Car hire new with Avis

Business is back to normal after Volcano ash cloud disruptions

During the disruption caused by the Volcano ash last month, Avis Rent a Car implemented a number of initiatives to help stranded customers across Europe, by kepting our rates as flat as possible during the period and made sure that our one-way fees were charged at the standard rate. We temporarily removed the cancelations charges for customer and implemented a number of tactical offers to help our customers in order to pass over this hard times for everyone of us and our business.

Now the situation has passed and travel in Europe is back to normal, we have re-implemented our cancellation and non-cancellation charges, for more details on these charges read our Terms & Conditions Policy.

Avis Rent a Car explains one way rental charges for car hire between countries

Following the disruption caused by the closure of European airspace a number of customers have wanted to rent a car one-way to another country. There has been some press commentary on the levels of charges for such rentals and some unfounded accusations of profiteering. We wanted to set the record straight on this issue by explaining why Avis (and other car rental firms) have these charges in place.

As a consumer, rather than an employee of Avis, we can understand that a fee of €1,000+ for a one or two day rental might initially seem excessive, if not outrageous. However, when you begin to look at the costs involved for a car rental company in fulfilling such a one-way rental the picture changes somewhat and you can quite quickly appreciate our position.

Firstly, many such rentals will typically incur significant mileage. Whereas we would usually expect a car to run up around 200 kilometers a day, these one-way journeys can easily add up to 1 500 kilometers – plus 1 500 kilometers back. Therefore a “one day” rental has used nearly a month’s worth of allocated mileage! Depending on the car type, this can be €4-600 of cost to us and we will use this vehicle one month less or we will need to return the car to the manufacturer one month early.

Secondly, we are not set up to cope with a large volume of such rentals and typically need to hire a driver to take the car back. Assuming it takes 3 days on average this means a further €600 of cost. On top of this we need to account for fuel, motorway tolls, hotel and food allowances for our driver and a flight home which in total can exceed €800.

Finally, we need to account for the opportunity cost of the likely missed rentals we miss while the car has unexpectedly been taken out in other country, which again could mount up to hundreds of euros of lost revenue.

Once they understand the very real and significant costs incurred by us, customers we have spoken to about this over the past couple of days have recognised that Avis Rent a Car is acting reasonably to apply these fees, however counterintuitive it may seem at first glance. Indeed in many cases we will end up losing money on these rentals.

We hope this clarification helps to understand the situation, and we would be happy to answer any further questions.