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172 User Reviews

6.1

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: January 26th, 2022
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 Prices
  • Airport Locations
  • Online Check-In 

Available in All 50 States

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.

Competitive 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.

Airport 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.

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The Bad

  • No Instant Return
  • Roadside Assistance
  • No On-Site Fuel Discount

No 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.

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.

No 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.

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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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Star Rating

3.6

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172 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

34%

4 grade

30%

3 grade

12%

2 grade

4%

1 grade

19%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Michigander101 Macomb, MI

I’ve been a frequent flyer with Budget Rental for several years when flying around the United States and needing vehicle rentals. They are a busy company so I try to book in advance to get a better selection. Overall, I have always dealt with positive employees.

2 weeks ago

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Luke M Herriman, UT

Budget is a great place to find a rental car for your trip. We used them on our most recent trip and they made it easy to get a car.

5 days ago

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Brian Cowley Riverton, UT

Rented a van recently out of Long Beach CA, and it was a good car. Was kind of dirty and had a lot of dents/scratches. But all in all, the van was good for all we needed. Would use them again if they are the best priced.

1 week ago

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Saylor D Herriman, UT

We used Budget on our latest trip to Virginia and it was very reliable. They were a bit slow, but that was due to the shortage of cars at the time. They made it very simple to get a car and we will definitely work with them for our next trip.

2 weeks ago

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Gavin Jones Columbus, OH

Rented with Budget once, but really won't be doing that again. Had slow service and ended up taking about 3 hours in all to get a car. Perhaps not the usual turnaround, but happened to be my first and last time that I'll be renting from budget. As to the rental itself, it was clean and perfect otherwise, just took far too much time to get setup and going.

3 weeks ago

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LBurr96 West Jordan, UT

I have rented their cars in many cities and they have upgraded my car several times for free which I found to be very nice.

1 day ago

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Connor Smith Port Saint Lucie, FL

I have used Budget car rental many times for business. I pick up and drop off the vehicle at the airport very convenient.

1 week ago

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Tami Thurgood Herriman, UT

I have found that Budget always has a great price on car rentals. That is what I love! They keep it affordable and nice car selection

1 week ago

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Erik Lewis

We use the one in midtown Atlanta because they always seem to have cars. The staff is fantastic. We have never had a problem with Budget on any of our long road trips.

3 weeks ago

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Noureddine Lalami Brentwood, CA

Compared to other major car rental companies, budget is well-priced. However, sometimes selection is a bit scarce. Also, during certain period of the year, the lines may be a bit longer.

4 weeks ago

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J B Sandy, UT

Always happy when I rent from Budget. Good service, vehicles are always in great condition.

1 week ago

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Glenn Dalton Salt Lake City, UT

Very knowledgeable, friendly staff. Easy reservation and pickup. Great newer cars, clean and well maintained.

1 week ago

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Emily D Herriman, UT

Budget is our go to rental car place. They have the best prices and made renting a car easy and quick!

1 week ago

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WT

Prior to the pandemic, Budget has offered good weekend deals for reasonable prices. Rates after the pandemic hit have been ridiculously high - not Budget friendly at all.

4 weeks ago

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Brittney Mac Gregor Louisville, KY

I have had a decent experience with Budget car rentals. I have used them a few times in the past for my travel needs. Although the prices have gone up considerable over the years, the same is true for other car rental businesses.

5 months ago

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Mike John Logan, UT

Easy to book and great rates. Drop off procedure s have greatly improved

3 days ago

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Anne Sainsbury Orem, UT

Rental cars are never my favorite thing when traveling as they often have a lot of hidden costs, but working with Budget was super easy and less expensive than I had thought. We only rented the car to travel from Moline Iowa to the Chicago airport, but the car we were given was in great condition and the customer service we received was excellent (even at 3 in the morning).

