It seems that Avis is confused and doesn’t know how to price rental cars anymore. They are so confused that they refuse any comment on their extraordinary price hikes earlier this year. In early February we write an article about it, which prompts a reader to contact us.
Extraordinary price hikes
He sends us a copy of the bill for a rental car from Avis a few months ago. The total rent amounts to $179 (€163) for a small car for 1 week. In early February 2020 he checks the price of a new rental. But he can’t believe his eyes, for the price is 4½ times higher: $802 (€732). Hertz and National did the same thing as Avis, suggesting they have formed a price cartel.
Prices go wildly up and a bit down
On February 7, 2020 we publish the article and already 3 days later the price is somewhat lower: $553 (€507). But it is still 3 times higher than a few months ago. On March 8, 2020, however, the price is considerably lower: $289 (€256). That is “only” 60% higher than a couple of months earlier.
But it looks as if Avis is in a roller coaster, for initially the very high prices from early February are back on March 9, 2020. Several hours later on the same day they are lower again, but substantially higher than earlier that day. The Ford Fiesta’s rent is now $421 (€368) for 1 week.
Roller coaster prices
Avis’ outrageous price increases and the following roller coaster prices are hard to understand. Are there different views on prices at Avis? Are there competing groups within the company? One favoring sky high prices and another group in favor of lower prices, although still considerably higher than a few months ago?
Something wrong at Avis
Increasing prices by a factor 4 or 5 will give many customers the feeling they are being ripped off. The roller coaster prices later on will make them uncertain about the price setting. There seems something wrong with Avis. But given the company’s silence it is unclear what is wrong.
Tags: Avis, wild price movements