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Lack of Car Hire Availability Set to Continue into 2010 Warns Carrentals.co.uk - Press Release..... Monday, December 14th, 2009

Leading car hire comparator warns of sell outs and increased rental prices for 2010

Award-winning price comparator website Carrentals.co.uk is warning that the lack of car hire availability seen this year across some of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations is set to continue into 2010, with the recession restricting funds available to car rental companies for fleet expansion.

The peak seasons of 2009 saw destinations such as Malaga, Alicante and Valencia all selling out completely, forcing travellers to find alternative means of transport for their holidays. Lack of availability is not the only effect of the shortage in cars though, with Carrentals.co.uk revealing that some of the car hire companies featured on its website increased prices by up to 96% for car rental in the 12 month period between summer 2008 and summer 2009.

Destinations with the biggest price increases in 2009 include Gibraltar Airport, which saw an increase of £8.16* a day (up 65%); Alicante Airport, which saw prices rise by £11.23* a day (up 87%); and Toulouse Airport, which saw an increase of £23.07* a day (up 96%).

Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, says: “The recession has heavily impacted upon fleet sizes this year, with car hire companies having been unable to increase the number of vehicles due to lack of funding from banks. Without the banks’ investments, companies have been forced to cope with a limited supply of vehicles, which has restricted availability in many locations and in turn seen prices increase across the board - a trend that is set to continue into 2010.”.

With the effects of the credit crunch, fewer car hire bookings were expected throughout 2009, with car rental companies hoping restricted fleet sizes would suffice, but despite the tough economic climate, bookings have remained high during peak seasons - leading to complete sell outs on numerous occasions.

Commenting on the situation Owen Coles of easyCar says: “General expectations are that the economy will improve in 2010 and as a result we are expecting an increase in the number of transactions. However, with the instability of the financial climate, it is not yet clear as to how easy it will be to obtain funding for fleet expansion.

“We are likely to see further examples of restricted vehicle availability as fleet sizes in 2010 will generally be the same as this year, so we are anticipating shortages, some of them acute, in the peak periods. Car rental companies will therefore be forced to focus on a shift from growth to margin protection and service improvement.”

Customers are being advised to book car hire early to guarantee a good deal, with Carrentals.co.uk currently offering car hire for February half term at Faro Airport from just £14** a day, from £13** a day at Athens Airport, from £14** a day in Tenerife South Airport and from £12** a day at Palma Airport.

Gareth Robinson adds: “We would advise travellers to book as far in advance as possible in order to get the best deals and vehicle choice. Using a comparator site customers can gain an overview of the different options available, making sure they are securing the best available price.”

Carrentals.co.uk compares car hire deals from up to 50 rental companies, including Alamo, Budget, easyCar, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 9,000 locations worldwide.

History of Carrentals.co.uk

Carrentals.co.uk was launched in February 2003 and grew to become one of the UK’s leading online car hire companies by 2006, when they also booked their 100,000th customer. In 2007 they re-launched the site to create the first major online price comparator in the travel industry.

Using the latest technology the new Carrentals.co.uk site now searches over 40 different car hire websites, providing an impartial comparison of the best prices available.

In 2008 they won the Traveloution Award for the best car hire website beating off competition from established rivals. Websites searched include Alamo, Thrifty, Sixt, Holiday Autos, Opodo, EBookers, Carrentals.co.uk and EasyCar, with the Carrentals.co.uk site quickly comparing prices and allowing customers to refine their search by car type or provider.

carrentals.co.uk Car Hire Excess Insurance provided by Questor Insurance Limited

Source: Carrentals.co.uk

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See also:

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Carrentals.co.uk - The car hire comparison search engine News - Car rental excess insurance prices set to decrease - December 2007

Carrentals.co.uk Teams up with Insurance4carhire.com - June 2007

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