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Old 08-11-2011, 01:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Our first renter for the 5 speed!

I bought a 5 speed Grand Am for our rental car fleet, and checking the calendar tonight I see that it is going out tomorrow for a week! And after that, there is another person that wants it for 2 weeks! We just got it inspected 2 days ago, so having a booking for it this fast, especially since we haven't advertised it, is great. I didn't even have time to put a tank of fuel through it to get some FE numbers out of it. As long as it doesn't come back on a tow truck after the first day I think I might have to get us another one! I am thinking maybe a 2006 or so Kia - anyone have any input on the quality of those cars? I really haven't looked into them much, but they sure are cheap at the auction if they have a 5 speed in them.

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Old 08-11-2011, 04:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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My son & I looked at 2006 Hyundai Elantras and Kia Spectras earlier this year when his car died. The first Kia we looked at had lived 5 years in desert heat, and had not held up well. Its plastic headlight covers had yellowed. Its seat belt retractors did not retract. Its rear seat back releases were broken.

The owner of the second car lot we visited had sold the Hyundai we were interested in, but he was a straight shooter. I believed him, as everything he told me was factual, based on my knowledge. We talked about his profit margin, the condition of different cars on his lot, the cars he would recommend we look at, etc. He sold Hyundais, but not Kias. Their reliability still isn't up to sister Hyundai's rep.

That said, I rented an AT Kia Rio last year, and averaged 43.7 mpg over 3600 miles with it, with not a hint of problems. If I could drop two tanks when I was fighting 45 mph crosswinds crossing South Dakota, I'd have averaged >45 mpg with it. My last two tanks averaged 49 mpg!
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War_Wagon View Post
I bought a 5 speed Grand Am for our rental car fleet, and checking the calendar tonight I see that it is going out tomorrow for a week! And after that, there is another person that wants it for 2 weeks! We just got it inspected 2 days ago, so having a booking for it this fast, especially since we haven't advertised it, is great.
Congrats! Now I really wish your business was in PA, where I am going soon for work/pleasure. I think you found an under-served market niche. Test it quietly for a while, if competition can easily imitate you. Good luck... it's a neat idea.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you charge less to rent a the Grand Am?
I would love to rent a manual transmission car on vacation. It seems every rental in the states is an automatic (unless renting a Lotus or Viper).
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as the Kia quality goes, it's the little things like the seat belt retractors etc that will nickel and dime us to death on our maintenance costs. Not only in direct cost, but the fact that it is in the shop instead of out on the road, so we pay the mechanic for his time as well as not get paid for our rental time - not a good combo! Believe it or not the worst car we have, which I am going to get rid of this weekend, is a 2004 Mazda 3. Every single time that car goes out something dumb breaks, and it is still the only car we have ever had to get towed back to our shop. And it is always a $300+ bill, no matter what is wrong with it! Man I hate that car!

As far as rates go, we charge based on "class" of vehicle, so the Grand Am costs the same as say one of our Sebrings. I think we could probably charge more for it, as it is the only one around for rent, but I would rather encourage someone to take the 4 cylinder manual transmission car to save fuel, so we may even end up having a special lower rate for it.
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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...so, it's "...four on the floor, and one more!"
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
...so, it's "...four on the floor, and one more!"
Yes, because "that's all there is and there ain't no more!"
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War_Wagon View Post
I might have to get us another one! I am thinking maybe a 2006 or so Kia - anyone have any input on the quality of those cars?
Here in Europe, Kia is the only manufacturer with a 7 year / 93000 miles warranty on their cars. Even Toyota calls it quits at 5 (also 93K mls), others will only give customers the legally required 2 years.

Let's see when they started that warranty policy : 1/1/2010
Would they introduce such a policy if they weren't convinced of their built quality ? Sure it'll draw customers, but if they're not delivering quality, their profit margins would evaporate on warranty repairs.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
Here in Europe, Kia is the only manufacturer with a 7 year / 93000 miles warranty on their cars. Even Toyota calls it quits at 5 (also 93K mls), others will only give customers the legally required 2 years.
Hyundai had some kind of promotions 6 months ago, 7 years bumper to bumper warranty to dump their inventory of accent, I can't remember the mileage allowed.

Went to test drive one as it was ubber cheap. I started the engine and depressed the clutch. Car did about 5 feet forward. I instantly pressed the brake and put it back on reverse, told the GF this car is too cheaply made. Backed out the car and gave back the keys to the salesman.

That was probably the quickest test drive he saw


I don't know the ''real auction'' price but on the used market kia rio tend to sell for around the same price as a ford focus, wich I think is a better car. Especially if you're looking in the 06-07 model there seems to be an abundance of them. Also most focus came with more equipement. Also parts are cheap since they sold tons of them
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Went to test drive one as it was ubber cheap. I started the engine and depressed the clutch. Car did about 5 feet forward. I instantly pressed the brake and put it back on reverse, told the GF this car is too cheaply made. Backed out the car and gave back the keys to the salesman.
How did you determine it was cheaply made (aside from price?) ?
What was it that ruined it for you?

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