General Policies

General Policies and Fee Information




A. Rental Rates: Daily Rental rates are based on a 24 hour "rental day" starting at the time of rental. The minimum charge is one day, plus mileage, if applicable. The renter will be charged for each hour and/or any part of an hour in excess of a rental day the renter keeps the vehicle, until the vehicle is returned, up to the applicable daily rate. Mileage charges, if applicable, will be the number of miles driven as determined by the odometer readings at the beginning and end of the rental The Rental Rate is subject to increase if you return car more than 24 hours before or 24 hours after the scheduled Return Time.  Late returns beyond 30 minute grace period may be subject to extra hour and/or extra day charges, in addition to any other rental charges. If the renter fails to comply with the conditions applicable to the rate, including any geographic driving restrictions, a mileage charge, surcharge or other rates may apply.

B. Driving Age: The minimum age to rent a vehicle at most locations in the United States and Canada is 20 years of age. In Michigan, New York, and the province of Quebec, the minimum age for most vehicles is 18. Please refer to the Local Policies for specific information on driver ages at the location where you intend to rent and the applicable charge for drivers 20 to 24 years of age. For more information on our young renters program visit: Car Rental for Under 25 Renters.

C. Authorized Drivers: The THRIFTY vehicle may be driven only by an authorized driver. An authorized driver is the renter and any additional person who appears at the time of rental, and signs the rental agreement. All authorized drivers must satisfy our age requirements, have a valid driver's license, provide a physical street resident address, a major credit card or debit card in their own name, and fulfill our other qualifications, which vary by location. Employers and co-employees of renters renting on corporate rate plans, if properly licensed and meet our age requirements, are authorized to drive the Vehicle while acting within the scope of their employment duties. See our credit/debit card and driver’s license requirements below. The authorized driver and any additional authorized drivers may be subject to a driver record check (see below). No other persons are authorized to drive the vehicle.

D. Additional Authorized Drivers and Fees: All additional authorized drivers are required to qualify to drive the vehicle. To qualify, THRIFTY requires all additional drivers, including spouses, to satisfy our minimum age requirements, have a valid driver’s license, and pay an additional driver fee.

However, the following additional drivers do not need to pay an additional driver fee as long as they meet our minimum age requirements and have a valid drivers license:

(1) Thrifty Blue Chip Members

(2) Government renters on official orders,

(3) Corporate account customers on corporate rate plans, and

(4) Drivers/companions of physically impaired customers.

The additional driver may also be subject to a driver record check and an underage driver's fee. (See below). Because the requirements vary by location, please refer to the location's own Terms and Conditions for specific information on additional driver fees at the location where you intend to rent.

E. Underage Driver's Fee: An authorized driver that is 20 to 24 years of age (18 to 24 years of age in Michigan, New York, and the province of Quebec) may be charged an Underage Drivers fee because of such driver's age in addition to the additional driver fee, if applicable. Because the requirements vary by Thrifty location, please refer to the Local Policies for specific information on additional authorized or underage drivers at the location where you intend to rent a Thrifty vehicle. To learn more about Thrifty’s Under 25 Rental Policies, click here.

F. Credit and Debit Card Qualifications/Requirements: To qualify to rent a Thrifty vehicle, the renter must present at the time of rental a valid driver’s license and valid major credit card or debit card (see Debit Card Usage below) in the renter's own name with available credit or funds. A physical card must be presented as Digital Wallet Cards are not accepted. At the time of rental, an authorized hold will be secured on your credit/debit card provided to cover the estimated rental charges plus an additional $200.00 for Credit and $500 for Debit, to cover additional charges that may be incurred. In Canada, At the time of rental, an authorized hold will be secured on your credit/debit card provided to cover the estimated rental charges plus an additional $350.00 CAD for Credit and Debit cards, to cover additional charges that may be incurred. These funds will not be available for your use until the end of the rental after charges apply.

G. Using Debit Cards to Qualify for a Thrifty Rental in the United States

Using Debit Cards to Qualify for a Rental in the United States

Thrifty accepts American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Visa, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, China Union Pay and some debit cards. We may place an authorized hold on your credit/debit card to cover the estimated rental charges plus up to USD $200.00 for Credit and $500 for Debit, for any additional charges that may be incurred. These funds will not be available for your use.

