Hertz is an American car rental company headquartered in Estero, Florida, a village in southwest Florida south of Fort Myers. Though based in America, Hertz is one of the largest global car rental companies, with locations in more than 145 countries around the world. If you’ve ever rented a car at an airport before, you’ve surely seen the rental desks of Hertz and/or its subsidiaries. In the US, many Hertz locations are corporate-owned locations. In many other countries, Hertz operates franchises. It operates at 81 airports in Europe. The company’s history stretches all the way back to 1918.
Hertz is one of the big three car rental holding companies in the US along with Enterprise Holdings and the Avis Budget Group. Together, these three companies and their subsidiaries make up the vast majority of the American car rental market.
Hertz purchased the car rental brands Dollar and Thrifty (as Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group) in 2012. These global brands are more focused on serving budget-oriented leisure travelers, whereas Hertz focuses more on business and upmarket travelers. Hertz also owns other brands, including Firefly which operates solely in international markets, mainly in Europe (but also in Mexico, the UAE, and South Africa). The company used to own the Advantage brand but sold it after purchasing Dollar Thrifty.
Hertz filed for bankruptcy in 2020 amid the covid-19 pandemic, partly due to the amount of debt it had before the pandemic started. In 2021, with the rebound of the travel industry, Hertz emerged from bankruptcy. It would later sign a contract with Tesla to purchase 100,000 vehicles with the goal of making a large part of its fleet electric in the future.