With the help of Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group and Michael Meyer of Rate-Highway Inc., we are conducting rate surveys in both our online and print editions (which are also available online).
This month, we are looking at rates at six major airports in Western Europe. The vehicle examined is a compact car with automatic transmission and air (CCAR) -- a common rental vehicle size in this part of the world.
On the five Fridays in May, we pulled daily rate quotes for a two-day rental and a seven-day rental for pick up each day from 15 to 21 days ahead. This would yield 14 quotes for each company at each airport, if they were accepting reservations for this vehicle classification at the airport at all and were not closed out.
There is a large difference between cities, with rates in Rome (FCO) almost three times those in London (LHR) over the five-week period. Dublin (DUB) is not much higher than London, with Munich (MUN), Madrid (MAD) and Paris (CDG) in the middle.
A comparison of the separate companies is difficult because they do not provide quotes for a CCAR at all airports, making averages somewhat meaningless. For example, a lower priced provider at FCO would likely quote higher than a premium company at LHR.
This table below shows the May 2013 average quotes for all companies that quoted at each airport. The only independent company quote showed up at CDG in the May 24 rate pull. If a company did not quote, either it has no location at that airport or it was not accepting CCAR reservations at the time of the rate pull.
To provide a snapshot of how the companies were quoting against each other at these airports in May 2013, we ranked their average quotes as follows:
Avis’ traditional European strength shows up, as does, to a lesser extent, Dollar/Thrifty’s. As expected, Sixt is strong except at CDG.
Munich lists a number of car types that are similar to CCAR (compact, 2-door or 4-door, automatic, air), including manual (CCMR), 4-door (CDAR), no air (CCAN), etc. Sixt, in particular, did not offer any CCARs but did offer a number of very similar types.
In the future, we will include the similar vehicle types, roughly equivalent to CCAR, in our pulls to give a more comprehensive picture of this vehicle category as represented in Western Europe.