Last Updated on January 20, 2021 by Michael
Call it a marketing stunt if you want. Hertz has stepped up its game in Italy—including Sardinia—by adding exclusive offerings from legendary Italian automaker Maserati. Renters in Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, and Olbia can book the Maserati Quattroporte, Ghibli or Levante. While it’s not the first time Hertz made Maseratis available, this is a relatively widespread offer. Many Italian Hertz locations rent Maserati vehicles.
It reminds us of last year, when Sixt decided to fill its Sardinia fleet entirely with Mini and BMW vehicles. After all, Sixt has a reputation for offering truly elite vehicles.
The New Car Conundrum
Rental car companies need to purchase new cars. Then they need to remarket, or sell, them as used rental cars before they completely depreciate. The more expensive the car, the faster the depreciation. Cars that can cost close to $100,000 would depreciate rapidly. On the other hand, a rental car company might get a lot of publicity with a tie-in with Maserati. But it will set the rates so high that the vehicles are rarely rented, thus minimizing depreciation. It appears that Hertz has decided that this tactic—high prices, low utilization rates—works for its high-end collections. Our team noticed Hertz’s “Dream Cars” at airports, and seen the same vehicles in the same spots when we return.
Shorter version: Hertz gets a lot of positive publicity for offering awesome vehicles. But it is hesitant to give away these Italian-crafted rentals for cheap. For instance, we found the Levante available in Olbia, Sardinia (an expensive locale, for sure). But the cost in the Selezione Italia was 1,014 euros per day.
The rates are even worse in Rome. The Ghibli priced out at 1056.18 euro per day, even after incorporating the USAA “discount.”