Strange Car Hire pricing anomalyBack to Forum
Anonymous12 May 2014
I usually rent cars from Hertz/Avis etc for a few days [3-4].
This time I am heading to Dublin for 1 week and got quotes from both Hertz and Avis.
The 7 day quote looked high with both coming in at around Euro 300 for a Small Hatch [VW Golf group B] for a midday Tuesday to midday Tuesday of the following week rental]. The quote was all in except for the “Super Excess” cover which I already have covered under an annual policy.
I checked what a 3 day rental would be since I will be back in Dublin on the Friday following the pick up on Tuesday.
Comparative rental price for same vehicle [but only for 3 days] was Euro 60. (!) Therefore the extra 4 days increases the price by Euro 240.
I intend to book the car for the 3 days and then inquire as to the ‘rate per day” for extra 4 days.
I always thought that the weekends should be cheaper and also the rate for weekly rentals lower than shorter bookings, but obviously not in Dublin over that weekend!
A dummy booking for a weekly booking but deferred by a week results in the more usual price of Euro 140.
Looks like the car hire companies are engaging in yield management when a surge comes!12 May 2014
Try booking with Dan Dooley. I used them recently and was expecting a old beaten up 3 wheeled wreck, but ended up with a brand new car, and much better than any of the other hire firms. Plus their staff are human, unlike some I could mention…12 May 2014
Main reason I use Avis is that being in their “preferred” means that the car allocated is always parked in the short term car park beside the terminal.
I assume Dooley would be located a bus ride away?12 May 2014
Hi SwissExPat, try googling “Dublin airport car rental” and you’ll get some bargains. They use Avis, Hertz etc though you won’t know who till you book. I’ve saved a lot this way.12 May 2014
Another tip is to try another booking stating you are based in a different country. We often find that rates booked “from Hong Kong” are cheaper than rates booked “from the UK”. Of course, when we turn up to pick up the car, we use our HK driving licences, but one could always have “forgotten” the licence from the country you have stated and use your UK (or wherever) one instead.13 May 2014
Just had the same experience today for a Sunday Aug 3rd 1 day rental out of ORD.
BA AVIS : £217
Avis (logged in with my Avis code) : $289
Avis as a newbie : $85
All for the same vehicle with same rental details.30 Jul 2014
Ir surprises me not one jot that Avis charge less to new customers than those with loyalty. Simple reason, getting loyal people to book their cars is easy and cheap, getting newcomers to book the cars is harder and more expensive. It is cheaper to retain an existing customer than get a new one. The only reason for a new customer to come by is price. Complacency and reliance on people being lazy about shopping around.
Same as phones to be honest, my iPhone contract with O2 was coming to an end. A new iPhone and same package was £5 a month more than the poster in the window, I pointed it and the following conversation ensued
MrMichael “I want what is on the poster”
O2 lady “you can’t, that’s only for new customers”
MrMichael ” I have been loyal to O2 for five years”
O2 lady “and”
MrMichael ” so reward that loyalty with at least what you offer new customers”
O2 lady ” we don’t do that”
MrMichael ” that’s nuts”
O2 lady ” they have the same deal as us at EE two doors up”
MrMichael ” are you telling me to go to EE ?
O2 lady “yes”
MrMichael ” ok. Bye”30 Jul 2014
I also usually rent Avis/Hertz though recently mainly Avis (their AF accumulator worth 50k+ miles for 6 rentals) but shot myself in the foot by not noticing (no initialling the insurance refusals asked for) when in a rush to pick up found my (expedia booked) Hertz rental had jumped from $ 280 to a disgusting $ 800+ despite all insurance being covered for free on my Platinum Amex – Message: DON”T BOOK WITH HERTZ! (or possibly in my case check assiduously all the (bastard’s) small print30 Jul 2014
Not long ago I booked as a “newbie” with Europcar then entered my loyalty number and was told by the screen that as a loyal customer they have especial rates for me and I should rebook. I did! same dates etc came up, but it was 50% more! Tried to rebook but the cookies had done their evil work and I kept getting the same rate.
In the end I booked with Argus car hire and they were 30% cheaper than my original rate and I still got my car from Europcar.31 Jul 2014
Follow up to my earlier post:
Having previously not had any effect with my complaints and emails to the service centre, I have to thank ImissConcorde for the suggestion to contact the Hertz CEO (see Hertz Damage Charges).
The result was impressive: my complaint was passed to a staff member who expeditiously dealt with a problem of unneeded insurance charges with a refund of $500+. Demonstrates the usefulness of BT and leaves me more than willing to hire again from Hertz!15 Aug 2014