A brief history of Budget

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Budget was founded by Morris Mirkin in 1958 in Los Angeles, California, USA as a rental car company for the "budget-minded" personal renter.

It broke into an already crowded market by operating off-airport and offering more competitive rates than its on-airport competitors. With three established on-airport competitors charging $10 a day and 10 cents a mile, Morris and his wife single-handedly managed a fleet of 10 cars available for $4 a day and 4 cents a mile.

Two years later, Budget Rent-a-Car was established, and the foundation of a system of corporate-owned and licensee-owned operations was laid. Since that time, Budget Rent-a-Car has continued to stay true to its name, providing renters with the same value for money, quality service.

Today, Budget Rent-a-Car has grown to become the world's third largest car and van rental company. Worldwide, Budget employs approximately 18,000 people and operates an average fleet of over 200,000 cars and vans from approximately 3,150 locations, including more than 800 airport locations, in more than 120 countries and territories.

For a glimpse in to the past, watch our 50th anniversary video which celebrated our half-century in 2008.


British Travel Awards 2014 - Bronze

British Travel Awards

Best Car Hire Company 2014 - Bronze

Best Car Hire Company 2013 - Silver

World Travel Awards 2014 - Winner

World Travel Awards

Saudi Arabia's Leading Car Rental Company 2014

United Arab Emirates Leading Car Rental Company 2014


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Morris Mirkin opens his first store in Los Angeles with 10 cars at $4 per day.

Budget Rent-a-Car is established.

First UK operations open in Croydon and Ilford.

Over 120 UK locations begin renting vans.

Budget becomes the third largest car rental company in the world.

Budget named 'Official Car and Truck Rental Company' of the 1984 Olympics.

Avis Europe acquires the rights to the Budget Rent-a-Car brand for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Budget celebrates its 50th birthday.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. buys Avis Budget EMEA Limited and it's subsidiary Zodiac Europe Limited.