Is it Cheaper to claim to be Swiss or American when renting a car?

Abby asks:

I am an American living in Switzerland. When I return to the States, I usually rent a car. Is it cheaper to claim to be Swiss or American when renting a car? I am a dual citizen, so I wouldn't be lying in either case. Thanks!





My Response: 

The majority of the time there is a difference! The easiest way to check,.. is to check!! :)

For variety I picked 4 car rental companies: Avis, Budget,Hertz and Alamo

on each website I first selected United States as my country of residence and checked the rate for a hypothetical rental (I chose FLL, May 25-June 1, 12 pick up and return, compact car)

(company links open in new windows)

For variety I picked 4 car rental companies: Avis, Budget,Hertz and Alamo

on each website I first selected United States as my country of residence and checked the rate for a hypothetical rental (I chose FLL, May 25-June 1, 12 pick up and return, compact car)

(company links open in new windows)


Avis.com

 (Right below the location box there's a box to check if a US resident or to uncheck and select a different country of residence) 

result: much cheaper car rental rate when I checked as a resident of Switzerland


Budget.com

 (under pickup dates/times/loction, you click on more options to select your country of residence)

result: the price was lower when I checked as a resident of Switzerland


Hertz.com

(at the top right hand side of the screen, select country of residence and then click go)

result: a better price when I checked as a resident of Switzerland.... I think I'm seeing a pattern!


Alamo.com

(at the top of the rate checker, there's a place to select country of residence)

result: much cheaper car rental rate when I checked as a resident of Switzerland

So, to answer your question -- Is it cheaper to claim to be Swiss or American when renting a car? -- I feel confident telling you that you should definitely utilize Switzerland as your country of residence when you book your rental car! I don't know why there is any difference in the rate... just that there obviously is! I'm glad that you'll be able to take advantage of the savings!


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