A valid driver’s license and credit card must be presented. Debit cards issued under VISA, MasterCard and Discover logo which draw funds directly from the cardholder's account may be used at the outset of a rental to qualify when the following requirements are met;  

  • Vehicle class reserved is Compact through Fullsize ONLY
  • Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental regardless of vehicle type rented. In most cases a credit check will be performed for debit card customers to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental. If Thrifty cannot secure credit approval and/or proper identification credentials are not supplied, Thrifty will decline your rental.
  • Thrifty Airport locations, the renter is required to provide proof of a return travel ticket to coincide with the rental and present two (2) valid forms of identification.
    • Valid forms of identification are a valid United States or Foreign Country issued Driver’s License AND One (1) of the following forms:
      • An alternative valid credit or debit card embossed/printed with the same name as the driver’s license;
      • A United States or Foreign Country Issued passport in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card;
      • United States or Foreign Country Issued Military Identification Card in the same name as the driver’s license and debit card;
      • Non-Government Form of ID, examples that may be accepted include: store membership card with photo (Costco, Sam’s, etc.) or a company ID badge with photo. Names on both forms must match driver’s name on license and debit card; or
      • A current month Utility statement which is addressed to the renter with the same name and address as present on the renter’s driver’s license (e.g., gas, electric, cable bill).
  • Thrifty Off Airport locations, the renter has a reservation made at least one (1) day in advance, must be at least 25 years old, must present two (2) valid forms of identification and one of the following: (a) provide a Corporate Discount Plan (CDP) number or (b) proof of a return travel ticket to coincide with the rental (airline or cruise).

Policy exceptions:

  • Debit Card can be used if it is already in your Blue-Chip profile, regardless of vehicle type.
  • Debit cards are not accepted on Premium vehicles and above, including Convertibles.
  • PayNow rentals, debit cards are not accepted and a major credit card must be presented to process the rental.

An authorization amount including the estimated total for the rental charges and an incremental hold of $200 for credit and $500 for Debit, will be assessed for all renters. These funds will not be available for your use until the end of the rental after charges apply. The above incremental hold will not be applied to established Blue-Chip members cards with a VISA credit or debit on their profile.

Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental regardless of vehicle type rented. In most cases a credit check will be performed for debit card customers to determine credit worthiness at the time of rental. If Thrifty cannot secure credit approval and/or proper identification credentials are not supplied, Thrifty will decline your rental.

In the event the renter in unable to produce the above required documents, a credit card may be used to secure the rental. Debit cards are accepted for payment at the end of your rental regardless of vehicle type rented. 

By completing a Reservation, you agree that you have received, read, understand, accept and agree to the terms, conditions, disclosures and notices appearing in these Reservation Terms. You also consent to the use of electronic records and validity of your electronic signature.

H. "Key Ring" Credit Cards: THRIFTY does not accept the small credit cards issued by credit card companies that fit on a key ring. In the event that a customer presents the 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.

I. Gasoline Policy: The renter must refill the gas tank of the vehicle within a 10-mile radius of the rental return facility and present a fuel receipt to avoid a refueling charge unless the renter chooses the prepaid fuel option. If the renter chooses the prepaid fuel option, the renter will pay a specified charge as set forth in the rental agreement and have no obligation to return the vehicle with a full tank of fuel. The fuel charge is based on the estimated number of gallons needed to refill the tank multiplied by the rate per gallon charge specified on the rental agreement. THRIFTY may use different methods of estimating the number of gallons needed to refill the tank and these methods of estimation necessarily rely on human judgment. Most THRIFTY locations estimate the number of gallons needed to refill the gas tank either (1) by reading the fuel gauge to estimate the approximate amount of fuel needed to refill the tank (for example, one-half tank) and multiplying that number by the manufacturer's specified fuel tank capacity, or (2) if the renter did not purchase any fuel during the rental, by reading the odometer to determine the amount of miles driven during the rental and dividing that number by the vehicle's estimated fuel efficiency (miles per gallon) based on the manufacturer's fuel efficiency specifications. References herein to miles and gallons shall be kilometers and liters when renting in Canada.

