April 13, 2010

What's more expensive: renting a car in US or Brazil?

Two months ago, I've rented a car for a holyday here in Brazil. A well known company sent me an e-mail with a great offer. I accepted and almost lost it on the counter when they told me the true price. Yes, because here they tell you only the rent rate without insurance fees and all that stuff. But those extras just doubled the total amount. It's outrageous, I know.

Today, I was searching rent a car companies over the internet. And I realized two things. First, companies hide the total amount in Brazil. And those same companies show the total price in US (with and without extra fees). Why is that? They use the same software in both countries, I guess.

Second and most important: renting a Hyundai Accent in US or a Chevrolet Celta in Brazil for 10 days costs virtually the same amount (without insurance fees), wich means almost $ 290 USD. Can you believe that? I compared Brazilian and American rates from Hertz and Avis. It's preposterous.

Don't even try to lecture me about taxes. I've been an economics reporter for a long time. Let me just clear this. The minimum wage in Brazil is $ 3.680 USD/year. And 49% of Brazilian families (4 members) live with $ 8.570 USD/year.

Now you can try to explain me why do we have to pay the same as Americans to rent a car in Brazil. I guess we can start this conversation by comparing the profits that American companies earn in Third World Countries with the ones they get at home. Would it be too much to say that we somehow are financing America? I don't know the answer for that but I'm sure I want to learn from Americans how to make movies and how to make money as well.

PS: I've rented a car for 10 days from Alamo for $ 360 USD with all included. Hope's been a great deal or I'll shoot myself. hahaha (Try this if you're looking for a bargain: www.holidaycars.com.)

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