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About us

Thrifty Car & Van Rental UK has come a long way since its inception over 40 years ago.
Our story began in 1971 when family run company, the Scot Group, began trading with a modest fleet of three Mark II Cortinas, one Escort and five commercial vehicles, all of which were second hand.

The company, initially called Scot Hire, started as a partnership between owners Clive Spokes and Maureen Bull and was run from their home. Clive completed all the vehicle maintenance and Maureen looked after the administrative side of operations. As the company developed, in 1973 they were able to rent a small office in a garage in Exeter with four parking spaces.

After several successful years of trading, 1976 saw Clive and Maureen begin negotiations to purchase the company's first site.

Developments continued at pace and in 1979, Scot Hire made its first bulk vehicle purchase of six Vauxhall Chevettes. Expansion has continued at pace ever since, with new branches being opened every year and the vehicle fleet consistently growing. Indeed today, Scot Group Ltd runs a comprehensive fleet of more than 12,500 cars, and 4,500 vans and minibuses.

In 1999, Director Nigel Spokes assumed a controlling interest in the company. Remaining true to its roots, the business still remains family-owned to this day, with the current board comprising Nigel Spokes (Chairman), Roger Hancock (Managing Director) and Peter Granados (Finance Director).

In 2005, the company was offered the opportunity to acquire the UK master franchise for Thrifty Car & Van Rental in the UK and the board decided this opportunity was too good to miss.

As such, on 1 April 2006, Scot Group became Scot Group T/A Thrifty Car & Van Rental. As owner of the Thrifty master franchise for the UK, the company has been able to develop faster than ever before and we have grown to become one of the leading rental companies in the UK thanks to our comprehensive fleet and excellence in customer service. Such growth has brought about increased career opportunities and security for each of our employees and as a family business, our people continue to remain at the heart of everything we do.

Thrifty currently operates in 95 locations across the UK. Our head office is based in Exeter where the accounts, human resources, insurance, fleet and car sales departments are based. In addition we operate a central office in High Wycombe where the sales, call centre and customer service departments are located.