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Thrifty vs Enterprise

Which is better: Thrifty or Enterprise? Check out our comparison to find out.

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Thrifty and Enterprise are two big names in car hire worldwide. If you’re stuck trying to choose between them, fear not: we’ve compared both companies’ rental policies, inclusions, vehicles, locations, prices, deals and more.

Read on to find out how they stack up, and which can offer you the better deal on your next rental.

Thrifty vs Enterprise

Where can I hire a car?Thrifty has more than 1,000 locations across:
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Europe
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Latin America
  • The United States
  • The Middle East
  • Africa
Enterprise has more than 7,600 branches across
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Europe
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Latin America
  • The United States
Enterprise has more locations.
What type of cars does it have?
  • Vans/trucks
  • SUV/minivan
  • 4WD vehicles
  • Sedan
  • Luxury vehicles
  • Buses
  • Utility vehicles
  • Tesla vehicles
  • Specialised commercial vehicles
  • Vans
  • SUV/minivan
  • 4X4 vehicles
  • Sedan
  • Premium sedan
Thrifty has more vehicle types.
Does it require a deposit?Yes.No.Enterprise does not require a deposit.
Is insurance included?Yes. All Thrifty rentals come with Standard Cover, including Third Party Cover, which reduces your liability for third-party incidents and vehicle loss or damage. Extra insurance packages can be purchased.Yes. Standard cover is included in Enterprise rentals, with loss or damage liability (LDL) to reduce your liability for loss or damage to the vehicle. Additional insurance options can be purchased.Thrifty and Enterprise both include insurance in their rentals.
How much is excess?$4,000 for passenger vehicles and $5,500 for 4WDs.$2,750 for sedan-type vehicles and compact, intermediate and standard SUVs. $3,850 for full-size SUVs, all vans and all pick-ups.Enterprise has cheaper excess.
Do I need to wash the car?No. However, you should return the vehicle in a clean and tidy condition.No, but you shouldn’t return it in an excessively dirty or smelly condition.Neither company requires the car to be washed.
Rental requirementsDrivers must be 21 years or older with a valid, non-provisional Australian licence or a current overseas licence. Licences not written in English or lacking a photo require either a translation or an International Driving Permit.Drivers must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s licence that they have held for at least 12 months. Overseas licences that are difficult to understand or interpret must have an International Driving Permit or translation.Thrifty and Enterprise have very similar rental requirements.
Does it charge per mile/kilometre?No, but if your rental has limited mileage, you may be charged per mile/kilometre if you exceed the limit.No. However, some rentals have mileage limits and if you exceed these, you may be charged per mile/kilometre.Neither company charges per mile/kilometre.
Is there unlimited mileage?Typically, mileage is unlimited, but limited mileage can apply to certain vehicles and locations. Mileage is always specified in the rental agreement.Typically, mileage is unlimited. Sometimes a limit is imposed, depending on your pick-up location, time and the vehicle size.Both Thrifty and Enterprise include unlimited mileage for most rentals.
Does it rent to under 25s?Yes, but renters aged 21-24 will incur an age surcharge, and cannot purchase the Ultimate Protection insurance package. Location-specific limitations may apply.Yes. However, restrictions to vehicle type and liability reductions apply. Drivers aged 21-24 must also pay a surcharge of $15 per day, and drivers on a probationary licence must pay an extra $20 per day.Both companies rent to under 25s.
Does it accept cash?No.No.Neither company accepts cash.
Does it price match?Yes. If you find a better rental rate elsewhere, Thrifty will take a further 10% off the rate.No.Thrifty will price match.
Does it pick you up?Pick-up and drop-off services are offered to customers with disabilities and any travelling companions.Yes. Free pick-up services operate during normal business hours from non-airport locations.Both companies offer limited pick-up and drop-off services.
What are my payment options?
  • Credit card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa debit card
  • Credit card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa debit card
Thrifty and Enterprise offer the same payment options.
Does it accept debit cards?Yes. However, exceptions apply. Check with your Thrifty office before your rental begins.Yes.Enterprise universally accepts debit cards.
Does it allow for cancellations / changes? If so, how?Yes. You can make cancellations and modifications online before the beginning of the rental. During the rental period, you can make changes by contacting the Thrifty office responsible for your rental.You can cancel online before you pick up your vehicle. Fees may apply. Full refunds are given in most circumstances, minus cancellation fees. You can make changes to the return date, time and location online, but this may affect your rates.Both companies allow for cancellations and changes.
How long does it hold reservations?Thrifty has no clear policy regarding reservation hold periods. The policy varies by location. Always inform your rental company of changes to pick-up and drop-off times and dates as soon as possible.Enterprise will typically honour reservations for the entire business day. If you don’t arrive until after close of business, you should change the pickup time and date accordingly.Enterprise usually holds reservations for the remainder of the business day.
Can I add an extra driver?Yes. Additional drivers must meet the age and licence requirements and be listed on the Rental Agreement. There is a charge of $5.50 per day, capped at $27.50 per 30-day rental period. Some Corporate rate customers, Auto Club members and Bluechip members are exempt from the Additional Driver Fee.Yes. When booking in Australia, the policy states that “all additional drivers are included”. Additional drivers must meet the age and licence requirements and present their licence when collecting the vehicle. Fees may apply outside of Australia.Both companies allow additional drivers; Enterprise does not charge a fee for rentals within Australia.

