Budget Rent a Car System, Inc. is an American car rental company that was founded in 1958 in Los Angeles, California by Morris Mirkin. Budget's operations are headquartered in Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, New Jersey.
With its original fleet of 10 cars the company lived up to the 'Budget' name by undercutting the daily and per mile rental rates of the established airport based car rental companies. Mirkin was joined in 1959 byJulius Lederer (husband of Ann Landers). In 1960 the headquarters was moved to Chicago, Illinois and the rental fleet expanded with franchised and wholly owned rental outlets.
The company was eventually acquired by Transamerica Corporation, and then sold in 1986 in a leveraged buyout by Gibbons, Green and van Amerongen Ltd., along with management (led by CEO Clifton E. Haley) and selected investors. It was taken public in 1987.
The public company was purchased by Team Rental Group in 1997, which took the name Budget Group. In 2002 the company's assets were sold to Cendant Corporation, which also owned Avis. In September 2006 Cendant Corporation separated into four independent companies by spinning off its real estate division, now called Realogy, Inc., and its hospitality services division, now Wyndham Worldwide, and by selling its travel distribution services division, called Travelport, Inc., to an affiliate of The Blackstone Group. In 2006, following the Travelport sale, Cendant, now composed solely of its vehicle rental services businesses, renamed itself Avis Budget Group.
Of the approximately 800 Budget Rental Car locations in the U.S., 600 are company-operated locations and 200 are licensee locations. Internationally, there are 150 company-operated locations and 1,800 licensees.