It appears that the trend of renting luxury cars for special occasions have taken to another level, with many Malaysians willing to pay as much as RM19,600 a week to drive a BMW during this Hari Raya celebrations.

According to a report by Kosmo!, some customers don’t mind paying nearly RM20,000 a week for the Bimmer (undisclosed model), RM14,000 for a Toyota Vellfire and as much as RM10,000 weekly for a Mercedes-Benz. Other vehicles such as the Honda City, Toyota Vios and the Perodua Myvi are also popular choices, with the rental fee ranging from RM1,000 to RM2,000 a week.

President of Koperasi Pengusaha Kereta Sewa Malaysia (Kopkes), Mohd Afendi Aman said the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations this year could potentially rake in an estimated RM5 million based on the average rental charges. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.

For luxury MPVs, the average rental per day costs between RM1,000 to RM2,000, whereas luxury sedans cost between RM1,100 to RM5,500 daily. Below that are the regular MPV and sedan categories, which go for RM350 to RM900 and RM200 to RM500 a day, respectively. Budget vehicles, on the other hand, cost between RM100 to RM190 a day.

Afendi said there’s about 137 members registered and operating under Kopkes. “The RM5 million is just a rough estimation of what the 137 Kopkes members could potentially make. What about the hundreds of car rental companies that are not members of Kopkes?” he explained.

“The trend of renting cars is already the norm among Malaysians, and it’s not difficult to find a car rental company,” he said, adding that there could be over 1,000 car rental organisations across Malaysia. With those taken into account, the cumulative rental yield could go beyond RM10 million during this Raya period.

But why spend tens of thousands to rent a car? Well, according to Mohd Syarizul Mat Sali, operator of Altimat Car Rental, there are many reasons, but it’s undeniable that some of his customers would rent cars just for the sake of bergaya, or to appear stylish during the balik kampung exodus.

“Most of them already have cars, but they insist on renting a car that is more expensive than what they actually own. Some said they resort to renting because their cars broke down, citing the family’s safety as the basis for the splurge,” said Syarizul.

A customer who wishes to be known as Safuan said “setahun hanya sekali, apa salahnya kalau saya hendak berbelanja lebih dengan sewa kereta yang lebih mahal untuk bergaya pada Hari Raya Aidilfitri?” That translates to “it only happens once a year, what’s wrong if I wish to spend more to rent an expensive car to appear stylish during Hari Raya Aidilfitri?”

Safuan, a civil servant based in Kuala Lumpur, is renting a Honda Civic for the second consecutive year for the balik kampung trip to Kedah. “In KL, I don’t have a car because I’m single and there’s no need for me to own one. A motorcycle is what I use to commute to work and back. In fact, I’m still young at 24 years of age,” he said.

Safuan paid RM2,450 to rent the Civic for a week, adding that the decision to rent – even though he knows it’s cheaper to take the bus – was because he won’t be bound by paying monthly car instalments.

So, dear readers, what do you think of this? Are you in favour of renting cars, or do you disagree? Share your thoughts (and experiences, if any) in the comments section below!