Ad Alert

Budget Rent a Car

Coupon pictures an SUV that may or may not be eligible for the advertised upgrade.

This coupon for a double upgrade from Budget Rent a Car pictures an SUV. But mind the fine print or else prepare for an experience at the counter reminiscent of this Seinfeld scene.

budget rent a car coupon

Turns out, not even the “maximum upgrade” will get you that SUV, which is a Ford Escape. Why? Well, because there are no SUVs in Group G, which is the most Budget will upgrade your reserved ride. found this out by calling the 1-800 number on the coupon.

“No SUVs, only cars,” said the customer service representative in reference to the Group G class of vehicles. The customer service representative clarified that the upgrade gets you a bigger car, such as a Ford Taurus or Nissan Maximum, but not an SUV. called Budget after a reader, Claire Stollery, alerted us to the issue. She said she was denied an upgrade to the Ford Escape when she called Budget after receiving the coupon in the mail and she shared her frustration on Twitter:

To which Budget responded:

On Twitter, Budget said it had offered Stollery a free SUV rental “for her troubles” and apologized for the confusion. But it seems Budget itself is also confused.

A company spokeswoman responding to a request for comment on all this said that the Ford Escape is in fact eligible for the upgrade. The representative said that the Escape is an intermediate SUV whose car class is Group F (such groups are not readily disclosed online). So, she added:

As per the terms and conditions, the maximum upgrade is to a Group G. As such, this vehicle would be eligible for the advertised upgrade.

Remember that next time a Budget employee says you can’t upgrade to an SUV.

Find more of our coverage on car rentals here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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