Payless Car Rentals Logo

Payless Car Rentals

Is This Your Business?
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15 User Reviews


Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 21st, 2021
Payless Car Rental is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group, Inc. The company was founded in 1971 in Spokane Washington. Currently, Payless Car Rental operates approximately 120 corporately-owned and franchise rental locations in the United States, Canada, Europe and South America for casual and business travelers on a budget.

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The Good

  • Available in 39 states
  • Instant return options
  • Roadside Assistance

States Available

Payless is located in 39 states. This is not the absolute highest, but it is on the higher end compared to other companies that are much more limited to an average of 23 states. More locations mean more availability in your city or airport destination.

Economy Price Range

Economy prices low across the industry. This is not including all the additional taxes and fees plus other add-ons like GPS.

Airports Locations

Payless has a plethora of airport locations-everywhere from JFK Airport to small airports like Myrtle Beach. To add to the company's widespread presence, Payless has rental counters at most major airports throughout North America

Instant Return

You can return your car fast and without waiting in line-and leave the keys after hours, since after hours returns are permitted by Payless in most instances. Otherwise, you have to wait in line to turn your keys in at the counter during business hours.

Roadside Assistance

Payless offers a Roadside Service Plan (RSP) for $4.99 ($3.99 for Florida) per rental day with benefits including:
  • Emergency road service towing
  • Winching
  • Jump start
  • Flat tire change
  • Lockout service
  • Emergency fuel delivery
The price for this is on par with the industry standard for roadside assistance. It is on the lower side of the spectrum compared to other companies offering between $5-$7 per day.

The Bad

  • Strict cancellation policy
  • No toll prepay options

Cancellation Policies

Cancel notification must be received one hour prior to the scheduled arrival time unless otherwise specified on your reservation conformation. Customers can be charged a $50 fee for cancelling. This is inferior to some of their competition who either charge no cancellation fees (regardless of when they cancel) and even when compared with companies that do charge a standard cancellation fee (typically $25) whatever state you're in.

Toll Prepay Option

Payless offers e-toll for electronically traveling though tolls without cash. They direct you to their website to find out the terms and conditions. It seems that e-toll is a third party site and not offered through Payless as an add-on feature for an extra cost during the online reservation process-the way other companies offer on their websites. Since Payless doesn't offer prepay options directly through their site, you'll have to ask about it in person and/or over the phone.

On-Site Fuel Discount

There is no discount for fuel issued on-site to fill the tank when you return it. What you get is one of two fueling options:
  • Option #1: You may purchase a full tank of fuel at the time of rental; bring the vehicle back with fuel at any level. There will be no credit issued for unused fuel.
  • Option #2: You may bring the vehicle back full to avoid a charge or Payless will refuel your vehicle based on the miles driven or level of the tank. A refueling service fee will apply per gallon.
Without the advantage of a fuel discount (which a few rental companies may offer), it makes option #2 more worthwhile. Due to time constraints, or running late for your flight or other convenience issues, refueling the tank yourself can be very inconvenient.

Online Check-In

Although you can check in your car online, you have to go to the rental counter to fully check in. A few companies let you check your car from the website with only your signature required in person.

The Bottom Line

Payless' prices are competitive in the car rental industry. They don't offer luxury cars or certain basic features that other companies offer. Payless does, however, have locations in almost every major city, airport and state, making them both available and convenient to use. If customers want to feel secure that their issues will be addressed in the case something goes wrong, they may want to look elsewhere for car rentals.
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15 Reviews

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Steven Whipple Cypress, TX

The process of picking up the rental was horrible. The service agent did not know what he was doing. Another service agent became angry with him when he tried to rent me a vehicle that had already been rented - she walked up to him and literally snatched the keys from his hand and scolded him for renting a car that was already rented. Then, he became extremely difficult with me, insisting that I initial the form without reading the sections that I was required to initial, insisting "Just initial the form, you are paying anyway." Further, the form printed extremely light (running out of ink?). And...the vehicle was not washed - was filthy inside, bug splatter all over the front and the windshield, and smelled of marijuana smoke. On the return, there was no one to accept the vehicle. I asked one male who was "working" but was told "everything is fine, just board the shuttle." Caveat Emptor!

1 month ago

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Heal2day2 Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Horrific! From the time I walked in, there were 2 people behind the counter with 23 people in line. I waited over 2 hours in line. I was given keys to a defective car. After 2 weeks I finally heard from Payless Customer service. After paying $656.95 , they offerd me a one day rental which which I reject.

