Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Travel Tips & Trip Ideas
Reload this Page >

Thrifty Car Rentals Review - You rent a car, but the deal is a bomb!

Thrifty Car Rentals Review - You rent a car, but the deal is a bomb!

Old May 24th, 2011, 04:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thrifty Car Rentals Review - You rent a car, but the deal is a bomb!

I have posted a video on YouTube showing my experience, at:


But basically, what hapened is...

In february 2011, I rented a time bomb from Thrifty Car Rentals. I thought I was renting a car, that was what I booked, but Thrifty fooled me. After the first 200 kilometers the car started to fail, and my wife and I had a tough time for 15 days!

I was with my wife in Portugal and decided to rent a car with Thrifty to go to Spain. Our road trip started on a cold rainy day of winter, and the first thing to fail was the air conditioning. Have you tried to drive a car when it's cold outside without air conditioning? Well, the windshield gets dangerously foggy, and the only way to fix this is by opening the window. Thank god I was in Spain and not in Canada. It was "only" 9ºC (48º F) outside. Blood doesn't freeze at this temperature.

But that was only the begining...

The next day I noticed that one of the tires was flat, so I filled it up. But that tire was actually loosing air, permanently and gradually, so I had to do that everyday for two weeks. And the reason is because Thrifty doesn't offer assistance to their clients in Spain, even though I was only 200 kilometers away from their closest agency.They didn't offer (or accepted, after I asked) to send me a replacement car. Instead, they told me I should fix their vehicle myself!

When I finally got back to Lisbon and expressed my discontent, they didn't care much, and just offered a miserable 20% discount, as a deal to get rid of me. The amount would be refunded directly to my credit card account.

And that's when I was fooled again. I should have known they would never reimburse me. They were only trying to get rid of a complaining client before another sucker came in to burn his money away with them.

But I was still hopeful, trusting on the company and thinking that was an isolated problem when, one month Iater, I sent an e-mail through their website, at
Thrifty.com explaining what hapened. Few days later they confirmed my fear when I read their answer saying that was not their problem and I should deal straight with their agency at Lisbon. As if Thrifty Portugal, at Lisbon, was not really Thrifty.

It's really disapointing. I recomend this company to be a (bad) case of study for business schools around the world.
marvelloso is offline  
Old May 24th, 2011, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,489
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Bummer, a dud rental car can ruin a trip.

I'm curious if you tried the defrost? Was it not working either? That would have taken care of the interior window fogging and kept you warm.

If it were me, I'd continue to pursue Thrifty, perhaps send them your Youtube link, that ought to light a fire under them.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 25th, 2011, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Always wise to check a vehicle out carefully B4 renting

Most of your issues could have been prevented by you.

All the car rentals like Thrifty sub their stuff out to locals

yielding an expensive crappy experience with an older fleet


Europcar.com or Renault Eurodrive leases work out cheaper

better over there usually for me.
qwovadis is offline  
Old May 25th, 2011, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you paid with a CC

Might file a merchant reversal/ dispute with your CC company.

That always gets their attention.

Get 100% of my money back for fraud

even if not free investigation and

adjustments are usually made by the offending franchisee

in Portugal in this case if poor quality service/rental.
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2011, 08:10 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So sad for your experience. You went through a lot considering that you wanted to do this traveling thing so bad. I just hope you were able to enjoy the places you went to, though. Did they gave you at least a little compensation for their defective car rentals?
jh2011 is offline  
Old Oct 31st, 2011, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 40
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been looking for great car rental deals. Good thing you made a report about it.
harrisonJ is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2011, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, See my Forum under " Dollar Rent a Car " in Travel tips. Thrifty is also part of Dollar Rent a car and has the same rules. They do not accept 3rd party insurance and if you are from the USA they will not accept VISA's CDW insurance.
jkruege12 is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2011, 09:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,767
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the heads up on this situation. I just read jkruge's post as well. My husband thinks I'm crazy when I'm paranoid about renting cars and the fear of being charged for extras or damage but I've read too many stories here on Fodor's to not be paranoid. Or a least forewarned and hopefully prepared!
pdx is offline  
Old Nov 28th, 2011, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Really, feel sorry to know about worst experience with the trip. I agree with Qqwovadis that always wise to check a vehicle out carefully before renting.
TheExpert is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2012, 12:00 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While AC certainly speed things up, running the heater on hot for 4-5 minutes is normally enough to clear up any condensation on the window.
ThomasW is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2013, 04:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thrifty might be doing poor business there, otherwise all car cos send the replacement car. Take it a freak case!
ziptrippin is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2013, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,702
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sounds like you were in Mexico
Katzgar is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2013, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like you had a bad time. I was on a road trip with a few friends in Ireland. Ireland is a beautiful place and is best traveled by road. The car we hired broke down a day after we had begun the trip. But the people at Dan Dooley car rental in Ireland saved the day for us. They sent in a repair guy within an hour of the break down. They are nationwide service providers and I liked the way they deliver their work.
rileybob412 is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2013, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 71,990
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>Sounds like you had a bad time
janisj is online now  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Travel Tips & Trip Ideas
May 12th, 2018 01:33 PM
United States
Jun 25th, 2012 11:47 PM
Apr 16th, 2012 07:55 AM
Apr 8th, 2007 05:03 PM
United States
Jun 27th, 2002 09:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -