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Budget Rent-a-Car was established in 1958 with a fleet of only ten cars in California. Budget is available in all 50 states and offer some great features such as online check-in, e-toll, and roadside assistance. Budget has a wide variety of cars to choose from. They offer a selection of both economy and luxury cars. Budget also has a low payment feature available to those who pay ahead of time.

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The Good

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Competitive pricing
  • Online check-in available

States Available

Budget is easily available is all 50 states. This gives Budget an advantage over its competition, who typically have locations in 23 states or less. It also offers an advantage to the customer, who can find a Budget location much easier, especially when traveling.

Rental Prices

Rental prices for both economy and luxury cars are low in the car rental industry. This makes it affordable for more customers when traveling or those who just need a car temporarily.

Airports Locations

The company has rental counters at most major airports throughout North America. Anywhere your plane lands, there is a Budget counter available. This is very convenient for travelers looking to rent a car right from the airport. They also have locations outside of the airports so locals can rent cars without having to go through the airport office.

Online Check-In

Budget does not offer online check-in, but they do offer something called FastBreak that makes checking in faster than standing in line. FastBreak does this by keeping your information-including your signature, digitized when you make your online reservation, making it easy for you to cut right through the counter line during the pickup process.

The Bad

  • No instant return options
  • Roadside fees
  • No on-site fuel discount

Instant Return

With Budget, all cars have to be returned in person. You cannot return the car without waiting in line and leaving the keys in the car. This is standard for car rental companies but with Budget's size and length of time in business, instant return is an option they could offer if they wanted to.

On-Site Fuel Discount

Budget does not offer an on-site fuel discount, but their four easy fuel service options include options that minimize the amount you pay if they use the pump on-site. With Budget, you will never pay more than $13.99 for the fuel service charge if you return the car less than fuel if you select their EZ Fuel service. Budget is an environmentally conscious rental agency. About half of its fleet has a fuel efficiency rating of 28 miles per gallon or better on highway. This means that renters are not only doing a little good for the environment, but are also saving themselves a little cash in gas expenses.

Roadside Assistance

Budget offers a roadside assistance service that covers the following:

  • Key Replacement
  • Lockout Service
  • Jump-Start
  • Flat Tire Assistance or Tire Replacement
  • Fuel Delivery

The problem is that there is no flat daily rate available for this service. Budget says the daily service charge is subject to change. Most rental car companies offer a flat additional price for this, such as $5 per day. With Budget, you won't know the price until the last minute which is unpredictable-and maybe unaffordable.

The Bottom Line

Budget is one of the most popular rental companies in the industry with locations in all 50 states and major airports. If convenience is a factor, this is a viable option for you, (if you're an AARP or Fastbreak rewards member, they offer many benefits and savings, too). As far as the cheapest option, Budget is lower priced than other car rental companies in the industry. Their additional features are also slightly higher than you might find with other rentals. If you do choose to rent with Budget, proceed with caution, you may find yourself paying for additional features, even if you didn't want them. Make sure to ask clear questions and state your preferences.

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User Reviews

Star Rating

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72 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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Shawn
October 14th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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Budget is one of my favorite car rental options. Always easy to find. Good cars great service!

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Rischelle Mikkelson
October 14th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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I can always count on Budget to have the best value for car rental when I travel. I like that they are in many international locations as well. Makes it easy to rent with a company I trust.

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Alyssa Boren
October 11th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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The car was still dirty and had garbage inside of it when it was given to us which was very off putting.

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Don Boren
October 9th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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This place lives up to it's name. The price is very low, but so is the quality of car and service. I have had cars that aren't very clean upon pick up, and the staff isn't super friendly when you drop off.

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Amy Boren
October 9th, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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We rented from here for our family florida trip. It was easy to get the car and it was dark when we picked it up. By the time we loaded up and left I noticed that the car smelled like smoke, YUCK!! We also found that it really hadn't been cleaned at all in between uses. There were wrappers, bottles and garbage all over the car and a good amount of sand on the floor and seats. I was not impressed and will not be renting from them anytime soon!!

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Jaime
October 3rd, 2019 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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We've rented cars from Budget before and never had any issues. Cars were what we requested, and everything went great.

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Anthony Sgambati
October 3rd, 2019 Rocklin, CA DETAILS
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We use budget everywhere we go! Easy to book and pick up our car as well. Never use anyone else!

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Cassandra
October 3rd, 2019 Sunnyvale, CA DETAILS
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Budget is cheap and you get what you pay for when you use them. Their customer service is some of the worst I've dealt with when it comes to renting cars, but if you're willing to be patient it's worth it for the cost.

