Thrifty introduces 99-cent deal

at selected locations across the country, Thrifty Canada customers can now rent a car for 99 cents an hour with just the usual qualifying documents of a credit card and a driver's licence.Lucio Di Clemente, president of Thrifty Canada, says no...

at selected locations across the country, Thrifty Canada customers can now rent a car for 99 cents an hour with just the usual qualifying documents of a credit card and a driver’s licence.

Lucio Di Clemente, president of Thrifty Canada, says no pre-payment or deposit is required from customers for the 99-cent-an hour deal.

Cars must be returned during business hours, and some restrictions on mileage apply.

Tony Jones, director of marketing at Thrifty Canada, says the choice of cars available at participating locations will vary, with most of them being small vehicles.

Di Clemente says about 50 markets are participating in the scheme, including Toronto and Montreal, although it is up to the licencee whether to participate.

To rent a car for six hours, the charge is $5.94 plus tax and any insurance. For 24 hours, the charge is $23.76 plus tax and any insurance.

At Hertz Rent a Car in Toronto, a compact car such as a Ford Escort costs $26.96 plus tax a day on weekends; insurance is extra.

Weekdays, Hertz’s price for the compact goes up to $33.95 a day plus tax and any insurance charges.

Fundraising

Di Clemente, on hand at a press launch in Toronto for Thrifty Canada’s latest fundraising effort on behalf of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, admits his car rental firm appropriated the idea from a Thrifty licensee in the u.s. who charged $1 an hour.

Thrifty Canada’s venture this year with the cnib is a Wayne Gretzky 1993 calendar.

For a donation of 99 cents to the cnib – Gretzky’s sweater number is 99 – Thrifty customers or anyone depositing a ballot at Thrifty Canada for next year’s National Hockey League All Star game in Montreal gets a calendar.

Last year, Thrifty Canada offered its customers a copy of Gretzky’s biography for a 99-cent donation to the cnib and raised $22,000.

It is expected donations will be double that for the campaign.

Gretzky has an endorsement contract with Thrifty Canada.

Di Clemente says the ad campaign for the 99-cent car rental, like the calendar fundraiser, is under way and runs until Dec. 15.

He says there are two 30-second tv spots with doughnuts for local content, and a 30-second radio spot, also with a local content doughnut.

He says in Montreal, the company is using billboards as well as tv and radio, and print ads are slated for Canadian Airlines International’s in-flight magazine.

Di Clemente says the whole campaign, created by Ad Inc. of Tulsa, Okla., is costing $1 million.