Car Rental & Car Sales

About Hertz

Hertz operates the Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly car rental brands in more than 11,000 corporate and licensee locations throughout 140 countries in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand.


Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental company with more than 1,700 airport locations in the U.S. and more than 1,300 airport locations internationally. Product and service initiatives such as Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, NeverLost®, Carfirmations, Mobile Wi-Fi and unique vehicles offered through the Adrenaline, Dream, Family, Fun, Green and Prestige Collections set Hertz apart from the competition.


Additionally, Hertz owns the vehicle leasing and fleet management leader Donlen Corporation, operates the Hertz 24/7 hourly car rental business and sells vehicles through its Rent2Buy program.


The company also owns Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation (HERC), one of the largest equipment rental businesses with more than 355 locations worldwide offering a diverse line of equipment and tools for rent and sale. HERC primarily serves the construction, industrial, oil, gas, entertainment and government sectors. 


Throughout the Decades


In September of 1918, the pioneer of auto renting, Walter L. Jacobs, at the age of 22, opened a car-rental operation in Chicago. Starting with a dozen Model T Fords, which he repaired and repainted himself, Jacobs expanded his operation to the point where, within five years, the business generated annual revenues of about $1 million.


In 1923, Jacobs sold his car-rental concern to John Hertz, President of Yellow Cab and Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company. Jacobs continued as Hertz' top operating and administrative executive.


This rental business, called Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System, was acquired in 1926 by General Motors Corporation when it bought Yellow Truck from John Hertz.


In 1932, Hertz opened the first rent-a-car facility at Chicago's Midway Airport. Later that same year, to further facilitate the world's adjustment to travel by air, Hertz introduced the first Fly/Drive car rental program.


In 1950, Hertz opened its first European location in France.


In 1953, Omnibus Corporation, which divested itself of its bus interests and concentrated solely on car and truck renting and leasing, bought the Hertz properties from GMC. A year later, a new name was taken -- The Hertz Corporation -- and it was listed for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. Jacobs became Hertz' first President and served in that post until his retirement in 1960.


In 1954, the new corporation bought Metropolitan Distributors, a pioneer in New York truck leasing dating back to the World War I and the largest concern of its kind in any one city.


In 1967, The Hertz Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of RCA Corporation and operated as a separate entity, with its own management and Board of Directors.


In 1970, Hertz established its Worldwide Reservations Center in the heartland, Oklahoma City, and a year later the Hertz Data Center was also opened in Oklahoma City. Hertz went online, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all over the world.


In 1978, Hertz introduced the first Nationwide Emergency Road Service.


In 1984, Hertz first developed and introduced Computerized Driving Directions (CDD) and became the first car rental company to offer this service. CDD was made available at more than 100 airports and downtown locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The directions were available at customer rental locations through easy-to-use, self-service, touch-screen terminals. Hertz offered the directions in six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.


In 1985, Hertz joined UAL, Inc. On December 30, 1987, Hertz was sold to Park Ridge Corporation, a company formed by Ford Motor Company and certain members of Hertz senior management for the purpose of purchasing Hertz. In 1988, Volvo North America Corporation joined Ford and Hertz management as an investor in the Park Ridge Corporation.


Hertz Instant Return, introduced in 1987, further streamlined the return side of the car rental transaction. At the car return lot, the Hertz agent meets the returning customer with the Instant Return hand-held computer. Today, Hertz has more than 100 locations offering this service around the world.


In 1989, in the U.S., Hertz redefined the car rental business with its #1 Club Gold® Service, which became an international symbol for "fast service." This premium, expedited rental service which is available in more than 800 locations today, provides car rental customers with the ultimate in speed and quality. With #1 Club Gold, customers have no unnecessary paperwork at the time of rental and no long lines.


In 1991, Hertz #1 Club Gold service was exported to Canada, to Europe in 1992 and Asia Pacific in 1993.


That same year, the Park Ridge Corporation was merged into The Hertz Corporation. In 1994, Ford purchased the outstanding shares of Hertz and Hertz' became an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford.