7 months ago

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Sam Linthicum Arab, AL

I paid for a rental car in advance in Wichita Kansas, when I went to pick it up, they gave the car to someone behind me. That left me stranded at the airport with no help from the Budget staff behind the counter. I will never use Budget again!

2 months ago

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Rocio Diaz Tallahassee, FL

Budget has a lot of locations which makes it easy to access. Their pricing is competitive. However, I personally have had trouble with the customer service in the past.

2 months ago

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Amy N Sandy, UT

Budget is a good car rental company and gets the job done.

2 days ago

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Lisa C Johnson Baltimore, MD

I rented a Budget car at the airport. Once I found their location, it was a fairly easy process. There were many cars to choose from and the person at the counter was knowledgeable. Nice office and clean. Well organized. Prices were reasonable at the time.

8 months ago

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Joel Ward Modesto, CA

Angela at the Modesto, CA, Sears location for Budget has been providing consistent excellent service for me. I've rented many times from her and continue to do so. I'm picky about customer service and she knows how to provide that very professionally. She even provided me a cell number for off hour contact if needed, which I did once and it was a life saver for me. Thanks Budget and thanks Angela!

3 years ago

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Doug Foerch Vernon Hills, IL

Good product with a decent rate. You would be wise to look for discounts, which they often run.

3 weeks ago

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Luke Swierczynski Troy, MI

With the rental market in shambles right now they were able to get me the cheapest rental care possible.

2 months ago

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DJ Tucson, AZ

I wouldn't even give it a star. I rented one to pick up in Seattle through Carrental8.com. I paid for a mid size car. When I went to pick it up they would only give me an economy car and made me pay $11/day more for it. When I called and complained to Budget, they said I was absolutely right and that they would refund me $242.00 and I would receive it in 3-5 business day. It's been over a month and still no refund. I call them back and now they want me to PROVE that the over charged me. So now they gave me a bogus email address to send the proof too. They have the same paperwork that I do. The first employee say it and then the second one can't? And now he gives me a bogus email address. What a SCAM!!! Never again will I use this company. They should be totally ASHAMED!!!

6 months ago

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Jeremy Webb Dallas, TX

I have used Budget couple times with my business along with some other truck competitors and I really enjoyed my experience with Budget. The trucks I have received to rent were in great condition and had no issues. My only complaint is that we don’t have many locations around my location that offer the truck rentals which is what I mainly use. Employees are nice and helpful in finding whatever you need.

1 year ago

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Ashley Pleasant Grove, UT

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.

2 years ago

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Jodie Larson 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!

3 years ago

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Cathy Fernley, NV

Budget Detroit gave me a car with a damaged tire. Tire was flat after driving 40 miles. Road assistance wasn't available until the next day, then I had to drive 40 miles one way to get a different vehicle, and the final blow, they want me to pay for a new tire. Check tire valve stems, wheels, and rims, in addition to body and window damage.

6 months ago

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Alter EgoT Haslet, TX

Please save yourself the heartache. The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. 4 hours sitting at the rental car agent because 3 different people at the company didn't know the card that PREPAID the rental could not be done on that card. Despite at least 3 times asking the specific question. They already HAD their money. They cancelled the rental, required a different card which had to be driven to the location to be physically presented and then they rented the car to someone else and said oops out of cars very sorry. 2 months in advance prepaid. Confirmed information numerous times. And stranded. With no cars available within the next 3 days and them with the money for 3 days. So many ways this could have been prevented and not one person was able to come up with a solution. They may be cheaper but it's not worth it. No one wants to be stranded after doing so much due diligence. Pay the extra. Get a company that can resolve their mistakes. It's worth it.

8 months ago

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Eddie Rios Ogden, UT

For economy and value, Budget is a very safe bet. Budget always has the best deals in my area. When needing to economize, Budget is a great option. Service, vehicle selection, contract options-all great with Budget.

1 year ago

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Eliza Arvada, CO

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.

2 years ago

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Nishita McLean, VA

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.

