Ford Ranger

Remember when ... Budget introduced a Ford Ranger with a base rate of $19.99 per day -- every day of the year -- for customers who made reservations online? These were ordinarily base level pickup trucks; we don't buy Budget's assertion that these were "hip" or "cool" or "loaded" with an array of features including power windows and locks and a variety of colors. These vehicles had just two fantastic features for Budget customers in 1999-2002:

  • A locking cover over the truck bed, and 
  • A base rate that was known every day of $19.99.

A hard cap that had to be locked into place would be a detriment for many users. And when was the last time you heard a major rental car company advertise that their car rate is the same every day of the year as a discount for those who book over the internet?

At that point in my own career, I was travelling with multiple hard-sided cases of technology that would not fit in the trunk of a car and would be visible in a minivan -- these trucks offered by Budget became my default rental "car" for a period of years, no matter where I travelled in the United States! And one of these trucks might still possess my lost Blizzard of Ozz CD.

Many frequent travelers likely have shared experiences of one car that consistently met their needs. Is there any rental vehicle from the past that you still miss? Send us a note at and we may feature your thoughts in a future "Remember When" post.

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