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, 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 by Julius Lederer (husband of columnist Ann Landers) who built the company, and made it an international company. In 1960, the headquarters 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. The company made its first public stock offering in 1987.
Team Rental Group purchased the public company in 1997 and took the name Budget Group. In 2002, it sold the company's assets to Cendant Corporation, which also owned Avis and in September 2006, Cendant Corporation separated into four independent companies. The real estate division became Realogy, Inc., its hospitality services division became Wyndham Worldwide, and the travel distribution services division became Travelport, Inc., 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.