Higher car hire costs in Spain this year

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Car Rental News - 10/08/2009


Holidaymakers are also finding it more difficult to rent cars in popular destinations this summer.

Resort areas particularly hard hit include Alicante, Málaga and Murcia, where operators reduced their fleet sizes in order to cut operating costs as they faced reduced rental demand earlier this year due to the recession.

Rental car companies blame the shortage on a lack of affordable bank financing during the first half of this year, making it impossible for them to buy vehicles. Some have sold cars that are nearly new to pay off loans, according to industry specialists, and have not been replacing them. A concern that the weakened used car market will not bring the prices they require has also added to the reluctance to replace older vehicles.

Car hire companies began to reduce the sizes of their fleets in Spanish resort areas last summer, according to Bob Atkinson of Travelsupermarket.com.

He said: “This is as a result of the drop in visitor arrivals from the various European markets that started in the autumn of last year,” adding: “It has seen visitors through the winter down by up to 18% from the UK alone - the single biggest provider of flight arrivals into Spain.”

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