J. Geographic Limitations: At most locations, driving is restricted to the continental United States and Canada. A Canadian resident is prohibited from driving a U.S. owned vehicle into Canada. Please refer to the Terms & Conditions for specific information regarding geographic limitations at the THRIFTY location where you intend to rent a THRIFTY vehicle.

K. Disabled Renters:

1. Available Driving Aids: If the renter will require driving aids to operate a vehicle, please contact us at 1-800-847-4389. This will ensure availability of equipment and allow THRIFTY personnel to install such equipment prior to the rental.

2. Pick-up: We would also ask that you call 1-800-847-4389 prior to your arrival so that we may pick you and your traveling companion up, if any, upon arrival at the airport. At most locations, courtesy telephones are also available to contact us for pick-up.

3. Additional Authorized Drivers: If a traveling companion shall serve as the driver during the rental, please advise the THRIFTY representative at the time of rental and pick-up. There is no additional charge for an additional authorized driver for non-driving disabled renters.

L. Driver Licenses:

United States Citizens and U.S. Military Personnel: A renter or any additional authorized driver who is a citizen of the United States, must present at the time of rental:

(1) A driver's license issued by any state, territory or possession of the United States, and valid for the entire rental period

(2) A temporary driver's license, valid for the entire rental period

(3) A traffic citation issued as a temporary license, valid for the entire rental period (the court date being the expiration date) and a second form of identification with signature (excluding the credit card used for rental),

(4) A valid U.S. military identification card plus an expired driver's license for active duty U.S. military personnel in those states where active duty U.S. military can drive on an expired driver's license.

(5) A valid driver's license issued by a province or territory of Canada

(6) A mobile or digital driver’s license does not replace a valid physical driver’s license and Thrifty customers will still need to supply their hard copy license until further notice.

(7) A foreign driver’s license* issued by the country of residence of the renter and additional drivers. If the driver’s license in not in English, the renter and drivers will be required to present both the foreign issued driver’s license and a current International Driver’s Permit (“IDP”); or, if from Japan, a Japanese Translation Service. An IDP does not give a person the right to drive, but provides a certified translation of the valid foreign driver’s license. An IDP can be obtained in the driver's country of residence only with a valid driver’s license. An IDP (or certified translation) without the foreign issued driver’s license is not acceptable.

*If the foreign issued driver’s license is from a country where “permanent” or “non-expiring” driver’s licenses are issued, the renter and any additional drivers will also be required to show their passport, visa or other current U.S. issued documentation at the beginning of the rental authorizing the renter or driver to be present in the USA at the time of rental.

M. One-way Rentals: One-way rentals within the United States and within Canada vary by THRIFTY location and vehicle availability. A one-way drop fee will apply.

N. Optional Equipment:

1. Child Safety Seats: For an additional charge, which varies by THRIFTY location, infant, toddler, and child/ youth safety seats are available at many THRIFTY locations.

2. Ski Racks: Ski racks are available at some THRIFTY locations where travel to ski resorts is anticipated during the winter season. There is an additional charge for ski racks.

O. Optional Services:

1. Premium Emergency Roadside Service (“PERS”): PERS is a service offered by us at some locations for a per day charge. This service provides you with lock-out, flat tire, and fuel and battery service up to $1,000 for all services per rental during your rental. Also travel interruption reimbursements up to a maximum of $1,000 per rental for travel expenses incurred by the customer when the vehicle is disabled in a collision.

2. PlatePass All-Inclusive Service: Many roads throughout the United States are “all-electronic,” which means that there is not an option to pay for tolls with cash or credit/debit cards when utilizing these toll roads.As a convenience, Thrifty offers its customers an all-inclusive tolling product - PlatePass® - which is an optional product to pay a daily fee for all electronic tolls that the customer encounters during his/her rental.(Prices vary by state) If a customer declines the PlatePass® All Inclusive option, Thrifty will charge the customer a $9.99 usage day fee for each day the customer  each toll incurred plus the cash/highest undiscounted price for each electronic toll incurred, unless the customer makes some other arrangement to directly pay for the electronic tolls he/she incurs. These toll-related charges can be avoided by staying off toll roads, using a personal transponder – where permitted – or by making direct-pay arrangements with the toll authority – where allowed Click Here .

