Why is Sixt Car Rental So Cheap?

Sixt has earned a reputation for offering some of the cheapest car rental rates around. But with rock-bottom prices comes the question – how can Sixt afford to rent out cars at such low costs? Why is Sixt car rental so cheap? Is there a catch?

In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons why Sixt manages to keep its rental fees so budget-friendly. We’ll look at their business strategies, fee policies, and insurance coverage to see where potential traps may lie behind those tempting price tags. 

By understanding what makes Sixt tick, you can determine if their cheap car rentals are too good to be true.

Optimized Fleet Management

One of the major factors that allows Sixt to offer such affordable pricing is optimized fleet management. With over 225,000 vehicles worldwide, Sixt can leverage its buying power to obtain fleet vehicles at significant discounts.

Unlike smaller rental companies, Sixt replenishes its fleet regularly. Newer cars require less maintenance and repairs, minimizing operating costs. Fuel-efficient models also reduce gas expenditure over time.

By keeping their fleet modern and mechanically sound, Sixt spends less on vehicle upkeep and overheads. These savings get directly passed on to customers in the form of lower rental rates.

Sixt Is an International Brand

Another key element of Sixt’s cheap pricing is its extensive global presence across over 110 countries. Such reach provides them enormous leverage when negotiating wholesale deals with auto manufacturers.

Large multi-national contracts allow Sixt to acquire new vehicles at steep reductions. For example, a 10,000-unit fleet purchase could net discounts of $500 or more per car. These bulk-rate savings let Sixt purchase cars far below market value, again reducing their costs.

In addition, Sixt’s international foothold means they can rebalance fleet vehicles to locations with higher demand. Moving excess inventory to regions with rental shortages helps maximize profits from each vehicle. This operational efficiency trickles down to cheaper pricing for the consumer.

Read: Why is Fox Rental Car So Cheap and Good?

Is Sixt Car Rental Cheap, Really?

When comparing base rental rates alone, Sixt frequently offers some of the lowest prices around. However, rock-bottom rates generally apply to their fleet of economy-class vehicles. Upgrading to higher car categories makes the price inflate accordingly.

While base pricing appears cheap, watch out for hidden fees that can ambush your final bill. Be sure to factor in costs for additional drivers, one-way rentals, satellite navigation rentals, child seats, etc. These seemingly minor items quickly accumulate.

Sixt also levies exorbitant fueling and refuelling charges, with premiums often 200-300% above market rates. Given their already slim margins, cheap base pricing gets counterbalanced with hefty fees for optional services. Renting their economy cars with no extras represents the best value.

Savvy consumers can still benefit from Sixt’s cheap prices through careful planning. Booking well in advance, avoiding major airports, renting higher capacity vehicles and declining unnecessary add-ons are all smart money-saving tactics. While pricing advantages do exist with Sixt, their cheap car rentals often entail compromise.

Insurance Coverage Concerns

Perhaps the biggest ‘catch’ with Sixt’s tempting low-cost offerings is their auto insurance coverage or lack thereof. Unlike most rental companies, Sixt excludes basic damage liability protection in their base pricing.

While the headline rental rate screams affordable, if you decline Sixt’s supplemental waivers, you could be financially liable for the full replacement cost of the vehicle in a worst-case incident. With exotic models like Lamborghinis in their Dream fleet pushing seven figures, this exposure becomes an expensive gamble many travellers unwittingly take.

To cover your backside, Sixt pushes numerous premium protection packages and deductible waivers averaging $20-$30 extra per day

Naturally, this erodes any upfront savings achieved from those cheap daily rates. And in the event of an at-fault loss, you may still be on the hook for hefty deductibles despite purchasing the waivers.

When Sixt’s rental prices seem too good to believe, unsuspecting renters can incur major financial surprises unless insurance gets thoroughly reviewed. Evaluating your existing coverage, reading the fine print, and being collision damage waiver savvy is critical when renting with Sixt.

The Importance of Car Rental Deposits

Given the lack of built-in rental coverage and Sixt’s appetite for tacking on fee after burdensome fee, renters would be wise to examine their deposit requirements closely as well. Again, headline rates may promote one story, but the actual drain upon your wallet tells a different tale.

