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US family quoted almost €40k for car rental for 9-day holiday in Ireland 

23rd June 2022 07:01

A family from New York were quoted almost €50,000 to rent a van for a nine-day summer holiday in Ireland.

Former Leitrim councillor John McCartin said his brother-in-law was quoted $51,353 (€48,606) by Expedia for a nine-seater van and joked that they would have been cheaper hiring a helicopter. Car hire prices have rocketed in the wake of the pandemic when many firms were forced to sell off their fleets due to a lack of tourists.

Mr McCartin called the price an ‘embarrassment’, pointing out that you could buy the same vehicle for around €45,000. He said: ‘Obviously he’d never consider paying such an exorbitant rate… It was a feeling of bemusement and outrage… I googled to see how much it would cost to get the use of a helicopter and I discovered that for around 200km it would be in the region of €3,500 a day, and that would have come with a pilot and fuel.’

© Provided by Extra.ieA- search on Expedia’s website found the same nine-seater van for the same nine-day period for hire for €28,543 ($30,160) but Mr McCartin said paying more than €500 a day is ‘preposterous’. Pic: Shutterstock

Speaking to Ocean FM yesterday he said: ‘We acknowledge there are supply chain issues and a scarcity of cars… but clearly these companies have the policy that they are going to charge the maximum they can get from anybody who is desperate for the use of a vehicle.’

A- search on Expedia’s website found the same nine-seater van for the same nine-day period for hire for €28,543 ($30,160) but Mr McCartin said paying more than €500 a day is ‘preposterous’.

Increased prices mean a mid-range car for a week in June costs more than €1,000 – up by more than 50% from three years ago. Paul Redmond of the Car Rental Council of Ireland said: ‘It will take time for car rental companies to build car stocks back up to pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, tourists should book cars early to secure the best rates.’

© Provided by Extra.ieEarlier this month, it was revealed on Extra.ie that tourists are shunning Ireland and cancelling holidays because of the sky-high cost of car rentals. Pic: Shutterstock

Earlier this month, it was revealed on Extra.ie that tourists are shunning Ireland and cancelling holidays because of the sky-high cost of car rentals

Desperate tour operators are even buying cars and reselling them after tourists leave because the price of car rental is so prohibitive. Others are hiring buses rather than leaving their clients to pay massive car rental charges.

Some tourists are being quoted nearly €20,000 for a week’s car rental, others have cancelled tours after being told they would be charged €7,000 per week or more.

As inflation soars, experts are now calling for a Government investigation into price-gouging by car rental companies and say it is adding to the stress faced by tourists after the ‘nightmare’ of long queues and missed flights at Dublin airport last month.

Many car hire firms were forced to sell off their fleets during COVID when tourism numbers crashed so are now left with much fewer cars, according to the Car Rental Council of Ireland, which represents the industry in Ireland.

The motor industry has noticed a massive slump in sales to the hire firms with the number of new hire cars registered in January this year at just 369, dropping almost half from 697 a year earlier.

In May, Irish CNN journalist Donie O’Sullivan highlighted the issue in a tweet when he shared that to rent a mini, three door manual Volkswagen car for ‘less than a week’ he would be paying a total of €1,957.60.

 

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