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Ted Johnson
September 30th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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When I rent a car I am always looking for the cheapest price that meets the rest of my criteria. Budget usually gives me the best price and they are quick and easy to get in and out of and the price they promised is the price the stand behind.

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Ron Durfey
September 9th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I travel a lot for work. I rarely use Budget but when I do I have been fairly happy with their service. Price is competitive and cars tend to be clean.

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Darrin Henry
September 9th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I did not have the best experience with Budget in Raleigh NC. They did not have a shuttle for a long time and we waited almost 30 min.

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Keeli Hansen
July 22nd, 2019 San Jose, CA DETAILS
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Budget has great size moving trucks. As an interior designer I use them a lot and it’s nice to have great customer service where ever I rent

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Rosann Stanko
June 27th, 2019 Logan, UT DETAILS
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We enjoyed renting an SUV from Budget. We were treated well and found it easy to rent the car.

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Teresa LeBaron
June 18th, 2019 Lake Villa, IL DETAILS
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Good car rental company with competitive rates. Clean cars and good customer service.

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Grant Lofgreen
June 5th, 2019 Provo, UT DETAILS
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Rates and fees are not well explained. Rented me a car with a mileage rate two months ago. In 2019, who does that? A month after that incident I returned a car with a broken window and they tried to charge me for a windshield, bumper, antenna, running board, and two windows. When I contested the claim with photos of the car when I returned it they cancelled all charges. Total scam.

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Nana Asiata
May 21st, 2019 Herriman, UT DETAILS
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Budget has great options and pricing is affordable. Customer service is awesome whenever we need help upgrading or finding what we need.

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Ashley
May 16th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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We used Budget Car Rental when we traveled to Denver this past February. We had an excellent experience. The shuttle came to pick us up promptly and there was not much of a line when we got there. They did not have the exact car we were promised so they upgraded us for free. I will definitely use Budget again because of our positive experience.

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Eliza
May 16th, 2019 Arvada, CO DETAILS
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We used Budget Car Rental in Charlestown, SC, booking in advance through Costco Travel, and had a very difficult experience with Budget. There was a long line before we got to the desk, and then were told to wait outside, about a block's walk from the airport, where our car was to be delivered shortly. After 25 cold, windy minutes it finally came, with pre-existing damage, so we had to wait again for another 20 minutes, now in the dark, for a replacement. Another line when we returned the car, with only one employee. We will never use Budget Car Rental again.

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Reese
May 15th, 2019 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I have used Budget rent a car many times and they are known for a good car at a good price and all of the other things I have come to take for granted, like easy pick up, clean and well maintained cars, and easy drop off at a convenient location.

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Jeremy
March 1st, 2019 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
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We reserved a car from Budget through Expedia in Kona, HI for the week after Christmas. We arrived with around three other families to find that they had not a single vehicle to rent. Our only option was to go to a different company and rent a pickup truck, which was more for one day than our entire trip we were quoted with Budget. We then went back to Budget the next day and were lucky enough that someone was returning a vehicle that we could get into. We were promised that we would be reimbursed for the one day rental with the other company as well as be reimbursed for the rental fees with Budget due to the inconvenience. It's now been three months later and they still haven't even reimbursed the one day fee with the other company much less the rental fees with them. I've now had three months of interest on the credit card as well. I have sent them all the documents they have asked for in every kind of format available and they continue to tell me they are unable to open them. I'm at a loss as to what else I could due to get them the information. I would highly recommend avoiding this company due to the fact that it seems like my complaints are a common theme with other customers reviews that I have come across.

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DANIEL PERKINS
February 7th, 2019 Haines City, FL DETAILS
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I rented a car from Budget and drove from Florida to Ohio and back to Florida. The car was good and I experienced no problems with it. It was returned in good condition and that was verified by the check in agent. Suddenly 2 1/2 months after returning the car a letter stating that the car had some unspecified tire problem and that I was responsible for that. They could not tell me what the alleged tire problem was. I explained that I had no problems for the week I drove the car, the tires performed just fine and, per their own check-in procedure, there was no problem when I brought it back. Their letter to me said that I would only be charged for the actual cost of the needed repair but went on to contradict that by adding a $25 fee which was NOT part of the repair. This is simply another example of big corporate greed trying to make me pay for something that they could not even describe to me and which they found 2 months after I had the car. I had a 12 day future rental booked with Budget which I cancelled and I at least 2 more short term rentals pending and I will use ANY company but Budget in the future.

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Anonymous
February 6th, 2019 DETAILS
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I recently had a rental with an upgrade, I was swindlled into a 2nd upgrade which led to a fee when the vehicle was returned. They can be more honest with their rentals. When trying to speak with the manager, it was also an elusive event. They pretty much ignored my complaint.

