Thrifty Car Rental Rip Off on car damage claim


Has anyone else run into this problem:

1. My daughter-in-law rented a car from Thrifty to visit us in beautiful New Hampshire.

2. The car would not start properly and was traded in to Thrifty for a new one.

3. I backed into the fender coming out o f my garage (did is last year as well) and damaged it. I admit it and will pay for it.

4. When I got the bill they added a scratch on the bumper (I didn’t do that), $50 adm. fee, $104 out-of-service fee (?) for a total of $478.

5. I complained and said I would pay everything except the bumper damage.

6. I was told my daughter-in-law signed a form when she picked up the original car saying no damage.

7. I pointed out that was not the car returned and their own employee signed a damage form indicating it was just a fender (no mention of the bumper).

8. Reason did not work and the employee and the manager refused my logic and did not send me a sign out clear of damage form for the car I actually hit. I would have paid the full shot if they did even though I did not do the bumper.

9. So, they are using a form signed for a different car to claim damage on the second car even though their own employee indicating only the fender was damaged on return.

Is this fair? Is this how they keep their rates down? Has anyone else run into this rip off and do they have any suggestions on how to deal with it.


Is it fair? Perhaps not if the scratch really was there when the car was picked up. Signing that form nails you down pretty good. I doubt the car jockey’s opinion on the extent of damage is binding in any way. (S)he is obviously not employed as an expert in autobody damage or repair. IMHO $478 is cheap for autobody work. It could have been much worse. Is it really worth fighting over the fraction attributed to the bumper repaint? I’d chalk it up to a mistake and think of ways to avoid the third one :open_mouth:


i am assuming your daughter used a credit card??

call them immediately.

and i mean immediately.

you (your daughter) can dispute the charges.

you should check with your (doaghters) insurance company, they may cover this under her policy.

call today. the longer you wait the harder it is to dispute.


the fact that the damage noted was for the first car, and you actually got a second car, with (im assuming) no further damage inquiry means someone dropped the ball at the rental co., and they are trying to cover their butt.


Thanks for responding. I agree with you but the form she signed was for the first car and the damage was on the second car. No form on that one. That’s why I’m a bit upset. The used the form for the first car to justify charging for damage to the second car and then ignore their own signed damage report. In the end, I will probably have to pay it to protect my daughter-in-law who they are pursuing. I just think for a lousy $160 they are sacrificing any good will they had with us.


Thanks for the response. That is exactly the point. It’s not really the $$$ but rather the principle that bothers me (OK the $$$ do as well).


My insurance policy picks up after $500 and I don’t want her to have a charge on her policy for my mistake. They have not charged her for the damage but that’s a good point. They may try to close this out by putting it on her card.



I would guess you could hire a lawyer and likely could win (depends on the state) or you might ask about small claims court. Frankly I think I would be ready to pay it, but I would write to their headquarters.


you do not tell us how much of the bill is related to the scratch you claim is not your fault. I agree with Meehan that you should just get on with your life because their charge is not very high to begin with. If you really think the principle is worth it write to the company president. However, there are some things in life that are worth pursuing and some that are not.


If you want to pursue this, start writing certified letters and quit talking to the manager.

My work group rents a lot of cars from a lot of companies, and I will tell you that Thrifty franchisees are becoming somewhat notorious in charging for minor scratches, etc. We have dealth with several franchisees on this very issue. Fortunately, our business credit card company comes with damage waivers, so there is no economic issue to us. My view is that Thrifty has discovered a new profit center.

It is incumbent upon you to note any and all damage, even if it is declared “Minor and not recordable” by the employee, because the default position is no damage. That is the issue you are running in to. In the absence of an inspection form on the second car, it is assumed it was in perfect condition at time of acceptance. The agreement you signed also generally stated that you will accept their estimates if damage is noted (so the bill can be settled immediately and not drawn out), so waiting for a real body shop estimate is a no go. Some state Attorney Generals are looking into these practices, but no resolution has come about so far.

I agree with Mr Meehan that this amount is not worth disputing. An alternative might have been to walk into the rental car office with your own estimate, before vehicle turn in.


i mentioned calling the ecredit card company erlier, but i forgot to mention the other reason.

most credit card companies have an insurance coverage included when renting cars. call and ask.

BUT as i said earlier. CALL NOW


I’ve never had any trouble with Thrifty and prefer their blue card service. I’m super careful with rentals though because damage includes the time the car is out of service for repairs. That can cost more than the repair. That’s a very low price and guess I would first pay it to be done with it. You are going to need to go higher than the local agency though to get any satisfaction.


That’s why I rent with Hertz. There’s Hertz and there’s “not exactly”. It’s really sad when the advertising is really true. I never have any problems and (being a gold member) I skip the lines at the airport and go straight to my car. The best part? Membership is free (through my Amex card) and my rental costs are just as cheap as those “other guys”. I recently was in Columbus Ohio and got a Mercury Milan for $18 a day! That’s crazy cheap!!!


Thank you for your thoughtful response. I would not be surprised if your comment about a new profit center was not accurate. The money is really not the big issue but the way they handle it is. Your comments make me think this is a problem with the company and I will follow up on this probably with the attorney general’s office.

I did send a complaint to their complaint line and will see what that does but eventually I will get on my with my life but not without at least putting up a fight.


I’m a Hertz Gold member and have had the same experiences. The problem is that the car was rented by my daughter-in-law and she used Thrifty.


you havent mentioned it, so i went and called MY credit card co.
i AM covered for ALL incidental damages, and costs associated with renting cars BY THE CREDIT CARD CO!

if you havent called who ever the credit card company that this was rented on, do so. this whole thing may go away, and you may not have to pay anything. (other than a bruised ego)


Just a note to let you know the lady from customer service was vary nice but when she checked with the manager I have been dealing with she said they had to take the bumper off to repair the fender and then had to repaint the bumper to match the fender. No more mention of damage to the bumper which they claimed in the first responses. I’m following up because it smells fishy to me and the photo of the “damage” to the bumper looks funny as well.