Budget Rent a Car is one of the largest car and truck rental companies in the world, with locations in more than 110 countries and all 50 United States. With more than 3,000 rental shops, including at 825 airports, Budget Rent a Car circulates approximately 232,500 vehicles. Though Budget Rent a Car began as a strictly low-cost rental option to other companies charging daily and per-mile rates, the company has grown substantially in its 50-plus years of operation, and has been ranked as the world’s third-largest vehicle rental company.
Most of Budget Rent a Car’s shops are company-owned and operated. However, franchises are available and the franchise sector is growing within the corporation. Budget Rent a Car has undergone several ownership changes in its history, most recently being acquired by the Avis Budget Group, which includes Avis Rent A Car as well as Budget. The company’s annual revenue is more than $2.2 billion.
The Budget Rent a Car franchise was founded in Los Angeles in 1958 by Morris Mirkin, who opened a small car rental shop with ten cars, undercutting the rates of other rental companies. By 1960, Mirkin established Budget Rent a Car Corporation and was expanding with franchisee-owned rental shops, becoming largely a franchise-operated company.
In the 1980s, Budget began to convert franchises to company ownership and experienced difficult times. The corporation ownership changed in 1986 in a leveraged buyout by the investment firm Gibbons, Green, and van Amerongen Ltd. Another buyout followed in 1997, and the company was sold in 2002, to Cendant Corporation, which also owned Avis. Cendant renamed itself Avis Budget Group in 2006.