Hertz To Buy Dollar Thrifty… For Real This Time

This is like one of those romantic comedies where a couple makes it oh-so-close to the altar only to break up, then spends years realizing that they made a mistake and they should get hitched, have babies and move to Connecticut… Except it’s about two rental car companies, so it’s even sexier.

The folks at Hertz and Dollar Thrifty have been trying to make a go of it for about five years now. And as recently as 2010, it looked like it was a done deal.

But in the years since that deal fell apart, Dollar Thrifty has apparently gone on a journey of self-improvement, as today’s announced sale price is more than double the $1.2 billion offered two years ago.

“We are pleased to have finally reached an agreement with Dollar Thrifty after a lengthy – but worthwhile – pursuit,” declared Hertz CEO Mark Frissora while avoiding eye contact and typing furiously at his workstation (and intermittently talking to the guys in the lot via walkie-talkie). “We have always believed that a combination with Dollar Thrifty is the best strategic option for both companies.”

Bloomberg reports — and we agree — that this merger will likely be the last major rental car acquisition that escapes regulatory review. Hertz, Enterprise and Avis Budget already control around 75% of the market. Dollar Thrifty, the only remaining rental company with more than 1% market share, will contribute about 5% to this pool.


Edit Your Comment

  1. conquestofbread says:

    As someone who used to work in the rental car industry, I am hearing the seven trumpets of the apocalypse.

  2. Oh_No84 says:

    I like when there is less competition.

    Seriously this should not be allowed. Dollar/thrifty is a profitable company.
    I rent alot and usually dollar/thrifty has better prices than hertz and avis/budget. Sometimes you can find deal on avis/budget but this will certainly cut out one of the low price competitors of rental car companies.

    • Weekilter says:

      That sad song was also sung by people who frequented Northwest Airlines before Delta Airlines bought them.

  3. Tim says:

    This will be great for consumers. Huge-ass airline mergers worked very well for air passengers, of course …

  4. Marlin says:

    Less competition; this should be great for consumers.


  5. LastError says:

    Hertz traditionally uses Ford vehicles and DTG uses Dodge/Chrysler. One of these brands is gonna be outsville.

    Hope it’s Dodge. After renting a Chrysler 300 and a Dodge Calibur from DTG, I was closer to deciding where my next new car was not coming from. Yuck.

  6. JJFIII says:

    I dont think it will stifle competition as much as people think. Dollar Thrify is a minor player in the market. Hertz needs a budget (lower price) brand. Enterprise owns all three brands at my local center. (Enterprise, Alamo and National). If I make my reservation online with each of the three brands, the price is different yet I am getting the exact same car and the staff is exactly the same. Enterprise tends to do a lot more insurance and business clients, while National and Alamo do way more personal rentals. There are also different rental requirements, and my loyalty programs are completely different. Enterprise made its way to number one with car repair rentals. Hertz and Avis have always dominated the business traveler market. The others a minor players in the leisure or in-town rental market (budget, dollar, thrifty, alamo and national).

  7. Weekilter says:

    So, here we are several years later looking forward to even less choice in car rentals. I suppose the next takeover is Hertz buying Avis.

  8. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Dollar is my preferred rental car company. Hertz ranks about 16th on the list, just ahead of Avis, but behind walking barefoot from the airport to my hotel while pulling my luggage.

  9. theamazingyeah says:

    I worked for ERAC for five years during the purchase of National/Alamo and all I can think of is that commercial where all of the office workers go Braveheart on each other in the field.