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Robert Harper
January 30th, 2019 DETAILS
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prices are fair.the best part is they have no drop off fee

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Olivia
January 2nd, 2019 Boston, MA DETAILS
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If I could do zero, I give them zero. After return the car, the staff at front desk told me the final cost is less than I paid and I can get refund. But I didn't. Then I call the customer service, the person told me when I prepaid I can't be refund. Meaning I paid than I need to pay when I do prepay. This is the first time I am using Budget and this is definitely the worst experience I've ever had for renting a car. Other rental car companies suggest consumers to prepay for a lower price, Budget does this for robbing our money. How ridiculous it is, am I buying a stock right now? I need to make a guess and gamble on my rental price?

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Sandra
December 20th, 2018 Tucson, AZ DETAILS
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I started out with a very bad feeling and experience with Budget. I picked my car up Friday night in a dimly lit car garage. I noticed the next day that the emblem was missing in the front. I immediately called customer service and got a guy who didn't give his name and said he worked for Avis. I told him my situation and he said it was a good thing I called because they're expensive. He said they give 24 hrs to report any issues. Then told me he needed to transfer me to someone else. Tony then came on the line and told me not to worry and that I needed to speak to roadside assistance. Didn't give me a chance to ask why since it's not an accident. Roadside came on and asked about my issue. I told her it was the emblem that was missing and I didn't lose it. She said not to worry and she'd document and send me a text. I never got a text. So I went all the way to the airport to talk to the counter. I first talked to fastbreak and Fran was going to help me until I told her they put me through to Roadside (she said not sure why they put you through to them) and since they did and it was reported that she couldn't do anything and that the car is now flagged when I bring it back. This scared me even more. so I talked to a guy who was there the night I rented the car. I had heard him say to another client the night before that they're not worried about dents or scratches, just windows broken. He told me he'd get the manager to talk to me (Robert). A guy came out in a light jacket zipped and looked at me and said "what's up" no introduction or courtesy given here. I told him my situation and that I called right away and was transferred around and then to roadside, which he wasn't sure why it went to roadside and there was nothing he could do. Told me I was responsible since I drove it off the lot that way. I explained what I was told about the 24 hrs and he said that was wrong. I mentioned they could listen to the call and see that is what I was told. He just kept throwing at me that I didn't pay for any insurance. Didn't think I needed to since I rely on good quality vehicles. I had just rented from Alamo and had nothing but good experience. I am having an engine replaced in my vehicle I told the manager and couldn't afford anything extra. Already paying for rental cars in the meantime. He was no help or even courteous. I mentioned they could listen to the calls (as I work in customer service and have for over 30 years). Call centers even. He said that to find a Tony is like finding a needle in a haystack. I said they should be able to by my phone # or time of calls. He told me I could call them back if I wanted to, but that I'm responsible and would have to pay. I even asked him what the sticker in the door is about impound and a phone #. He wasn't aware of that. I said maybe that's where the emblem went missing. I could just cry! Very horrible experience and I don't like the car that I have now for another week n a half. Scared to even touch it. They never even walked around the car with me, just gave me the key and told me the location to get the car.

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Tiffany
December 14th, 2018 Tempe, AZ DETAILS
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I hate taking my car on road trips so i decided to rent a car. Best decision EVER cheap, reliable, and super easy to do.

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Nishita
December 5th, 2018 McLean, VA DETAILS
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I've rented a Budget car twice now, once in Orlando while driving to Miami and once to drive in and around Washington DC. I got very good prices both the time, the cars were clean, was in and out real quick. Was satisfied with the service and the pricing.

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Amber C Frey
November 16th, 2018 San Diego, CA DETAILS
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I rented from these guys once and it was a pretty painless experience. The car was in great condition and it wasn't too expensive to rent it. I would likely use them again if I needed to rent a car.

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Matt Hanzel
November 6th, 2018 Saratoga Springs, UT DETAILS
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Always the best value for the best price. Their customer service is good and I really enjoyed the Fastbreak service.

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Tevita
September 27th, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT

I have used Budget a few times, and they are usually the ones who price out the best. Never had any problems with picking up or returning my car. Great customer service as well.

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Dave Brinton
August 31st, 2018

Price is always competitive. Customer service is always good.

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wanda
August 31st, 2018 Saint George, UT

i had to stop renting from Budget because they never have the vehicle i reserve. they try to get me into a small vehicle which didn't have enough space for the number of passengers we had. another occassion they tried to upgrade us to a dodge ram truck but we have to pay the difference. i explained that if i wanted a dodge ram truck i would have reserved it. i specifically wanted the mini van because i was traveling with my daughter and 3 of her soccer teammates and needed the extra space plus i didn't want to pay a lot in gas with the truck. they were so rude. they did not take responsibility yet puts the blame back on the customer. very disappointed.

