After more than two years of the pandemic and in a summer without restrictions, Spaniards want to travel anywhere. The ‘traveling revenge’ is noticeable since the beginning of June when booking hotels and also rent a car.
Given the increase in demand to get hold of a vehicle during these holidays, there are many companies that cannot satisfy the wishes of all customers before the lack of new vehicles. During the covid, there was a decrease in fleets – which have been gradually increasing – to which must be added the semiconductor crisis. And that shortage of cars, due to the slowdown in the automobile sector, has shot at the same time the prices.
In the rental market (medium and long-term operations), Aragón is featured leader In our country, as pointed out by the President of the Spanish Association of Vehicle Renting, José Martín Castro Acebes. “It is the community where it is growing the most. In 2021, the increase in the fleet at the national level was 7%, reaching 800,000 vehicles, and in customers 12%, reaching 250,000. And in Aragón the fleet grew 20% (18,000 cars) and in customers, 19% (7,500),” he reports.
In Castro’s opinion, this outstanding position is fundamentally due to the dynamism of the business fabric that there is in Aragon, which has helped to create a wide culture in this product. “There are companies (of all sizes) that have been using it for many years and also private. comes a very young customer profile, from 30 to 35 years old, who see that there is a situation of great uncertainty with all the changes that are taking place around mobility and the automotive sector. They see that the technologies that arrive are transitional, that there are regulatory changes with the low emission zones… That insecurity and uncertainty, plus the previous culture, mean that leasing is working very well and is an element that is growing intensely,” he details.
However, the manager warns of issue current vehicle offer by manufacturers, which means that they cannot reach new customers as they would like. “The theme of microchip plus the geostrategic situation that we are experiencing at a European and global level has put pressure on the production and supply chains of manufacturers. It will be difficult for them to achieve the production levels of 2021. There are no vehicles to meet the demand both in ‘renting’ and in rent a car,” says Castro, who highlights that in the case of the Association that he presides over, the tension is not derived from the issue of prices but of the lack of cars in the volume they need.
Given the difficulty in obtaining new vehicles, they try to do everything possible so that customers do not see their mobility compromised. According to the manager, they seek solutions such as extend the contracts or do a ‘renting’ on a used car, among other. “These are small solutions that are allowing customers who already have a contract not to be left without a vehicle. The problem is attending to the new ones who want to enter the product,” she explains.
Increases up to 50%
Meanwhile, the rent a car market in Aragon is also registering an important demand for this summer, both by national and foreign tourists. Industry sources in the region refer to fleet problems Given the increase in requests and price increases, which can reach up to 50% compared to 2020.
In the case of Rović In Zaragoza, company sources speak of a 5% price increase. “Where they are quite fired is in the multinationals due to the shortage of vehicles. With the pandemic, they sold a large fleet of cars and now, when it comes to replacing new vehicles that are more expensive, their costs are much higher,” they explain. In this Aragonese rent-a-car company, they are also experiencing an increase in demand and lack of vehicles.”There is so much demand that there is no possibility for everyone. Our clients are from here and also from abroad: families, friends… and they rent both vans and other vehicles that allow them to travel in a group,” they add.
On the other hand, from the OCU they indicate that since last summer (and they also foresee in these summer months) they have detected prices fired in car rental in habitual destinations of the Aragonesesuch as the Balearic and Canary Islands; reaching 300 euros/day for a compact. “The reference companies in these destinations had to significantly reduce their fleets during the pandemic and, subsequently, they have decided to gradually increase their fleet. And they have also suffered from the semiconductor crisis, so last year many travelers had serious problems being able to rent a car,” explains the delegate of this consumer association in Zaragoza, Alexander Marin.
Faced with this situation, he reports that many Aragonese travelers had to opt for rent motorcycles to move around the islands or even “proliferated” the rentals between individuals on websites and platforms. From the OCU they warn that the rental between individuals of a vehicle supposes a high risk for all parties. “Mainly if there is a claim, the insurance companies could cause problems,” they recall.
OCU recommendations when renting a car
- Book in advance the vehicle and opt for companies with policies of flexible cancellation. “We can even request a pre-contract to know the conditions, especially if any condition is not sufficiently clear to us.
The difference can be remarkable and allows us to find the best prices and companies with better conditions. In some cases the prices have increased by 10, that is, from paying 30 euros per day to reaching 300 euros per day in certain island destinations,” says Alejandro Marín, delegate of the OCU in Zaragoza.
- Review insurance coverage. From this consumer organization they warn that it is not possible to force to extend the basic coverage of the compulsory insurance. “Although it may be recommended, since 7% of users warn of accidents or incidents,” they add.
- Check the condition of the vehicle (both pick-up and delivery). They advise that if a defect is detected in the vehicle, it should be reported to the rental company to avoid problems, and preferably in writing. And in the return, take photos of the condition of the car to avoid further claims.
- Save the documentation. And it is that during the duration of the rental it is essential to keep a copy of the contract and the inspection sheet, which reflects the condition of the car.
- Second driver. If an additional driver is going to get behind the wheel of the rental car, it must be stated in the contract. “Remember the convenience of including it and looking for companies that do not involve an extra cost,” they point out.
- Mileage. It is convenient to make sure of what margin of kilometers is available or opt for unlimited mileage, “exceeding those limits supposes an extra cost”. In addition, you have to take into account the policies of the company with which you work on fuel, “since not complying with them is usually expensive.”
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