Strange illogical car hire anomaly (or just another rip-off?)

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  SwissExPat 21 Jun 2016
at 11:11

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

  • Anonymous


    I hire cars maybe 12 per year (usually Avis and sometimes Hertz or independents)

    I need a car next month for 7 or maybe 8 days. I always though that the general rule with rates was that you if at a weekend you generally got a weekend rate which was essentially 3 days for the price of 2 and then for longer rentals, you got 7 days for the price of 5.

    However I did a pricing exercise as follows

    Hertz, online, no codes, booked as a guest, 1 driver, at a major european airport, Same Car group D (equiv 4 door intermediate i.e VW Jetta). prepay for a period end of June 2016. All in €.

    The following were the rates quoted

    1 day – 49
    2 days – 67
    3 days – 88
    4 days – 109
    5 days – 130
    6 days – 151
    7 days – 189
    8 days – 236

    Looking at the differences in the above (i.e the rate per extra day) you will see that it is approx 21 extra per day, EXCEPT when you get to the difference between 6 and 7 where the extra day going from 6 to 7 daye rental is 38?

    Am I being too cynincal in thinking that there is something a bit unusual here? Since many people end taking holidays that are 1 week in duration (just to fit into work cycles etc) there is a slightly captive market for this type of booking and that the Car hire companies are making some hay here?


    SwissExPat, could it be that the days you have searched have taken you in to a period of extra demand, school holidays, a major event in the area that sort of thing?

    If not, then it does confirm what a lot of us think, that car hire company’s are akin to thieves hiding in dark alleys to swoop and rip you off when you are least able to defend yourself (such as tired and stressed after a long flight).


    You have gone directly to Hertz for this quote.

    How will the rates compare if you use a third party rental broker who claim to compare rates from all the major firms..

    Apart from the loyalty issue, are there real benefits going direct to the rental company?


    I usually use the rental brokers and find the savings are worthwhile and better than any loyalty points you may receive, though I usually still get miles to my airline account.

    Booking a car recently for a family member the saving was over 25% compared to Avis direct. The irony is the rental through the broker is with Avis – same dates/category!

    The exception here is Hertz locally. Not only is the rate better but I get 30% off and as they know me I usually get an upgrade.


    I cant help thinking that you are attempting to deconstruct something which is utterly nonsensical. I have long since thought that the car industry simply ‘make it up’ as they go along.


    MrMichael – 17/05/2016 09:40 BST

    I wonder if the scenarios you suggested really do affect the cost. I have spoken to a few agent reps from the bigger car hire companies (Avis/Enterprise etc.) and they seem to put across as though it doesn’t matter if it is the first car sold or the last car sold in that class, it will cost the same. Whether this is the case or not is another thing, as I know branches can be a law unto themselves at times.

    As to why the rate increases on the 7th day, I may have reasoning however it contradicts what is usually the norm. More often than not the rental company will have specific rates per day, and the longer your rental the lower this rate will become. For example, for 1-5 days… £20 per day, 5-10 days… £18 per day, and so on as the rental length continues.

    However on this occasion the rate has increased going into the 7th day. The reasoning could be increased insurance cost for longer rental duration.

    The only other possibility is quite rare, however I have came across once, is that the car supplier (I.e. the original showroom/vendor) from which the car originated had requested the vehicle be returned on the dates you are looking to book. On this occasion it wouldn’t surprise me if they were happy to take a one off payment as compensation for the vehicle not being available, which the car hire provider hides within the daily rate.

    It could be something or nothing, but a few possibilities.


    The above testing was done on the (and performed just as a normal non-regular traveller would do)

    Also, the dates were for end of June 2016 and as the rates look quite good, I conclude that this is not any type of special occasion/holiday period.

    I repeated the test on

    The resulting pricing structure with AVIS was identical (to within €1 rounding).

    I also repeated the test on

    In the case of SIXT, the rental for 6 days cost the same as the 7 day rental. The jump from 5 to 7 days was about €30 so was reasonable and the extra for having 8 days as opposed to 7 was €22 which was largely the normal extra day rate.

    Conclusion : Hertz and Avis are performing some “Price Gouging” on 7 day rentals as compared to 6,5,4,3 day rentals.

    I expect that they have noticed that renters are NOT SENSITIVE to the price (or cannot avoid the 7-DAY-SURCHARGE) and hence add in this unavoidable extra.

    I cannot believe there is any ADDITIONAL cost they need to absorb from a 7 as opposed to 6,5,4 day rental. I will ask the guys I know on the avis desk next Friday when I will be doing a 2 day rental.


    why not check a car broker website.

    Here’s on that appeared in my email inbox..

    curious to see how it compares…


    SwissExPat – Avis offer a ‘7-days-for-the-price-of-5’ deal and so I would have expected the Avis price to be the same for 5/6/7 days.

    I did a quick check for Malaga – 7-days was £187 for a VW Golf and the 8th day was an extra £20, which seems pretty good value.


    HI All

    @Carajillo…. I see the AVIS offer and having studied it, the country I am booking in (Ireland) is not part of the list where the offer applies.

    It seems that the Irish have a pricing anomaly in their system! (where the extra day going from 6 to 7 days is twice the normal daily rate)

    Strangely both AVIS and HERTZ do the same but SIXT does not.


    As a follow up on this topic

    I have just booked a car in Dublin for this coming week. (directly with Avis)

    A Group B car for 7 days cost E167 and the teh same car for 6 days was E107.

    So the extra day (6->7) was an extra Euro 60 !!!! i.e more than 50% of the TOTAL rate for the 6 days

    I dug out my last avis rental agreement (in DUblin a few weeks ago) and say that an extra day if I decided to have an extra day on my last 4 day rental) was Euro 40…If I decided to extend the rental.

    So I booked the car for 6 days (at 107) and hope to save the Euro 20 by buying an extra day for Euro 40.

    Hope it works !!

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