Is Rental Car GPS Pricing A Rip-Off?

By Mike Wheeler

With tighter margins, petrol going up, servicing costs sky high and a huge number of players in the market, the rental-car business has to make money where it can, and we’ve found a little gold-mine in the form of GPS rentals.

By Mike Wheeler

With tighter margins, petrol going up, servicing costs sky high and a huge number of players in the market, the rental-car business has to make money where it can, and we’ve found a little gold-mine in the form of GPS rentals.

If you hire a rental car and need to find your bearings around the local landscape, you can do one of two things – buy a map or get a GPS. The good news is that all the rental car companies have an option to get a GPS, the bad news is none of them are inclusive of the price. It’s not so much having to pay that is the problem per se, but the cost they are asking.

You can buy a GPS from Harvey Norman, JB Hifi or Dick Smith anywhere between $98 and $488 depending on the features the device has under its hood. The average price is around the $200-$250 mark. Yet if you want to hire a GPS from a car hire company they can charge you between $56-$98 a week or $10-$14 a day.

Baulking at paying such a price, consumers might be accused of being tight or a skin flint, but if you delve a little deeper you’ll find that $10 a day does seem steep put in context of how much a GPS device costs. If you were to pay $70 a week for a GPS, that is just over a quarter of a price of a decent SatNav. A brand new Toyota Corolla hatchback goes for about $24,000. Would you be happy paying $6,000 a week to hire one?  

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that having a GPS as an added feature is a nice little earner, so all the more reason to either buy your own and take it with you, or download the TomTom app or similar to your smartphone.

It is worth noting that some rental companies do offer specials with their GPS hire, but you have to read terms and conditions.

Rental Company Daily Cost Weekly Cost Annual Income (weekly pricing)
Thrifty $11 $77 $4,004
Avis $11.33 $56.87 $2,957
Budget $10.95 $54.95 $2,857
Europcar $11,33 $71.30 $4,123
Hertz $14 $98 $5,096
Redspot $10 $50 $2,600

 

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