Car rental prices rocket
Car hire prices in holiday hotspots have rocketed in the run up to Easter as demand has outstripped supply, according to a holiday booking website.
Travelsupermaket says prices in popular Spanish destinations are up by two-thirds on the same time last year.
Two weeks ago, we advised readers travelling to popular wintersun destinations, such as Spain, to book car hire in advance following a warning from the British Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association that rental firms were likely to run out of cars over Easter.
Now Travelsupermarkets says that a shortage of vehicles has forced up the price of a typical week's hire from £84 a week to £134 in Malaga and from £88 to £140 in Alicante.
Travelsupermarket warned that car rental firms in Spain were also introducing 'sneaky' fees, such as charging customers for a full tank of petrol regardless of how much they use.
The increase in the cost of hire cars has less to do with rising demand and more to do with the fact that car rental firms were forced to slash the size of their fleets at the start of the recession.
Unable to secure affordable financing, many have not been able to renew their fleets for the past couple of years and so they can't satisfy demand during peak travel periods, such as Easter.
The best advice to holidaymakers who have to travel during the busiest times is to try to secure a hire car in advance, rather than waiting until they arrive at the airport to get a better deal.