Ireland’s car rental prices are skyrocketing, recent reports have found, forcing some tourists to reconsider visiting Ireland this year.
“An analysis shows car rental costs have at least trebled since before the pandemic; in some places they’ve quintupled,” RTÉ Radio’s Drivetime recently reported.
The high car rental prices are having a knock-on effect on Ireland’s tourism industry, which is attempting to recover from the worst of the pandemic.
“We are hearing stories of some people canceling their holidays,” Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, the country's tourism development authority, told RTÉ on Monday.
“We’ve had feedback from places like the bed-and-breakfast sector and others where they’ve had cancellations because the people coming to visit them weren’t able to get cars.
“And of course, we’ve had issues where people say the prices are very high. This is a global phenomenon.”
On May 17, as more and more people grew vocal about the skyrocketing prices, Paul Redmond, CEO of Car Rental Council of Ireland, said in a statement: "Rental companies were forced to sell off their stock of vehicles during the pandemic.
"Going into 2022, stock levels were about 50% of what they would have been in pre-pandemic years. In rebuilding stock levels, car rental companies face a lack of supply of new cars from manufacturers in the wake of the pandemic.
"Global car production slowed substantially during the pandemic and there is now a huge backlog of orders for new vehicles. The problem is compounded by component supply issues for the production of new cars.
"High demand and supply shortages have resulted in more expensive and fewer new cars available to the Irish market.
"While current forecasts for overseas visitor numbers suggest that overall car rental demands can be met, the factors outlined above are likely to result in some shortage of rental cars in peak demand periods. 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. I understand similar problems exist in other European tourism destinations."
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