Do all Avis Cars have 25K+ Miles

Old Dec 1, 08, 8:36 pm
  #1  
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Do all Avis Cars have 25K+ Miles

RANT!!! - I have been renting from Avis at RDU every week for the last 4 months and I have only had a handful of cars with less than 25K on them. What is the deal?
Is this something with Avis?
Something with RDU?

Previous to RDU I was renting weekly from IAH and routinely got cars under 10K.
Hmbrglar is offline  
Old Dec 1, 08, 8:53 pm
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Yes and no

Mileage levels are increasing especially since the big 3 North American automakers have decreased availability of fleets to the car rental companies. Some Avis lo locations are evening buying Toyotas and keeping them for way over 50K (Hertz is doing the same).

My last few rentals at Avis across various North American cities:
17,343
18,110
14,181
29,383
24,832
30,182
17,383
30,184
13,283
9,916

So yes the average odometer reading is running higher
Stephen loves Starwood is offline  
Old Dec 1, 08, 11:18 pm
  #3  
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The last few rentals I've had were (approx) 750 miles, 10,000 miles, and 4000 miles.
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Old Dec 2, 08, 12:45 am
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I have only once picked up a car from Avis that had more than 10k miles on it, and it was a DTS upgrade from a local office so there was no complaints from me.
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Old Dec 2, 08, 1:14 am
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A few weeks ago I rented a VW Jetta from Avis in California with 15,381 on the odometer.
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Old Dec 2, 08, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Stephen loves Starwood View Post
... and keeping them for way over 50K (Hertz is doing the same).
I have never ever seen any rental car with more miles than 30k something.
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Old Dec 2, 08, 1:10 pm
  #7  
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I woudln't mind a more used car I had a new and breaking Grand M(istake) with:
Mileage Out: 668


Fuel Out: 8/8


Mileage In: 919


Fuel In: 8/8
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Old Dec 2, 08, 3:05 pm
  #8  
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As someone who used to rent from Avis every week for three years straight, I had at least a dozen rental cars with 5 or 6 miles on the odometer. ^

I've also had some cars so beat up that they should be used for props in a movie where there are lots of explosions and crashes.
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Old Dec 2, 08, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Steph3n View Post
I woudln't mind a more used car I had a new and breaking Grand M(istake) with:
Mileage Out: 668


Fuel Out: 8/8


Mileage In: 919


Fuel In: 8/8
Ha ha! I once had a Saturn Aura where I went to refill the tank and it would not open. I took it back on fumes where the Avis mechanics tried to open the fuel flap. The locking mechanism had broken and it refused to open for them as well. I ended up getting a free tank of gas out the hassle.
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Old Dec 2, 08, 3:32 pm
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My 5 or 6 most recent rentals had 20-25,000 miles on them in various US locations
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Old Dec 2, 08, 3:36 pm
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Exclamation

what you are seeing is indicative of the current economy. During the summer, the economy really started moving south. The cost of cars and obtaining long term and short term "turnback" purchases grew significantly. coupled with the gas price spike, the car reps had no choice but to turn back much of their fleet earlier than they wanted to. While this rant is specifically about Avis, I am sure it effected all companies in similar ways. the big difference is some of the other companies naturally kept their cars longer than avis by business model so its not as apparent.

I am a former manager for avis and I know what I am talking about when I talk about the Detroit automaker's turnback programs. The way it works is a sliding scale. GM cars for example allow you to keep the cars for 12-20 months (depending on the tier). Depending on how long you've had the car, there is a scale that says how much miles the car has on it (go figure). The scale, in the case, is critical because in the turnback program, the GM automaker will buy back the car in a process called "turning back" as long as very specific criteria is met and receive specific buyback prices set in stone based on that criteria. This criteria is set in stone and is strongly enforced (probably moreso now). If a car is rejected, the car cannot be turned back to the dealer and the rental company owns the car until they decide to sell it themselves on the used car market.

some people have called this a "lease" program, in which it is similar, but not fully the case. One of the reasons why the turnback program worked for the auto dealers is that the car rental companies paid the full price of the car. In a lease, you collect the monthly payments and the down. In a full purchase program such as this you are paid the full car value immediately. So in a sense, it acted like a zero interest loan for 12-24 months and guaranteed cash infusions during specific times of the year for GM for example, and it allowed them to spill off excess inventory. Even if they had to buy the car back, they would distribute the cars around all the dealerships and provide favorable terms to the dealerships selling them, and often those who bought the cars would be offered favorable terms on "maintenance packages".

In exchange for going along with this process, the rental car companies do not have to get rid of the cars on their own unless the cars failed. They can if they want to, all they need to do is to not turn the car back. Avis back in 2003-2004 elected to do so with Jeeps. The pre owned market at the time was better than the turnback terms.

So now that you have the background in how it works, heres how the economy and gas prices affected the turnback programs.

When the economy started going south and gas prices started going north, it was a natural slow period for rental cars (spring). except for select markets, everyone was slow. Summer had not yet begun in ernest, spring break was over. That dead period is a good time for us to take a vacation and if you remember back those prices were INSANE!. I was able to get a chrysler for 110 bucks a week in Hawaii for my brother's graduation and an ad hoc family reunion, though not from avis (im not THAT loyal).

