Visit the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group’s website and it states with some pride that the company is "Driven by the mission to deliver Value Every Time."

The fact that the V in "Value", alongside the E in "Every" and the T in "Time" appears in capital letters leads you to imagine they may well hold self-motivational seminars at Dollar Thrifty, at which staff members are encouraged to scream "V! E! T!" at one another so passionately that they go purple in the face, sometimes to a point where employees might require a visit to the very person whom they are shouting about.

Anyroad, presuming that it is to the customer and not just the shareholders that these people are promising to deliver, the ethos of the Dollar Thrifty mantra does seem a touch shaky in light of an experience I had earlier this week. 

I went to Stuttgart to drive a new such-and-such, and in the process had to hire a car at the airport in order to go and collect the new such-and-such, and when I went to the hire car counter I was asked to pay a supplementary fee of five whole euros for the use of winter tyres.

Despite doing German at school briefly, my command of the übersprachen is extraordinary only for its inaccuracy, and as usual we were in a panic to be somewhere else an hour ago anyway. So at the time I just thought, "It's only five euros, forget it." 

Video: Winter tyres vs 4x4

A little later, though, once the heat of the job had dissipated, I began to wonder. Winter tyres are compulsory at this time of year in Germany. If you don’t have them fitted to you car, in fact, it’s actually illegal – in much the same way that driving around on bald tyres is illegal at any time of year in the UK.

So how come Dollar Thrifty charges five euros extra for a set of tyres that, were they not fitted, would render a hire car illegal in Germany at this time of year? They may as well just put down "Tyres – five euros" and forget the "winter" clarification altogether.

Or better still – and this would please the shareholders no end – how about they expand their pricing strategy to include a range of additional extras, all of which you'd struggle to say no to as a customer. Such as: windscreen – 10 euros, steering wheel – 8 euros, engine – 15 euros, logbook that proves your hire car is not a cut-and-shut and won’t just snap in half the moment you drive away from the terminal in it – 13 euros.