Call it a marketing stunt if you want, but 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, over the period of a year, book the Maserati Quattroporte, Ghibli or Levante. While it's not the first time modern Maseratis were made available in the rental fleet, this is a relatively widespread offer where many Italian Hertz locations can rent Maserati vehicles.
It reminds us of last year, when Sixt decided to fill its fleet in Sardinia entirely with Mini and BMW vehicles. After all, Sixt has a reputation for offering truly elite vehicles.
Rental car companies need to purchase new cars and then 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 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 has frequently been arriving at airports, walked past Hertz's "Dream Cars," then seen the exact same vehicles in the same spots when we return our rentals.
Shorter version: Hertz gets a lot of positive publicity for offering awesome vehicles but 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 for the Levante in the Selezione Italia was 1,014 euro per day.
The rates are even worse in Rome, where the Ghibli priced out at 1056.18 euro per day, even after incorporating the USAA "discount."
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