When I left avis at the end of 2006, we were attending meetings and getting flooded with emaiils that he auto companies were "not doing so good" financially and they have chosen to pear back the turnback programs significantly. That sent shivers through the industry. Instead of pearing it back, they ended up keeping it, but raising the rates and decreasing the buyback terms making the cars more expensive, as they needed the cash in both ways (more "immediate cash" and greater profit overall per transaction).

fast forward to the economic downturn gas upturn. Because of the rising costs of the turnback program it was expected that the fleets would shrink to smaller levels to save money and they would take full advantage of the turnback programs. They would hold the cars longer and get more "turns" per vehicle, run some lower mileage specials on single day cars and jack up the prices on one way rentals so they would spend less miles (remember, turnback terms are based on miles) positioning cars.

In May of this year, the economy and gas prices were horrible and the worse was yet to come. Rentals plummeted on the larger vehicles, and soared on fuel efficient models, even though the general market was depressed. The mileage was soaring on the lower model cars and at some point they wouldnt be able to turn them back as they will exceed mileageThe rental car companies were at a crucial turning point. What do do?

They had two options.

1> Turn back excess inventory at the earliest possible moment and take the risk that some of their cars would exceed mileage and they would have to sell cars on their own when they were done with.

2> keep the cars, offer insane specials, comp upgrades, and get the cars on the road by whatever means. This is how they traditionally handled slow periods.

They started with number 2, but the gas prices simply exploded. People were flat out refusing the larger cars even if they weren't paying for them. So they quickly modified and went with number 1. Turned back the larger cars as fast as possible and hold out for the last possible moment to turn back the smaller cars, hoping they do not exceed the turnback requirements.

The problem was that after they did the turnbacks early summer, late summer exploded with demand. It wasn't earth shattering by any stretch of imagination. Actual rentals were down, but it was easily excessive to their current fleet of "useable" cars.

When I say useable, you have to remember that some of these cars had high mileage on em based on the turnback rules. To give you an example, at 20-24 months, the car could have as high as 32-33k miles and still be turned back. The problem is some cars were at 29k miles at 12 months.

So as a fleet manager, i have two options, once again.

1> allow the cars to exceed the mileage and sell the cars myself
2> let the cars sit, rent em out to single day renters once every 10-15 days, and nurse it along until it hits the minimum age and send the car out of the fleet.

in either case, you will see higher mileage cars.

For those of you who do not know, there are round stickers on cars near the barcodes. You can often see it on the keytags. the terms "tier 1, tier 2, Tier 3, tier 4, flat, risk". On the stickers you will see a "t" or a "r".

A risk car is a car that Avis Owns, no if's ands or buts. They bought the car through a straight purchase or the car for some reason does not qualify for the turnback program. As a manager, I can look at the door jam, read a sticker, read the odometer, look at the car, and the sticker and key fob , license plate registration date and tell you all I need to know about a Car.


GM car, T on the window, PM sticker shows current on all accounts, no damage to the car, 29,000 miles, manufacture date of car and date on sticker, only one registration sticker on the plate indicating the car is less than a year old. The car is high mileage and will not be rented out often. If it has an R sticker, then it has already exceeded the tier and will likely be rented til the wheels fall off.

So if you are renting lots of cars, but single day rentals, and you have preferred service so the car is pre-assigned to you before you get there, its likely that they are using the tier cars that are being nursed along and given specifically to single day renters for very short jaunts and then taken out of the fleet every so often to slow its mileage increase.

it sucks, but im just tellin the truth.

Last edited by ezmonee; Dec 2, 08 at 3:46 pm
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Old Dec 2, 08, 3:48 pm
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do me a fav. post in here the mileage you have on your next few cars along with the following.

Registration sticker on license plate expiration date (number of stickers you see), on the key fob, the wording (risk, tier 1,2,3,4, flat) and the sticker on the window (round sticker airplane picture, r, t, color of the letter), model and location.






Originally Posted by Stephen loves Starwood View Post
Mileage levels are increasing especially since the big 3 North American automakers have decreased availability of fleets to the car rental companies. Some Avis lo locations are evening buying Toyotas and keeping them for way over 50K (Hertz is doing the same).

My last few rentals at Avis across various North American cities:
17,343
18,110
14,181
29,383
24,832
30,182
17,383
30,184
13,283
9,916

So yes the average odometer reading is running higher
ezmonee is offline  
Old Dec 2, 08, 4:16 pm
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ezmonee, excellent post. Probably the best Avis Forum post this year!!! Thanks
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Old Dec 2, 08, 5:03 pm
  #14  
 
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I just had to put up with this nonsense again this morning at SFO. I have not really seen a < 20,000 mile car in months!

Reservation is 4 days for a Premium. Went to the spot to find a Charger that looked good from the outside. Only discovered after I opened the door that it had over 27,000 miles and that the prior renter smoked 10 packs a day inside (or so it smelled like it).

Back to the desk...and the wait. Lots of typing later, the agent said the only other Premium was a Grandmaquis...no thanks, as stated in my profile.

Asked for an SUV...listed off about 4 or 5 with over 25,000 miles.

Finally found a Mitsubishi Endeavor with 7,000...looked like they had forgotten about this car somehow.

Are ALL the agencies like this? Is National any better with newer cars? Last job had me with Budget. I was in DFW often, and each car over the summer was < 1,000 miles (brand new Aura's, Trailblazers, etc each with 10 miles or so).
randomman is offline  
Old Dec 3, 08, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by randomman View Post
Are ALL the agencies like this? Is National any better with newer cars? Last job had me with Budget. I was in DFW often, and each car over the summer was < 1,000 miles (brand new Aura's, Trailblazers, etc each with 10 miles or so).
just pointing out in case you dont know, avis and budget are the same company. They share fleets.

see my long post above for an explanation.
ezmonee is offline  

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