That same year Hertz opened its Financial Center, which joined its Worldwide Reservations and Data Centers in Oklahoma City.


In 1995, Hertz introduced its NeverLost® on-board navigation system in the U.S. The user-friendly, route-guidance system provides turn-by-turn driving directions to virtually any destination within a geographic area by means of an in-car video screen, with computer-generated voice prompts, mounted in the front of the car's interior between driver and passenger seats.


In 1997, Hertz launched its new website, The site featured facts and figures on the Hertz fleet, including a visual vehicle guide, corporate information and details on Hertz services, promotions and partnerships. The interactive portion of the site offers rate quotes as well as booking, confirmation and cancellation capabilities for customers and travel agents.


On April 25, 1997, Hertz became a publicly traded company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol "HTZ."


In October 1997, Dublin, Ireland became home to the Hertz Europe Service Center. The Center is Hertz Europe's centralized reservations center handling calls from France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Benelux, Italy, and the U.K.


In 1998, Hertz and Magellan Corporation announced the formation of an exclusive joint venture to oversee the expansion and operation of the Hertz NeverLost® navigation system. Under the joint venture 40,000 "next generation" units have been deployed in the U.S. and Canada. This joint venture made Hertz the leader in this cutting-edge global positioning technology.


In 1999, Hertz and Toyota formed a car rental partnership in Japan, making car rental service available to Hertz customers at 1,100 locations in that country.


In May 2000, Hertz opened its second U.S. reservations center in Saraland, Alabama, a municipality of Mobile County.


In July 2000, Hertz introduced a new, three-tiered program for its top level #1 Club Gold members with the incorporation of #1 Club Gold® Five Star and #1 Club Gold® Presidents' CircleSM levels.


On March 9, 2001, Hertz became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford when Ford reacquired the outstanding 18.5% of Hertz stock.


In June 2001, Hertz launched another new level of premium car rental service with the introduction of the Hertz Prestige Collection. Offering vehicles from Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Audi, Infiniti, Cadillac, Hummer, and Volvo, the Hertz Prestige Collection combines luxury vehicles with Hertz exclusive customer service.


In 2002, NeverLost® was exported to Europe and, in 2003 into Australia.


In March 2002, Hertz became the first global car rental company to operate in China, operating in several locations, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.


In December 2002, Hertz introduced SIRIUS Satellite Radio into its U.S. fleet. Available in approximately 20,000 vehicles, SIRIUS-XM radio receives 65 channels of commercial-free music and 55 channels of news, sports and entertainment nationwide.


New in 2004 was another industry first for Hertz—the ability to reserve specific car brands and models. This feature allows Hertz’ #1 Club and #1 Club Gold members to reserve vehicles based on make and model, an option never before available from any car rental company.


In December, 2005 Hertz was acquired by three leading private equity investment companies: Clayton, Dubilier & Rice; The Carlyle Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.


Hertz introduced the Hertz Fun Collection® in January 2006 with vehicles tailor-made for travelers seeking exciting driving experiences, featuring a selection of convertibles, coupes/roadsters and SUVs. In addition, all Fun Collection vehicles feature SIRIUS-XM Satellite Radio and all cars can be reserved by brand and model. In 2011, the Fun Collection was rebranded as the Adrenaline Collection®.


In 2006 the company began offering customers PlatePassTM, an electronic toll payment system that allows renters to bypass congestion at cash toll lanes and use the high-speed electronic toll collection lanes.


In the spring of 2007, Hertz launched “Hertz Hourly Rentals” in New York City and, later that year, in Boston. Numerous vehicle models are available for hourly rental ranging from compact to midsize sedans, midsize SUVs and Green Collection vehicles.


The Company also introduced its Green Collection in 2006 – a collection of fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly cars, including the Toyota Prius Hybrid. In 2011, the Green Collection was rebranded as the Green Traveler Collection.


In the summer of 2008 Hertz rolled out the Corvette ZHZ in the Company’s iconic yellow with an exclusive center exterior black stripe, as the Company’s specialty vehicle.