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Lesa Burgess
August 29th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Budget has good cars to rent at an affordable price. However, their rewards benefits and points aren't very good compared to other competitors. As much as I travel, this is a huge deal for me. I'm all about rewards points and programs and for me to consistently rent from Budget, they need to improve this!

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Thomas Hullinger
August 29th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I use Budget from time to time and thy always have a good rate, are easy to get in and out of and their cars are clean and in good repair and if they don't have the car you need, they will upgrade you.

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Jr
August 28th, 2018 Orem, UT

don't waste your time booking with Budget. When you book your rental your are still not guaranteed a car. very disappointed when they tell you when you go pick up your rental that they have NO cars. No phone call to warn you. Very rude customer service. Will not do business with them anymore.

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J Paul Wright
August 27th, 2018 Central, UT

I have used Budget a few times in the past. I have generally been disappointed, especially with their car selection. The price was always good, hence the reason for choosing them, but when I arrived to pick up the cars (multiple occasions) they "upgraded" me to vehicles that got significantly worse fuel economy, making our trip more expensive in the long run. Sometimes you want to car class that you chose.

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Aiga
August 27th, 2018 Orem, UT

they use to be very reliable. the price is always good but the customer service has gone down in the last 5 years. no communication what so ever when they have no vehicles. i find out when i arrive to pickup. i missed my daughters game because they had no vehicles on the lot when i made my reservation a month before pickup. they had 3 vehicles sitting on the lot and this is there reply to me "those are already reserved for someone else" .. i reserved the same vehicle as the one that was sitting outside. very rude and didn't care about my reservation.

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Robin
August 27th, 2018 Orem, UT

cheap rental but they didn't have the vehicle i booked a few times. they either had to upgrade me into a bigger vehicle for an extra charge or get a smaller rental which didn't work out for the amount of passengers i had. if was either take it or leave it kind of deal. never went there again.

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Mali
August 27th, 2018 Orem, UT

don't even bother making a reservation! they do not guarantee a reservation and never have vehicles in stocked! Rude customer service.

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Allyah
August 24th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

the worst! They have the cheapest prices but customer service was awful in St George, UT. I would book weeks or even months prior and when i call in a week to make sure everything is scheduled/set for my trip they tell me YES. Then when i get to the office there are NO cars to be rented. I had to find a last minute ride to get to where i needed to be at the time.

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Rashida Laumatia
August 24th, 2018 Saint George, UT

Terrible customer service. Fees don’t get back to you when they said it would. And the cars aren’t always clean. When I reserve a car In advance I get there and have to wait for up to an hour every single time. It’s ridiculous!

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Kris
August 23rd, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

We rented from Budget out of Denver. We were over an hour in line waiting for our rent a car.

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Bella Houtz
August 23rd, 2018 South Jordan, UT

Budget rental cars are very nice cars for an affordable price. I would definitely recommend getting one and not using and Uber.

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Carolynn
August 20th, 2018 West Jordan, UT

I usually check budget first now when looking for rental cars as they are usually cheaper then other companies. We have used them a few times and have had great experiences each time.

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Jodie Larson
August 17th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Budget is one of my go to car rental companies because their prices are competative and their locations are convenient. They last time I rented through them, they upgraded, me at no extra charge, to a large 4WD Jeep that looked really cool but it got terrible gas mileage so when I got to my destination, I found the nearest Budget location and switched it out for something more economical. I love that they were willing to do that for me!

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Karen Nelson
July 30th, 2018 Alpine, UT

Budget seems to always live up to its name. They have good prices and seem to be efficient and friendly. I have had 100% satisfaction every time.

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Sara Jane
July 25th, 2018 Crestwood, KY

The quality of the vehicles are good. I have rented many trucks from the, I appreciate their customer service. Everyone is very nice and do well to make sure you have what you need.

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Spencer Hodgson
July 18th, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT

I was impressed with the lady that took care of me when I returned my car. They have good customer service.

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Pamela J Olberg
June 27th, 2018 Minnetonka, MN DETAILS
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We reserved a 12 passenger Ford transit van three and 1/2 monthes prior to our trip at McCarron airport Las Vegas. When we arrived we were told that they don't have twelve passenger vans and the only available van was a 15 passenger Chev Express van. This is hardly an equilalent. When we conplained on return that two of the seat belts only worked part time we were told that movement caused then naturally to lock up and the only option for unlocking them was to stop and restart the engine. This situation was totally unsafe as we sometimes had to drive without seat belts.

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Joanna Hester
June 18th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ

My husband asked me to rent a car for him for his last work trip. I chose Budget because they had the type of car he wanted at the best price. The staff at the rental agency made his experience pleasant and quick for both picking up his car and returning it.