2 months ago

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Roy Bethel Richmond Hill, GA

The service that I received from both the Springfield, Missouri Payless car rental office and the corporate office is so poor I do not see how they stay in business. A one star rating is more than they deserve On April 1, 2021 I rented a car through the Payless web site. When I arrived at the Springfield, MO counter they ask for my credit card for which they could charge any incidentals. Without asking me they charged me for the car a second time. They only told me this when they handed me the rental papers. They said my payments from the corporate office had not come thru to their system and I would have to contact the corporate office to get my money refunded. That’s when they told me they were a franchise and it was my responsibility, not theirs to contact corporate. Another counter lady heard the conversation and called corporate and she was assured they would refund my money when I returned the car. This did not happen. In the weeks to come In the process of trying to get my money refunded the Springfield office told me I must get resolution from the corporate office and the corporate office said I had to contact the Springfield office. After many calls I reached the Springfield office manager, he refused to do anything to help, told me it was my problem. When I asked to speak to his supervisor he said that was the local owner and their policy was that no one could contact the owner and all issues had to go to him. When I told him I wanted to complain about him, he said I could send the issues to him and he would review but would not send to his supervisor. After many phone calls to the corporate office I was told they would put in a claim for me.. I asked to talk to a supervisor and I was told they did not have one and refused to give me any phone numbers. I asked for a phone number to the claims department and that was also refused. Every time I called I got a different person and a different story. On June 9th I finally got my refund. Is this the quality of service you would expect from a national corporation or the type of service that you would rate as acceptable??

4 months ago

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sara macaulay Sudbury, MA

I will never rent from Payless again. I returned a car with a superficial scratch on it and a TINY chip. They took a $500 deposit with the promise that they would send me an estimate and we would settle. I never received an estimate, and it's been over a month. I can't even reach the claims manager on the phone anymore - she doesn't return my calls or emails. I expect that the damage was less than $500 to fix yet I have no recourse and they already have my money.

6 months ago


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Lesa Burgess Pleasant Grove, UT

Payless is located in only a select number of airports that I travel too. Their prices are normally the very cheapest out there, however you are paying for what you get. I rented a car in Detroit airport this past summer and it was hard to find the Payless car rental area as opposed to the other competing companies (which were easy to find), so that was bothersome from the very start. Because of how small the company is, you're not going to be able to have a great car to choose from, so you could be stuck with a small compact car with no leg room or any type of accessories to plug mobile phone in, which I love. You get what you pay for with Payless.

3 years ago

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Tammy O'brien Dallas, GA

HORRIBLE experience! I reserved a car in Salt Lake City from Payless online through Travelocity. I declined the optional loss damage coverage as I always do when I made the reservation but was charged anyway. I contacted Payless costumer service and they were completely unhelpful. I was in an big hurry when I picked up the vehicle at the Salt Lake City airport as I was rushing to see my grandmother who was literally on her death bed. They must have slipped the optional coverage in when I was signing for the car because I ALWAYS decline the coverage and would not have agreed to it. Now I have to eat the $225 loss because I wasn't paying attention to the details when I picked up the car due to my state of mind. Needless to say, I will never even consider renting from this agency again!

1 year ago


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Rischelle Mikkelson American Fork, UT

Payless Car Rental is often the best value when I book it through my frequent flyer points. I like that they are available at most airport locations. I have found that they sometimes overbook and have to get a car from another agency to fulfill my reservation. Not really a problem, just sometimes takes longer to get everything finalized.

2 years ago

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Kristin Pleasant Grove, UT

We rented a car from this company in Florida and it was offsite from the airport and it took us over 2 1/2 hours to retrieve our car it was kind of a nightmare. I would not recommend this company.

3 years ago

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Ami Hendel Fort Lauderdale, FL

I rent cars all over the world and Payless has been my worst experience ever. Booked a car for 4 days for $115.00 just to find out a few days later that I got overcharged by almost $90. The car was returned on time with a full tank of gas. After contacting their so called “customer service” I was told that the car was returned with half a tank. I provided a receipt for the fuel but since I topped off the car the night before returning it, it was “not acceptable”. I filed a dispute with AMEX and will never use this company again.

3 years ago


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Leslie West Jordan, UT

Great place to rent a car. No push from the agent at the reservations desk to upgrade or pay for things we didn’t need. Car was clean and we were happy with our experience.

3 years ago

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Jeff B Eagle Mountain, UT

Rented cars from Murray Utah location. These guys are awesome. Always have my car ready and provide great customer service..

2 years ago

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Julie Firkins Orem, UT

It was late when i finally got to my destination so my review my be tinted but my car was not very clean their was a long line, one poor person trying to help everyone, it was very slow.

4 years ago

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LAWRENCE Odell Myrtle Beach, SC

Poor vehicle at Denver airport . Dirty , smelly , bad brakes , hood unlatched , unwashed . Received a vague apology from the manager with a 10% discount on my next rental. I won't be renting from Payless so the apology and the discount are meaningless.

4 years ago


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PessoaJ Herriman, UT

I’ve had more negative experiences than positive with Payless. It’s either been great or totally the opposite. Inconsistent has been my experience!

1 year ago


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ave Pleasant Grove, UT

The name says it all! When you rent from them you pay less for a less than nice car. Our car ran well but it wasn't the greatest.

2 years ago

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