Hire car shortage throughout Europe

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Car Rental News - 17/08/2009


Holidaymakers in the UK across the European continent are finding that the cost of hiring a car is higher this summer.

In some cases that there aren’t any vehicles available, as any rental operators have not replaced cars in their fleets, anticipating decreased demand this year due to the recession. In addition, many have found it difficult to secure the financing needed to buy new vehicles, according to industry sources.

A recent surge in last-minute holiday bookings has added to the demand for hire cars.

According to sources within the industry, Spain has been the worst affected, and many travellers are reporting having to pay twice the normal rental rate.

Tim Pringle, one UK holidaymakers, travelled with his family to Valencia recently, where he found out that their booking for a seven-seater had been cancelled.

Their accommodation was 100km from the airport where they had booked the car and the only option presented to them by the hire car company was a much smaller car – in which Pringle crammed himself, his wife, three children and five suitcases.

He said to a BBC reporter: “At that point, I would have taken a donkey and cart.”

Other travellers told the BBC that they had similar experiences in Spain. One holidaymaker waited for more than three-and-a –half hours in Barcelona for a vehicle that had been pre-booked.

Others travellers reported higher rental rates, cancelled bookings and long waits for cars that had been pre-booked.

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