3 years ago

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Doyal Stewart Salt Lake City, UT

I've used budget a great deal and for long periods of time for work. I always received great customer service, got the car I wanted, and was in and out quickly. Returning the car was always a breeze as well. I would definitely recommend using Budget for car rentals.

4 years ago

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Landon Badoni Montgomery, TX

Overall Budget is a great option! There have been just a couple instances of less than desirable customer service, but the price point kinda balances out. Usually the adage "you get what you pay for" holds true... But in the case of Budget I usually get much more than I bargained for in a good way.

1 year ago

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Irinna Danielson Riverton, UT

I first looked to Budget as the rental company for us after having a family friend who worked there while I was growing up. He always helped us when we needed to rent a 15 passenger van or a bigger truck to hauling things or to help take care of large parties traveling. The trust that developed as I watched my parents use Budget has stayed with me and when we need good service at a great value, I continue to turn to Budget. And, besides the vans and bigger vehicles, they also give good prices on regular sized vehicles. The brand is a good one and it's one my family has trusted for years.

1 year ago

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Steve Jones Riverton, UT

My experience with my local Budget was awesome. We used them while our car was in the shop. They were kind, courteous, and helpful - a great representation of the company's values. Will use them again the next time we're in need of a rental!

1 year ago

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Nicole Jones Sandy, UT

Budget Rental in Las Vegas has the best service! I travel to Las Vegas quite often for work and find the location to be conveniently located, the staff helpful, and the process simple. Great level of service for a minimal price tag!

1 year ago

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Kimi Bayles West Valley City, UT

I loved using Budget on my business trip. I got a great car without breaking the bank. There was an employee who walked me out to my car, showed me everything I needed to know and got me going. Thanks for the great service at a great price!

1 year ago

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James Conder Eagle Mountain, UT

I have used Budget for rentals car a lot for my work travels. Always had a clean car, full tank of gas, and no damage waiting for me when I arrived. Customer service was always amazing when using Budget, no matter which city or state I was in.

1 year ago

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Stephanie Love Herriman, UT

I have used budget several times and I haven’t had any complaints yet. The cars are always clean and I’ve got the car I requested or in some cases they have upgraded me to a nicer vehicle. The customer service has always been great and haven’t had any headaches or long lines to have to wait in. They were quick and professional.

1 year ago

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Robert Wilson Rockville, MD

I use budget when I travel in the US. They are almost always the cheapest rental car available. Their cars are a good variety of current cars. They get you in and out very quickly especially at Denver International Airport - their service is awesome. I would recommend using them in the US - I have not had the chance to use them internationally. Great value for the money.

1 year ago

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Annie Robbins Pleasant Grove, UT

We recently rented from Budget on our vacation to Florida. There was not a mini van as we had requested when we got there late at night. The agent went out of their way to have another car cleaned quickly for us to have and helped make sure we stayed within our budget for the bigger car. Great service!

1 year ago

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Ted Johnson Pleasant Grove, UT

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.

2 years ago

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Reese Pleasant Grove, UT

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.

2 years ago

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Joanna Hester 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.

3 years ago

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Swagmom Lake Worth, FL

I rented a compact car; four doors and seats five, and I was given an economy car; two doors and seats 4. My son pointed out that since his brother decided not to travel with us, we should just leave it, so I did. But getting in and out of that back seat was too challenging for the seniors I was staying with. Also, at the end of my five days, I called to price adding two more days and was quoted $79.34, even though their website showed a new rental at $53 and change. The kid on the phone told me if I wanted that price I needed to go back to the airport and return the car and get a new rental. So I went back to the airport and returned the car and walked next door to Enterprise to pick up my new two day rental.

1 year ago

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Jeremy Las Vegas, NV

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.

2 years ago

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DANIEL PERKINS Haines City, FL

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.

2 years ago

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Olivia Boston, MA

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?

3 years ago