Families urged to pre-book car hire for Easter in Spain
Car hire companies are warning of a potential shortage of rental vehicles for peak travel periods, especially in popular tourist haunts in Spain this Easter.
The warning follows vehicle shortages in Mediterranean holiday hotspots last year after car hire firms were forced to cut the size of their fleets because they weren't able to secure enough credit to buy new cars.
The scramble for hire cars was worst in southern Spain but there were shortages also in parts of France, Italy and Greece.
The British Vehicle Renting and Leasing Association warned that there is likely to be a repeat of last year's shortages this year as car hire firms continue to be hit by a lack of financing and rising vehicle prices.
A spokesman urged holidaymakers to reserve cars in advance, rather than risking arriving at airports and trying to hire on the spot. If they do, they may find there are no vehicles available or that prices are higher than if they had booked in advance.
Families are likely to be the hardest hit by any shortages as they tend to travel during peak periods and they generally require larger vehicles.
The best way to save money on car hire is to shop around and compare prices on the internet. In addition to the well-known, international car rental firms there are many local firms that sometimes offer cheaper prices.
Some airlines offer discounted car hire via their websites, but remember when comparing prices to include the cost of any additional drivers, extra equipment such as child seats, mileage costs and collision damage waiver premiums.