Monday, December 21

Sucks to be a Finn - Car Rentals

This post was originally written prior to a previous trip to Finland, and quickly forgotten. However, it remains relevant to today, to I have taken the opportunity of my current trip to post this:

May, 2008: We are just in the final planning stages of taking a three week vacation to Finland. The first week we are spending in a rental apartment in Helsinki. the last two weeks we will by by my in-laws near Tampere, about 45 minutes from the city, somewhere in the forest. So, we are going to have a rental car. As any Finn will tell you, renting a car in Finland is expensive. Here are some prices for a two-week rental, the prices being for persons resident in the US:

Now look at how much the price jumps for people resident (living) in Finland:

The price for Finish residents quoted in Euros. At a recent exchange rate of 1.56 dollars to the Euro, the rental for the Opel Vectra (The size we reserved) comes out at $3,943. That's over three times the rental fee for the very same car, just because your living in Finland. Hell, that is enough to go and buy your own used car.

At least it makes me feel better paying the $500 a week for my rental.

Now this preference is not exactly one-sided. Seems that Finns vacationing in the US also benefit from a slight discount for most car rentals over the fees charged to US residents unless they want a 'cool car'

US Resident - 2 Week rental from JFK Airport:

Finnish Resident - 2 Week rental from JFK Airport:
So, pay attention when the car rental company asks about residency. It matters!


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