P. Additional Fees:

At most THRIFTY locations, the renter may incur one or more of the following charges and fees: (i) an (airport) concession recovery fee or off-airport access fee; (ii) an (airport) consolidated facility charge; plus, frequent flyer surcharges, and vehicle license fees which are the estimated average per day per vehicle portion of our total annual vehicle taxes, licensing, titling, and registration costs, and other governmental fees or charges on top of the daily rate and any optional products and services the renter selects. These charges are calculated either as a per day or a per rental charge.

Change Fees - 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 our 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.

Energy Surcharge - Separate and apart from the costs of fueling rental vehicles, energy costs represent a substantial portion of Thrifty's operating expenses. To offset the significant costs of utility charges, bus fuel, oil and grease and related costs, Thrifty is separately imposing an Energy Surcharge. This Charge is not intended to reflect a precise measure of Thrifty's actual energy costs incurred to serve a particular customer.

Q. Lost and Found: Thrifty Car Rental will not uphold responsibility for any personal belongings left in the vehicle or within the location premises. If you have lost items, please contact customer service as soon as possible -


A. Loss or Damage to the THRIFTY vehicle: The renter and any additional drivers are absolutely liable for any loss or damage to the rental vehicle, even if someone else caused it or the cause is unknown, whether due to theft, fire, hail, flood, collision, vandalism, or any other cause, subject to limitations imposed by the law where the vehicle is rented. This liability will not exceed the full value of the vehicle, plus:

1. Actual towing and storage charges;

2. Loss of use;

3. Diminution in value, regardless of whether the vehicle is repaired or not;

4. All rental charges through the date you report the incident if not returnable or the return date, whichever is later;

5. Any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by us as a result of the loss or damage to the vehicle;

6. A reasonable administrative fee; and

7. Pro-rata license plate fees, all as allowed by law.

B. Third Party Liability Claims: Unless otherwise required by applicable law, a renter and/or any additional authorized driver (and the respective insurance company of each) is primarily responsible for all third party claims of personal injury, including death, and property damage caused or arising from the use and operation of the Thrifty vehicle during the rental. You agree to indemnify and hold THRIFTY harmless from and against, and will defend THRIFTY against all loss, liability or damages whatsoever arising out of the use or operation of the vehicle during the rental, plus costs and attorneys’ fees. (To the extent THRIFTY is required to provide coverage, in spite of the terms of the rental agreement, it shall only be in an amount necessary to satisfy the minimum financial responsibility limits required by applicable law.)

C. Optional Protection Package: At the time of rental, THRIFTY offers for purchase at the option of the renter, Loss Damage Waiver ("LDW"), Personal Protection Plan ("P&P"), Protection Plus(PP), Personal Accident Insurance ("PAI"), Personal Effects Insurance("PEC"), Emergency Sickness Protection ("ESP"), and Liability Insurance Supplement ("LIS"). The cost, coverage, provider and availability vary by location, vehicle category and rate. Please refer to the location's Terms & Conditions to determine whether LIS is required for travel into Canada and the cost of such coverage. The optional products offered by the rental company may duplicate coverage provided by the renter's personal automobile insurance or insurance the renter may have through another source. Purchase of optional products is not required to rent the vehicle. Separate brochures available at the rental location summarize the optional products. We charge a per day fee for each day, or part of a day, the vehicle is rented for any optional products you select.

1. Loss Damage Waiver ("LDW"):

If the renter purchases one of the optional LDW plans, THRIFTY will agree to waive the renter's responsibility for loss or damage to the vehicle in full or in part (depending on the LDW plan accepted). LDW is not insurance or an insurance product.

LDW does not apply if: (1) the renter uses the vehicle in violation of the rental agreement; (2) the renter fails to remove the keys, or close and lock all windows, doors and trunk, and the vehicle is stolen or vandalized; (3) the renter fails to notify us and the police immediately after the loss; and (4) the renter fails to pay the charges under the rental agreement; or (5) other exceptions as allowed by the applicable state or provincial law.

Before deciding whether to purchase LDW, the renter may wish to determine whether their own automobile insurance or credit card agreement provides coverage for rental vehicle damage or loss and determine the amount of the deductible under your own insurance coverage. The purchase of LDW is not mandatory. LDW is not insurance.

