An American family quoted almost €40,000 for a car rental for 9 days

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A New York family has received a quote for almost €50,000 to hire a van for a nine-day summer vacation in Ireland.

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

Mr McCartin called the price “inconvenient”, pointing out that you could buy the same vehicle for around £45,000. He said: “Obviously he would never consider paying such an exorbitant rate… It was a sense of bewilderment and outrage… I googled how much it would cost to use a helicopter and found that for around 200km it would be around €3500 per day, and that would have come with a driver and fuel.

A search on the Expedia 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 was “absurd”. Photo: Shutterstock

Speaking to Ocean FM yesterday, he said: ‘We recognize that there are supply chain issues and a shortage of cars… but it’s clear it’s a policy of these companies to charge the maximum they can. can get from anyone desperate to use a vehicle.’

A search on the Expedia 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 was “absurd”.

The price increase means that a mid-range car for a week in June costs more than €1,000, an increase of more than 50% compared to three years ago. Paul Redmond of the Car Rental Council of Ireland said: “It will take time for car rental companies to rebuild car stocks to pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, tourists should book their cars early to get the best rates.

car rental
Earlier this month it was revealed on Extra.ie that tourists are fleeing Ireland and canceling their holidays due to the exorbitant cost of car rentals.
Photo: Shutterstock

Earlier this month it was revealed on Extra.ie that tourists are fleeing Ireland and canceling their holidays due to the exorbitant cost of car rentals.

Desperate tour operators are even buying cars and reselling them after the tourists have left because the price of car rental is so prohibitive. Others rent buses rather than letting their customers pay huge car rental fees.

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

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

Many car rental companies have been forced to sell their fleets during COVID when tourist numbers have crashed and are therefore left with far fewer cars, according to the Ireland Car Rental Councilwho represents the industry in Ireland.

The auto industry has noticed a massive drop in sales to rental companies with the number of new rental cars recorded in January this year at just 369, down nearly half from 697 a year earlier.

In May, Irish CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan highlighted the problem in a tweet when he shared that to rent a three-door manual Volkswagen mini-car for “less than a week” he would pay a total of €1,957.60.

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