Thrifty vs Alamo

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Hiring a car? Read on to see how Thrifty and Alamo compare.

One of the toughest decisions you’ll make when hiring a car is which company to rent with.

This can be especially difficult if you’re pitting a lesser-known brand like Alamo against a big name like Thrifty.

Well, we’ve made it easy for you by comparing each company’s rental vehicles, locations, prices, policies, inclusions, discounts and more. You’ll be on the road to your next getaway in no time.

Thrifty vs Alamo

FeatureThriftyAlamoVerdict
Where can I hire a car?Thrifty has more than 1,000 locations in:
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Europe
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Latin America
  • United States
  • Middle East
  • Africa
Alamo has over 1,500 locations across:
  • United States
  • Canada
  • Latin America
  • Caribbean
  • Europe
  • Asia-pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • Australia
Thrifty has a wider span of locations.
What type of cars does it have?
  • Vans/trucks
  • SUV/minivan
  • 4WD
  • Utility vehicles
  • Sedan
  • Luxury vehicles
  • Buses
  • Tesla vehicles
  • Specialised vehicles
  • Vans
  • SUV/minivan
  • 4WD
  • Utility vehicles
  • Sedan
  • Compact cars
  • Premium/luxury vehicles
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • High performance vehicles
Alamo has more vehicle types available.
Does it require a deposit?Yes.No.Alamo does not require a deposit.
Is insurance included?Yes. Thrifty rentals come with Standard Cover, which includes Third Party Cover. Extra insurance is available for purchase.Yes. Alamo rentals include standard cover with Loss or Damage Liability. Additional insurance options are available.Both companies include standard insurance.
Do I need to wash the car?No. However, you should return the vehicle clean and tidy.Alamo does not specify how clean cars should be upon return.Neither company requires the car to be washed.
Rental requirementsDrivers must be 21+ years, non-provisional licence. Licences not written in English or lacking a photo must be accompanied by an official translation or an International Driving Permit.Drivers must be 21+ years (with the exception of some US states), and in possession of a valid driver’s licence either in English or accompanied by an International Driving Permit.Similar rental requirements apply to both companies.
Does it charge per mile/kilometre?No, but if mileage is limited for your rental, you may be charged per mile/kilometre for exceeding the limit.No. However, if your rental comes with limited mileage, you will be charged per kilometre/mile if you exceed the limit.Thrifty and Alamo do not charge per mile/kilometre.
Is there unlimited mileage?Mileage is usually unlimited, but limited mileage does apply to certain vehicles and at certain locations. Mileage is always outlined in the rental agreement.Typically, mileage is unlimited. However, this depends on the rental location and vehicle type. Mileage limits are specified in your rental agreement.Both companies usually offer unlimited mileage.
Does it rent to under 25s?Yes, but drivers aged 21-24 are subject to an age surcharge, and cannot purchase Ultimate Protection insurance. Location-specific limitations may apply.Yes. The minimum rental age is 21. However, renters aged 21-24 incur a young drivers surcharge and may pay higher rates.Thrifty and Alamo both rent to under 25s.
Does it accept cash?No.Yes.Alamo accepts cash.
Does it price match?Yes. If you find a better rate on a Thrifty rental elsewhere, Thrifty gives you that rate and takes a further 10% off.Yes. If you find a better rate elsewhere, Alamo matches the base rate and give you 10% off your rental.Both companies price match.
Does it pick you up?Pick-up and drop-off services are offered to disabled customers and their travelling companion/s.No.Thrifty offers collection services to disabled customers and their companions.
What are my payment options?
  • Credit card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa debit card
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa debit card
Alamo accepts more payment options.
Does it accept debit cards?In most locations, yes but exceptions apply.Yes.Alamo accepts debit cards with no exceptions.
Does it allow for cancellations / changes? If so, how?Yes. Cancellations and changes can be made online before your rental begins. During the rental period, changes can be made by contacting the Thrifty office in charge of your rental.Cancellations and changes can be made online before the start of the rental. Certain changes can be made during the rental period. Cancellation fees may apply.Both companies allow for cancellations and changes before, and to some extent during, the rental.
How long does it hold reservations?Thrifty’s policy regarding holding reservations varies by location. Always inform your local office of changes to pick-up and drop-off times and dates.Typically, Alamo honours vehicle reservations until the end of the business day, or for 12 hours after the scheduled pick-up time, whichever is sooner.Alamo has a clearer reservation holding policy.
Can I add an extra driver?Yes. All additional drivers must meet Thrifty’s age and licence requirements and be listed on the Rental Agreement. Additional drivers are charged $5.50 per day, capped at $27.50 per 30-day rental period. Corporate rate customers, Auto Club members and Bluechip members do not need to pay these fees.Yes. Additional drivers are subject to a daily fee, which varies by location. The average price is US$12 per day. Additional drivers must meet Alamo’s age and licence requirements and present themselves at the rental counter alongside the primary driver.Thrifty and Alamo both allow extra drivers.

Who offers the best price?

In March 2018, we made identical bookings with Thrifty and Alamo and found that Alamo offered a much cheaper rental price.

Any other differences worth noting?

  • [/fin_accordions]

    What are the deals?

    Thrifty’s deals typically include partner deals, weekend specials, vehicle class upgrades, free rental days and discounts for particular vehicles and locations. Example deals include 25% off midweek moving truck rentals, 12% off larger passenger vehicles, free vehicle upgrades at select Australian locations, four days for the price of three and 10% off SUV rentals.

    Deals at Alamo cover particular locations and vehicles, rate discounts and vehicle upgrades. Alamo’s website is tailored toward US customers and Alamo Insider members, but you can use the search engine to find location-specific deals. Sample offers include 20% off low-season rentals in Latin America, free vehicle upgrades and 10% off rentals in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Thrifty and Alamo both match any cheaper rate that you find elsewhere and take an extra 10% off your rental to boot. So whichever company you rent with, you know you’ll get the best price by booking directly through their website.

    The verdict?

    Thrifty has a greater variety and quantity of deals, both in Australia and internationally.

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