Rent-A-Wreck is a car rental company that is primarily known for renting used cars at discount prices. The company's name is not to be interpreted literally, rather as a tongue-in-cheek humor. Rent-A-Wreck vehicles may have been personally owned, or they could have been owned by another rental car chain company. They are also known for accommodating younger drivers, those using debit cards, pre paid debit cards, and in some locations cash, to whom many other car rental companies will not rent. The average Rent-A-Wreck vehicle is about 3–5 years old on average with 40,000 - 70,000 miles.
The company is known as The Smart Alternative, a trademarked phrase. Another trademarked phrase is 'Don't Let The Name Fool You!', referring to the fact that the vehicles in their rental fleet are not actually wrecks.
Founded in 1968 in Los Angeles, Rent-A-Wreck began as a pioneering concept: renting used cars for less at neighborhood locations. Airport based car rental was typical in the 1960s, and most renters were business travelers or vacationers renting while out of town. Media coverage, notably in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Mike Wallace show, sparked national interest in Rent-A-Wreck, and by 1973, the company had sold its first franchised unit.
Since 1973, Rent-A-Wreck has grown to include franchised locations in 41 of the 50 U.S. states and in Scandinavia and Saint Maarten. The company operates primarily in neighborhood locations, often connected to or in close proximity to repair facilities, car dealerships or other automotive related services. Some Rent-A-Wreck locations offer airport pick-up and drop off.
Rent-A-Wreck was purchased by JJF Management on January 26, 2006. The purchase privatized the formerly public company, and added it to the stable of dealerships and car rental businesses owned and operated by the Fitzgerald Automotive Group under the leadership of Jack Fitzgerald, Bill Cash, Michael DeLorenzo and Jason Manelli. 
JJF launched International Franchise Systems in 2015 to unite all three of its franchised car rental brands, Rent-A-Wreck, Priceless and Nextcar. The company offers franchises of all three brands, each of which serves a different niche in the car rental industry.
Rent-A-Wreck in Canada
A separate Calgary-based Rent-A-Wreck was founded in 1976 in Prince George, BC and not affiliated with the US based firm (changed parent firm from Rent-A-Wreck Capital, Incorporated to Franchise Services of North America, Incorporated). This firm offers car and truck rentals in all 10 provinces and the Yukon Territories.
- "About Us". Rent-A-Wreck. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
- Rent-A-Wreck's home page
- Rent-A-Wreck of Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark & Iceland) home page
- Rent-A-Wreck sister company Priceless home page
- Rent-A-Wreck sister company Nextcar home page
- Rent-A-Wreck is part of the International franchise Systems family of companies home page