2. Personal Protection Plan ("P&P"): P&P includes Personal Accident Insurance ("PAI") and Personal Effects Insurance (“PEC”) and where offered must be purchased together. P&P is not offered in Canada.

a.) PAI provides benefits to the renter and the renter's passengers for accidental medical expenses, ambulance expenses and accidental death benefits during the rental. If this optional coverage is purchased by a renter, the renter is covered twenty-four hours a day for all accidents, whether the renter is actually in the rental vehicle or not at the time of the accident. Passengers in a THRIFTY vehicle are only covered for accidents occurring while the passengers occupy the THRIFTY vehicle. Click here for the Personal Accident Insurance Claim Form.

b.) PEC insures the personal effects of the renter and any member of the renter's immediate family traveling with the renter up to the limits of liability provided. A member of a renter's immediate family must permanently reside in the renter's household. If this optional coverage is purchased by the renter, PEC covers only personal effects with which the renter or immediate family member are traveling. PEC pays covered claims even if the renter's homeowner's policy provides coverage.  Click here for the Personal Effects Coverage Claim Form.

3. Liability Insurance Supplement ("LIS"):

Provides liability protection up to $1,000,000 for claims brought by others

- Up to $1,000,000 for bodily injury or property claims with uninsured/underinsured motorist**

- No deductible for you to pay to Thrifty

Liability Insurance Supplement

Thrifty LIS coverage provides you with up to US$1 million combined single limit of liability protection should bodily injury and property damage claims be made against you by people injured in an accident involving the Thrifty car (on rentals in CA and FL up to $2,000,000 combined single limit for liability protection only).  LIS, in combination with liability protection which may otherwise be provided by Thrifty, safeguards your insurance policy and/or your personal assets for up to the first $1 million should such claims be made against you.  LIS also provides you with up to $1,000,000 in coverage for combined bodily injury and/or property damage claims, should you be harmed by an uninsured/underinsured driver. Prices vary by location.  Pricing of LIS for a specific rental will be provided at time of reservation. LIS is not available on rentals in Canada."

4. Protection Plus ("PP"): In Canada, where available, if the renter purchases 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, rehabilitation, legal defense, emergency road service and mechanical breakdown towing benefits, and loss to personal belongings if certain terms and conditions are met.

5. Emergency Sickness Protection ("ESP"): ESP is available to all renters who are non-U.S. citizens including Canadians who possess valid non-U.S. passports at the time of rental. ESP provides certain medical benefits for some sicknesses that may occur during rental periods of thirty days or less. ESP also covers individuals possessing valid non-U.S. passports at the time of rental traveling with the renter. Benefits include up to $10,000 per person for reasonable and customary cost of necessary medical care for covered sickness, including (A) medical or surgical treatment; (B) hospital services, supplies, x-rays and laboratory fees; (C) local ambulance and (D) visits to a physician’s office, and are subject to a $100 deductible per person per sickness. ESP does not provide coverage for any sickness for which symptoms began or treatment received during the twelve months prior to the beginning of the rental period; expenses incurred outside of the U.S.; expenses for eyeglasses, contact lenses or hearing aids; losses incurred while participating in racing, professional club, intercollegiate or interscholastic sports; losses from an accident, cardiovascular disease, cancers tumors, tuberculosis, organ transplant, congenital conditions, deviated septum, cosmetic surgery, dental care, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, fertility/infertility treatment, pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, and emotional or mental disorders of any kind; and losses while traveling against the advice of a physician or while traveling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment. ESP does not apply in Mexico.

6. Mexico Insurance: Vehicles rented in the United States may not be driven into Mexico without obtaining Mexico Insurance.  Mexico Insurance provides a customer with liability and damage protection on the rental vehicle to be in compliance with Mexican law when visiting Mexico.  The Mexico Insurance policy permits  the customer to travel up to 250 miles south of the U.S./Mexico border in the rented vehicle. The policy provides coverage for liability to third parties arising from the use of the rental vehicle (to the applicable limit of liability), collision and comprehensive coverage for the rental vehicle (subject to applicable deductibles) and limited medical expense coverage. Coverage is subject to all limits, terms, limitations and exclusions in the Mexico Insurance policy. Mexico Insurance is available only at select locations.


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iThrifty Car Rental is a Registered Trademark of Thrifty Car Rental.

* Revised and Effective March 1, 2019.

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