Car hire colossus Sixt is a familiar sight at airports and on the roads in Europe, the UK and the Americas, and now it’s joined forces with the NRMA to launch in Australia.
To help gain traction in a market crowded with established car rental firms, Sixt is offering a status match against rivals Avis, Europcar, Enterprise and Hertz, as well as becoming Virgin Australia’s latest partner for earning Velocity Points behind the wheel.
The group is also betting big on EVs, with the Tesla Model 3 and MG ZS compact SUV headlining its 16,000-strong fleet.
Sixt Australia is also considering a local rollout of its Sixt+ subscription model, where frequent drivers effectively rent a car for 30 days at a flat rate.
It’s a lot to take in, so here’s the rundown on Sixt Australia.
Sixt Australia is the NRMA’s new car rental partner
Sixt catapulted into Australia as the new operator of the automobile club’s car rental arm, replacing longstanding partner Thrifty.
This immediately gave Sixt an estimated 13% share of the car hire market, with 160 locations for its nation-wide fleet of 16,000 vehicles ranging from cars to vans and trucks.
That includes over 130 electric vehicles available at airport and city depots in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane Perth, Canberra and coming soon to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, backed by around 3,000 public EV charging stations across Australia.
“We’ve seen great traction for electric vehicles across corporate and retail customers,” Sixt Australia Managing Director, Matthew Beattie, tells Executive Traveller.
Sixt Advantage Circle loyalty program
The Sixt Advantage Circle rewards program is free to join, with every member starting at the basic and substantially benefit-free Express tier.
Progression to the higher tiers is quite easy.
Sixt Advantage Circle Gold status is yours after only three rentals, unlocking rewards such as a 10% discount, free additional drivers and other “exclusive offers”.
Sixt Advantage Circle Platinum status requires a total of ten rentals and delivers a sweet spot of practical perks such as free vehicle upgrades, more substantial discounts, VIP parking spaces to returning your vehicle and a dedicated Platinum service counter.
Sixt Advantage Circle Diamond is an invitation-only tier, but at this top rung of the loyalty ladder you’ll enjoy a guaranteed upgrade to the next category of vehicle a 20% discount on rentals and priority phone reservations.
Sixt Australia’s Advantage Circle status match
Your status with the loyalty programs of any of Sixt’s rivals is your ticket to a status match with Sixt Advantage Circle.
Sixt Advantage Circle Gold status will be matched against
- Avis Preferred
- Europcar Privilege Club
- Enterprise Plus Gold
- Hertz Gold Rewards
Sixt Advantage Circle Platinum status will be matched against
- Avis President’s Club
- Europcar Privilege Elite, Executive or VIP
- Enterprise Plus Platinum
- Hertz Five Star or Hertz President
It’s worth noting that Velocity Gold and Platinum members automatically receive Hertz Five Star or Europcar Privilege Executive status, which in turn can be your fast-track to Gold or Platinum status with Sixt Australia.
Click through to the Sixt Australia website to apply for your online status match to Advantage Circle Gold or Platinum – however, at the time of writing the Sixt status match for Australia has not been activated and is restricted only to members within the UK and the USA.
Earn Velocity Points with Sixt Australia
Six Australia has joined Virgin Australia’s roster of hire car partners through which you can earn Velocity Points for every dollar ‘of eligible spend’ on your Sixt rental.
How many points you earn depends on your Velocity status:
- Velocity Red members earn 3 points per $1
- Velocity Silver members earn 4.5 points per $1
- Velocity Gold members earn 5.25 points per $1
- Velocity Platinum members earn 6 points per $1
The Sixt+ subscription model
Sixt Australia boss Matthew Beattie tells Executive Traveller the company’s Sixt+ car subscription program is being evaluated for introduction in Australia, potentially this year.
Sixt+ is aimed at longer-term renters who need more flexibility than short-term ‘by the day’ car hire provides.
A flat monthly payment covers 30 days rental of a single vehicle, inclusive of registration, comprehensive insurance, servicing and repair, with the option to swap your car up to once a month.
Beattie also hinted at Sixt Australia joining forces with a rideshare operator such as Uber, Didi or Ola to add ride-sharing capabilities within the all-encompassing Sixt smartphone app.