Rental car Iceland
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Why Hondas Are Not Available as Rental Vehicles

Civic minded people need to look elsewhere.

As a prelude to this article, I mentioned that “My favorite brand of car for years has been Honda — and although I am still partial to the brand, I found that by renting cars, other brands have been catching up with improved quality and increased functionality” according to this article pertaining to the most loved and hated brands of cars in each country around the world

Why Hondas Are Not Available as Rental Vehicles

…and although I have rented hundreds of different vehicles over the years from manufacturers such as Ford, Fiat, Kia, Chevrolet, Nissan, Citroën, Seat, Lincoln, Cadillac, Toyota, and Chrysler as only eleven of many examples, I have only rented a vehicle manufactured by Honda twice: an Accord in the United States on a fluke; and a CR-V in New Zealand.

Why are vehicles which are manufactured by Honda typically not available for rent by rental car companies?

The answer to that question is because Honda does not sell fleets of vehicles for a variety of reasons:

  • Fleet sales usually result in lower profit margins per vehicle because they are bought in bulk from the manufacturer and not from a dealership, where a vehicle is sold for more revenue and usually a higher profit — and Honda refuses to discount their vehicles to sell to rental car companies in order to protect their higher resale values
  • Fleet sales can adversely affect the resale value of each vehicle because the market is flooded with additional examples of the same vehicles each year — especially when rental car companies sell or lease the vehicles after they have been rented continuously for at least a year — and executive management at Honda prefers that its customers are happy with the high resale value of their vehicles
  • Fleet vehicles almost always sell for a significantly lower price than their counterparts which were used by one owner because of the reputation for abuse which they have garnered
  • Vehicles are built even if demand for that vehicle is low because automakers and unions have agreements that employees in factories must work a certain minimum number of hours

Final Boarding Call

If keeping customers happy as part of its odyssey over the years is the main goal of Honda, it worked as a good fit on me as a civic minded person: I have owned several different Honda vehicles over the years — all of which were reliable; and all of which maintained that ridge line of a higher resale value overall than comparable vehicles which were manufactured by competitors.

One element of the passport to success is that happy customers are repeat customers. That few companies in the travel industry have the insight to pilot this realization is such a shame…

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

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