The company said it would sell the division for roughly $300 million, less than it paid for the firm.
Many retailers are struggling to shelter themselves from a slowdown in consumer spending.
The franchising giant currently owns about 18% of Avis.
Ames is also cutting jobs, closing stores and taking a charge.
Shares of both drop on the data.
The insurance giant reported earnings of 49 cents a share.
The move valued at $3 billion gives Viacom access to a key demographic area -- Black Americans.
Adding fuel to the fire, the company president also stepped down.