Budget Overview

Budget Rent a Car System is an American-owned and operated car rental agency.  Founded in 1958, it began with a fleet of 10 cars. It offered its customers lower daily rates as well as lower-cost miles than other competitors and catered to the “budget-minded” consumer. Over the years, the company was bought by what is now known as the Avis Budget Group. The Budget brand name is operated in locations all over the world, including:  US, Canada, Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, Mexico, Middle East, Caribbean, and Central America.

Paired with Avis, Budget offers the Ultimate Test Drive program buy used car rentals. Their program is based on these key points: Choose, Drive, and Buy. It allows consumers to view models that are for sale, schedule a test drive for the selected vehicle from up to 2 hours to 3 days and then allows consumers to buy the vehicle online. The prices are listed online so there are no negotiations or hassles. Financing is also available.

Services Available by Budget

Unlimited Mileage

Budget does offer its customers unlimited free miles included in the rental price which is convenient for customers.

Protection/Insurance

Most of Budget’s protection and insurance options are available at additional charges. One such option is Roadside SafetyNet, an assistance service that provides coverage in the unlikely event of operational difficulty or unexpected emergency. Budget claims it will bring customers fast and reliable assistance which is especially helpful when customers are in an unfamiliar city.

Insurance that is available at an extra charge includes: Loss Damage Waiver, Supplemental Liability Insurance, Personal Accident Insurance, Personal Accident and Effects Insurance, Emergency Sickness Plan and Collision Damage Waiver. Car renters are reminded to check their own insurance policy for coverage on rental cars as well as rental car coverage offered by credit card companies prior to purchasing additional insurance.

Loyalty Program

Budget’s loyalty program is called “Fastbreak”. Fastbreak members are required to maintain a minimum renting amount in order to remain eligible for the program. This program offers a paperless transaction for express service. Budget also offers frequent flyer miles and account credit with selected airline partners.  Frequent renters can also enjoy discounts such as a percentage off rentals, free rentals etc.

The “Budget Business Program”  is a corporate discount program. It offers small and mid-sized businesses discounted corporate rates, complimentary Fastbreak service and does not charge additional fees for having more than one driver.

Reservation Process

One service that Budget offers its frequent customers is a free account called “RapidRez”. This account holds all of the customers rental preferences which makes reservations quicker. To entice customers to feel more comfortable making reservations online, Budget makes a promise that its website has the lowest rates and the car rate that is reserved is the actual price that will be due at the rental counter. They also boast no booking fees ever for using the online system. Reserving cars, trucks, moving vans and so on can all be booked online. Travel agents also have the convenience of booking online for their customers.

Another reservation convenience Budget offers is if a customer is renting a car due to their car currently being repaired, customers can choose that option when booking. Budget will bill insurance companies directly.

Check-In Process

Fastbreak members have the privilege of express services at check-in and don’t have to wait in line at the rental counter. Unfortunately, most bookings require “pay at counter” for rentals however there are some locations that offer “pay now” option online, making the check-in process a little faster. Also available at some locations is a pick-up service which is convenient to some customers, especially those whose car is in the shop.

Delivery Process

Budget does not have many options for the delivery process besides the standard wait in line at counter to check-in then go pick up the rental car.

Drop-Off Process

Budget does offer one-way rentals which is a convenience to many customers. They don’t advertise any kind of express drop-off process.

Conclusion

Budget is an established car rental company. Their basic premise is to offer “value- conscious” consumers low rental rates. Therefore, they do not offer as many innovative services as some rental car companies. Their “Fastbreak” program provides express services to members such as check-in, delivery of rental car, paperless transactions etc. Budget offers customers whose car is being repaired a convenient service by billing insurance companies directly.