Irish car hire companies hike holiday prices

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Car Rental News - Friday, 7th December 2007


Companies in Belfast hike the prices of car rentals over the holiday period, some outrageously

A recent survey informed consumers that car hire companies usually double and even triple rates for rentals over the holiday period, causing many consumers to outright condemn the practice.

The Consumer’s Association conducted the survey and found that the worst affected by the price hikes are often returning emigrants and incoming tourists.

The worst offender in the survey was Budget Car Rental. A compact five-door car rental in the first two weeks of December cost just €209. However, the same rental from December 22nd to January 5th cost €705.

According to those figures, hiring a car with Budget over the holiday period is 237 per cent more expensive than it is during the rest of the year.

The difference between prices for a car hired in Ireland at the start of December compared to over the holiday period with Argus is €372. In contrast, there is no difference in the company’s rates over the holiday for rentals in Paris.

Likewise Hertz and Avis, who both increase prices in Ireland over the holidays, do not do so in Paris.

Overall, the survey reported that car hire rates in Belfast increase between 22 and 53 per cent over the holiday season.

The report said: "What is it about car hire firms in the Republic that they feel they can double or treble prices in the space of a week?

"We appreciate that demand for hire cars is high at this time of year, but even the conventional laws of supply and demand are being ruthlessly stretched here."

When Budget Car Rental was asked about the situation, a spokesperson explained: "Because there is no business before and no business after Christmas. We are in the business to make a profit."

The report concluded that consumers were well advised to research the market before booking a car rental for the holidays, comparing the price and services offered by a number of companies.

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