Holidaymakers across the UK and Europe are facing significant hikes in car rental fees due to a shortage of vehicles. The collapse of lending has left car hire firms unable to replace their fleets, which has also coincided with the expectation of lower tourist numbers and cost-cutting programmes.
However a surge last-minute holiday bookings this summer has led to tourists reporting of huge price inflation, and in some cases not being able to find a suitable car.
Shortages are most prevalent in holiday locations in Spain, France and Italy, according to Hertz. In the UK, Scotland and the Lake District have also reported shortages.
This has led to prices in Spain rising as much as 70%, whilst on the Balearic Islands they have almost doubled.
“There’s a seasonal shortage of rental cars every summer, but it seems to be more acute this year because carmakers have cut production due to the uncertain economy,” said Michel Taride, president of Hertz Europe.
“There has been a big increase in domestic and US inbound travel, and holidaymakers are deciding to go away at the last minute.”
John Lewis, chairman the car rental industry body Lease Europe said: “Small cars in particular are in very short supply, and it’s often cheaper to take a larger car, rather than the small ones people go for because they presume they’ll be cheaper,” Mr Atkinson said.