Ever notice how you can get a Chevrolet Cruze at Avis but not a Honda Civic? This is why.
Hondas are some of the most reliable and well-built cars to own for the money. So why is it that when you head down to the local rent-a-car you can’t seem to find one? There’s a simple reason, Honda won’t cut discounts to rental car companies for fleet sales. But why?Embed from Getty Images
The short answer is Honda wants to keep its customers happy first and does not want to ruin the high resale values of their products by making more revenue thanks to several thousands of Civics in fleet sales.
The answer above came about thanks to a Reddit thread I created on /r/cars earlier today. I submitted an article how Civic sales are through the roof thanks to manufacturers abandoning sedans.
Invariably someone commented how Honda could sell even more Civics if they just sold to rental car companies.
An official Honda employee dropped this explanation.
” Honda does not fleet sales because Honda wants to keep resale value high, which keeps customers happy, and happy customers are repeat customers. “
On average, rental cars stay in rental fleets for about a year where they are given an oil change and a wash before hitting the market.
When car rental companies bring in a fresh batch of vehicles, thousands of older used vehicles hit the market at the same time as other used vehicles of the same make and model.
Suddenly, there’s a large supply of used cars of the same make and model competing for the same demand. Anyone who’s taken their first week of Econ knows that to unload all those cars to potential buyers, you’ve got to lower the prices.
Fleet vehicles always sell for much less than their used one-owner counterpart because of the reputation for abuse they’ve garnered through the years.
Lower resale prices inturn hurts the overall depreciation of a car, used or fleet. If you’re an owner of a Chevrolet Malibu, you get hit with that depreciation too whether or not you like it.
To protect their normally high resale values, Honda does not offer fleet discounts.
Not that you won’t find a Civic to rent. Some car rental companies buy Civics to rent out, they just aren’t getting discounts for them.
There are other reasons Honda doesn’t do fleet sales but keeping their customers happy thanks to a higher resale value for them later down the road is the main one.