Rental companies warn there is an extreme lack of cars in the Canary Islands this summer
The rental car sector is warning holidaymakers that they are facing a summer with a shortage of vehicles in the Canary Islands, with more demand than supply which is raising prices, while companies are trying to find ways to expand their fleets so that they have more available.
Some companies have resorted to buying used vehicles, some are importing them, or having to use cars with significantly higher mileage than usual. Others have started a motorcycle rental service on the islands to compensate for the lack of vehicles.
Representatives from the sector told the EFE news agency: “There is no other option but to rent older cars with higher mileage than before. In a normal situation, they would have been sold at dealerships, but since there are not enough to cover the demand, we are still using them.”
This shortage of vehicles has also affected prices, which traditionally have gone up in summer, but this year the price increases are incredible with some rent-a-car companies charging up to 200 euros a day for a normal-sized car.
“Between May and September, more than 60% of the global turnover of the sector is earned”, explains the president of the National Business Federation of Vehicle Rentals, Juan Luis Barahona, who specifies that the "peak demand" means 70% for some companies.
“It is going to be a summer with a significant lack of cars, and that is going to have an impact on the tourist experience,” warns Barahona, who recalls that cars were already lacking in 2021 even though the recovery of tourism was much more tenuous than this year.
"We have much more demand this year than last year and yet we have fewer cars," he said, as according to his data, rent-a-car companies in Spain usually have around 820,000 vehicles available for rent, but this summer the figure will be 40% less at around half a million.
Rental companies had to offload cars to survive the pandemic, which is why Covid shook the foundations of the sector and put it on the ropes, with a global giant like Hertz, ending up in bankruptcy proceedings, for example. The problem now is a lack of new cars available to replace those fleets, especially with the conflict in Ukraine.
After the pandemic, the rent-a-car companies had the first ‘wave’ of new cars to rebuild fleets, but now car dealers are prioritizing individuals’ orders over theirs and the sector is caught in a vicious circle.
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