Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Thrifty Car Rental - Detroit Airport - Never again

One of my worst car rental experiences ever.

I should have realized things were going to go badly when it started to rain the decrepit van carrying us to the rental site leaked from the roof. The driver would make a turn, and the water would come flooding in.

I spent forty-five minutes standing in line. Neither of the two rental representatives appeared to care the slightest that the line was very long and slow. It appeared that one of the two representatives was new and needed a lot of assistance from the other. While I was in line, it seemed that a manager came out from the back and gave the person some help. That was good, but it would have been nice if he had stayed out and helped to work down the line. He quickly vanished, never to be seen again.
I knew that Hertz owned Dollar and Thrifty, but I didn't realize that their cars were interchangeable, so when I went out to get the vehicle. It was in the Dollar row and had nothing to indicate it was a Thrifty rental. I went back to confirm that I was supposed to take a car from the Dollar cars. There were two cars in the "Mid-sized" row, both Dodge Darts. I checked one of them for body damage and left with it.

Once outside the gate I began to realize that the shocks were pretty well shot. I felt every pothole during my stay in Detroit. I'll tell you there are a lot of potholes in Detroit during "road repair season." I was amazed that a car with only 20,000 miles could ride so rough.

Returning the car was easy and quick and the ride back to the airport was in a different, and better, van.

There are a lot of different car rental companies competing for my business. However, between the 45-minute lone line and the car's shocks were so badly worn, I'll never return to Thrifty Car Rental at the Detroit airport again. I probably won't book with Thrifty anywhere for that matter. That is too bad; I liked Thrifty a lot once upon a time.


  • Reservation - Excellent (I reserved through AARP/Expedia)
  • Pickup - Fair - 10 minute wait for van, bumpy, noisy ride to the rental site.
  • Line - Bad - 45-minute wait in line
  • Car - Poor - bad shocks. No electronics (sync, backup camera, etc.)
  • Return - Good - Excellent checkout and a good van ride back to the terminal. 

Overall: 2.5 Stars.

Note: Reservation was not considered in overall rating because it was through a third party.

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