Hertz launched Connect by Hertz, a pay-as-you-go car membership club, in December of 2008 in New York City, Paris and London.  In 2009 Connect by Hertz expanded its presence onto college universities by signing its two first university clients The Ohio State University and Pepperdine University in February of 2009.



In 2010, Hertz announced the launch of its Global EV initiative in New York City and committed to the Clinton Global Initiative to bring the future of mobility through Electric Vehicles (EVs) to consumers. And, in 2011, Hertz expanded its EV program into Washington DC and San Francisco and introduced EVs into London and China, becoming the first car rental company to offers EVs on three continents.


Hertz also expanded, in 2010, its online car sales program with Hertz Rent2Buy which allows consumers to test drive a vehicle through a three day rental period prior to purchasing the vehicle of their choice.


In July 2011, Hertz unveiled the rebrand of its car share program Hertz On Demand. In addition to the rebrand, Hertz introduced its commitment to redefine the car sharing experience by adding new member benefits, including a fee-free program, making it easier and less expensive to rent a car spontaneously.


Hertz opened, in July 2011, its 2000th U.S. Hertz Local Edition off airport rental facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


In August 2011, Hertz introduced Hertz Gold Plus Rewards loyalty program. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards provides members with numerous benefits including a wide range of flexible reward options.


In September 2011, Hertz announced the acquisition of the Donlen Corporation, a leading provider of fleet and leasing management services.


Throughout the Fall of 2011, Hertz On Demand expanded its fleet with the delivery of its second Electric Vehicle to a college campus at Texas A&M University, the first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle at Oklahoma State University, and it’s arrival into the city of Boston, Massachusetts.


Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation (HERC) also expanded heavily in 2011 by acquiring Delta Rigging & Tools’ offshore equipment rental division based in Louisiana and WGI Rentals in North Dakota.


In December 2011, Hertz announced its “Movin’ With Music” program that connects the driving experience with music.; Elements of the program include a multi-year partnership with Live Nation, Hertz Radio and a Hertz music store as part of Hertz Gold Plus Rewards.


In January, 2012 HERC acquired DW Pumps, a leading pump rental provider in Northern California; Hertz Entertainment Services purchased Cinelease, the U.S. market leader in TV lighting and grip rentals; and Hertz acquired its remaining stake in Navigation Solutions, which is the operational arm of Hertz's award winning NeverLost customized, in car GPS system. 


Hertz On Demand, in January 2012, introduced the ability for members to earn Gold Plus Rewards Points. 


Hertz On Demand also expanded its car share program in Miami Beach, Florida, marking the first City-sponsored car share program in Florida, and in San Antonio, Texas.


In March, 2012 HERC acquired Arpielle Equipment Co, a leading metropolitan New York City-based rental company focused primarily on rentals to the construction and industrial markets.


In May, 2012 Hertz introduced a new military hiring portal that allows veterans and their family members to view and apply for available Hertz jobs across all company divisions – Rent A Car, Equipment Rental, Entertainment Services, Hertz On Demand car sharing, and corporate positions. 


In September, 2012 Hertz agreed to federal legislation, consistent with existing Hertz policy, that prohibits recalled rental vehicles from being rented until they’ve been repaired, and also permits rental companies to continue managing the recall and repair process.  Hertz was the first rental car company to reach an agreement with Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) on rental recall legislation in January, 2012. 


HERC, in September 2012, acquired leading Oklahoma construction and industrial equipment rental provider, Pioneer Rental, focused primarily on rentals to the industrial and construction markets, that services the Oklahoma, Southern Kansas and Northern Texas markets.


In November, 2012, Hertz became the first car rental company to commit to a zero landfill waste policy for its tires, partnering with Liberty Tire to create the industry’s first national tire recycling program.


In November 2012, Hertz completed its acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. with Dollar Thrifty becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Hertz and giving the Company two additional brands to compete against multiple market segments.


Also, in November, 2012, Hertz launched an industry-first app to streamline customers’ online experience with the re-launching of Hertz and Hertz On Demand websites using responsive design technology.