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Budget tests cheaper rentals by offering cars wrapped in ads

Consumer Reports News: August 01, 2011 03:08 PM

If you want cheap car rentals this summer, Budget Rent a Car in Atlanta might have a deal for you. That is, as long as you don't mind driving a rented car that seems more like a rolling billboard.

The car rental agency has rolled out a pilot program in Atlanta with 25 loaner vehicles—15 full-sized sedans and 10 mid-sized SUVs—that have been covered, or "wrapped," with ads for Sheets Brand Energy Strips. The rolling billboards, an idea successfully pitched to Budget by Wrap Media Group in Boca Raton, Fla., promises to lower the cost of car rentals.

Although the exact promotional rates for the ad-shrouded vehicle vary, according to the Associated Press, one Budget renter was able to get quite a deal. Instead of the usual $400 rental fee for an SUV for four days, she signed up for an ad-wrapped SUV for a mere $88.

The trial program, for now, will only run in Atlanta until November. But if you're looking to save money on car rentals for your summer travels, check out our reports, how to buck the trend of car-rental surprises and how to find the best deals in car rentals.

And weigh-in below: Would you drive around in an ad-wrapped car?

Wrap Media Group Announces Partnership with Major Rental Car Company to Wrap Rental Cars and Offer Renters Big Discounts [PR Newswire]
Atlanta Budget branches target leisure travelers with rental deals for cars wrapped with ads [AP via Washington Post]

Paul Eng

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