Who offers the best price?

Of the two companies, only Thrifty has a price match guarantee. If you find the same rental for a lower rate elsewhere, Thrifty will match the rate and give you an extra 10% off, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best price by booking through Thrifty. Enterprise does not price match, but its prices are competitive nonetheless.

The verdict?

When using exactly the same rental location, dates and times to make reservations with Thrifty and Enterprise, we found that Enterprise had the lowest prices.

Thrifty rental price:

Enterprise rental price:

Any other differences worth noting?

Do they have manual and/or auto cars?

Both companies have manual and automatic vehicles available.

Do the seats have covers?

Neither company specifies whether seat covers are included.

Do the cars have trackers?

Thrifty does not specify whether its cars have tracking devices, or any policy in this regard. Check with your local office for more information.

Some Enterprise vehicles may be equipped with a telematics system which records information regarding location, mileage, operational condition and crash-related data during the rental period.

Is there a points/loyalty programme?

Thrifty’s rewards program is called Blue Chip. Members benefit from faster bookings, no queueing at the rental counter, and even skipping the counter at select Australian locations. Blue Chip members also receive exclusive offers and are rewarded for continued loyalty with benefits and a VIP membership upgrade.

Enterprise operates Enterprise Plus, an in-house loyalty programme where every US dollar or equivalent spent at participating Enterprise locations worldwide equals one point. Points can be redeemed for free rental days.

Is GPS included?

Thrifty and Enterprise offer GPS units as optional extras rather than standard inclusions.

Can I return the car early?

Thrifty allows early returns, but fees may apply. You will only be charged for the days you used the vehicle.

Enterprise does not charge for early returns. Unless the rental was prepaid, you will only be charged for the days that you used the vehicle.

Can I get a discount?

Thrifty’s regular business customers can access lower rates using Corporate Discount numbers. Auto club members may also be eligible for discounts. Otherwise, Thrifty’s only deals are special deals and Blue Chip membership rewards and discounts.

Likewise, in Australia, Enterprise does not offer any special discounts. However, coupons are available to Enterprise Plus members, email subscribers and through various corporate partnerships. Weekend specials and drive-out programs are also popular.

What are the deals like?

Some of Thrifty’s regular offers include partner deals with other travel companies like airlines, special weekend prices, free class upgrades, free rental days and discounts for certain vehicles and locations. Recent Thrifty deals we’ve seen have included 25% off midweek moving truck rentals, 12% off larger passenger vehicles, and four days for the price of three.

Deals at Enterprise generally cover savings on certain locations, for example 10% off rentals across Australia or 15% in Port Macquarie and the Sunshine Coast. Enterprise has a global focus, which means you can score great deals in locations all around the world.

The verdict?

Thrifty has a far greater number and variety of deals both in Australia and internationally.


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