city, the Thrifty staff will be happy to assist you and provide directions or maps of the area.

Traveling in a new city or area can sometimes create anxiety because of the unfamiliarity with the locale. The following tips, obtained from the American Automobile Association and the American Car Rental Association, are meant as guidelines and Thrifty Car Rental urges you to use your best judgment in any particular situation.

  • Before leaving the rental center, be sure you know the route to your destination. If you must ask directions, ask a police officer or find a well-lighted public place. Stay out of high crime areas even if it means going out of your way.
  • Do not stop on the roadway or shoulder and do not get out of your car, if any of the following situations occur:
    • Your vehicle is bumped from behind;
    • Another motorist advises you of problems with your vehicle;
    • Your car is malfunctioning, or
    • Someone on the roadside needs assistance.
  • If any of these situations occur, drive to the nearest well-lighted public place to notify the proper authorities and to request assistance. In most areas, dial 911 for the police.
  • Do not stop for flashing white lights. Lights on emergency vehicles in the U.S. are red and blue.
  • If you are threatened with a gun or knife, give up your car immediately and report the incident to police and the rental car company.
  • Keep doors and windows locked and keep your valuables locked in the trunk or glove compartment. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Do not pick up hitchhikers.
  • Always park in well-lighted areas. If stopping to buy gas, use a pay phone or use an automatic teller machine (ATM), choose well-lighted, busy locations.
  • If possible, avoid using an ATM at night.
  • Never leave your car unattended with the engine running.
  • When walking toward a parked car, be aware of your surroundings and check the interior of the vehicle before unlocking doors. Have your keys in hand and ready when approaching your vehicle.
  • Don't be your own worst enemy... buckle up!
Yes, some locations do offer one way rentals. Rates and vehicle availability for one-way rentals can be obtained via our website, through our Reservations Center by calling 1-800-THRIFTY (847-4389) within the U.S. and Canada  or by contacting your local Travel Agent.
Convertibles, SUVs, trucks, and passenger vans are considered "call-back" vehicles. Rates and vehicle availability for call-back vehicles can be obtained via our website, through our Reservations Center by calling 1-800-THRIFTY (847-4389) within the U.S. and Canada or by contacting your local Travel Agent. Confirmation of call-back vehicles requires special handling by Thrifty.
If you are not in the U.S. or Canada, please contact us and we will try to answer your questions regarding your rentals. Or call +1 (405) 773-7980. (Use Worldwide Locations link to find local numbers for International locations.)
The 1-800-THRIFTY (1-800-847-4389) toll free reservations number is available 24 hours a day. E-mail will be answered on a first come basis during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00 central time.
Toll violations and vehicle citations at times do occur, and by contract, the renter is responsible for the payment of these charges, plus administrative costs per violation.

In some states, there are cashless roads where there is no option to pay cash in a traditional tollbooth. The license plate of vehicles without a registered toll pass is captured by camera and the rental company is billed for the toll. As per the terms of the rental contract, these toll charges, plus an administrative fee per event, is billed to the credit card on file.

PlatePass is a great option, but it's not always the only option.  In areas where toll roads have converted to All Electronic Tolling, you should check with the tolling authority for other available payment options.

The PlatePass® service is an electronic prepaid toll pass purchased at the rental counter. It offers worry-free, convenient 24-hour unlimited access to tollways, including express lanes and those converting to a cashless operation. Click here to learn more about the PlatePass® option.
Only the PlatePass All-Inclusive toll service, when accepted at the counter, will allow for the prepayment of tolls where available. Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the renter to pay for toll and citation events during the rental; when the rental company, as vehicle owner, is notified of an unpaid event, the amount of the charge, plus penalties and administrative fees are applied to the card on record.
Some municipalities have adopted video radar services, allowing for moving violations to be captured by camera. The owner is identified by the license plate and notified by mail and billed for the infraction. As per the terms of the rental contract, these charges, plus an administrative fee per event, is billed to the credit card on file.

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