In most countries, Sixt requires either a credit card hold or a cash deposit at the rental counter. Hold amounts depend upon factors like vehicle class, rental length, age restrictions and telematics package. With supercars for example, deposits frequently demand $5,000 – $50,000!

Read more: How to Avoid Deposit on a Rental Car?

Payment holds represent funds frozen and inaccessible for pending transactions, so your available credit decreases substantially. For debit card customers, rejected holds trigger cash deposits instead, negating any debit transaction benefits. Cash deposits don’t earn interest while Sixt holds your money.

Through sizable deposit requirements, Sixt defrays potential losses from those too cheap-to-insure rentals discussed earlier. From an operational perspective, this makes perfect sense. 

However, for renters, be prepared for your bank balance to take an unexpected punch when cheap base rates tempt you to sign with Sixt.


Partner Point Programs – Are They Worth It?

Recognizing their problematic insurance gaps, Sixt created Sixt+ and Diamond partner programs allowing members to pre-purchase protection for a set daily rate. 

This at least locks in coverage ahead of time against nasty surprise deductibles down the road.

But do the math carefully beforehand...Is membership worthwhile?

Sixt+ runs USD 19.99 for annual rates with reductions averaging around 20% per rental. Given Sixt’s already low prices for economy vehicles, however, 20% discounts may only offer a couple of dollars in daily savings.

Driving their exotic Collection could make Sixt+ more advantageous, but watch for exclusions on the highest-end models. If your once-in-a-lifetime dream car blast gets excluded, you essentially wasted $20 buying unused coverage. Read the fine print!

Diamond Membership is geared more towards business travellers with perks like free navigation systems, corporate billing, free cancellations and earned rental days towards paid future rentals. Again analyze your rental frequency to quantify whether $99 annual fees genuinely pay dividends through these loyalty rewards. They likely work better for frequent corporate travellers than your average vacationing family.

For both programs, the included protections may provide enough insurance relief to justify costs – analyze closely. Just don’t expect enormous Sixt rental discounts subsidizing cheap pricing further. Partner privileges aim more at improving inadequate insurance than slashing already low base rates.

Why Sixt Car Rental Is So Cheap? Recap

Through this deeper analysis of Sixt’s tempting pricing model, we solved the mystery behind cheap car rentals coming with costly catches. To recap:

Optimized fleet management and bulk wholesale discounts let Sixt acquire vehicles at significantly reduced costs. These operational savings get extended to customers via aggressive base rental rates.

Cheap rates predominantly target smaller economy-class rentals. Upgrades add premiums back in quickly.

Base pricing hides the true costs through the exclusion of liability insurance combined with punitive add-on fees. These erode upfront discounts substantially.

Insurance protection requires extra purchases despite cheap headline rates. Review your existing coverage and Sixt’s premium offerings meticulously.

Even with waivers purchased, however, high deductibles remain your responsibility in many cases. Cheap rentals still expose you financially.

Deposits require credit or cash freezes from $500 – $50,000 depending on vehicle. Hidden non-refundable deposits can ambush your real Sixt rental costs unexpectedly.

Partner privileges may offset concerns via prepaid protections and loyalty discounts, but annual fees could outweigh limited savings for infrequent renters. Crunch numbers carefully beforehand.

The Bottom Line

Sixt car rentals certainly capture your attention through bold, bargain-basement pricing in their search listings. But do their cheap rental rates truly translate into bottom-line savings once obligations get factored in?

For maximum value, rent their economy vehicles sans upgrades, avoid airports and pre-purchase Sixt+ insurance to minimize financial risks. Even then, budget extra for fuel premiums, navigators, snow tires and other buried expenses Sixt loves slipping between the seat cracks when you’re dazzled by cheap car rental rates.

By illuminating what makes Sixt tick from the initial search listing to the final invoice tally, we now understand where tantalizing prices ultimately tend to betray. But armed with this insider knowledge, we can make smarter selections that squeeze true savings from Sixt’s creatively “cheap” rentals.