An organization that supports and promotes tourism in Ireland says rising car rental prices are undermining Ireland’s reputation as a value-for-money destination.
Fáilte Ireland added that those who cannot get a car reservation may decide not to come to Ireland.
He said this represents a major loss for the wider tourism industry, saying that 20% of all foreign tourists to Ireland hire a car and those who spend more time and money and are far more likely to visit rural Ireland.
A report by Indecon for Fáilte Ireland revealed that the cost of renting a car for tourists in Ireland is high compared to the European average.
He also found that car hire plays an important role in facilitating tourism in Ireland and is a highly seasonal industry.
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He says the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on car rental companies.
A quick look online shows how expensive rental cars are.
For a ten-day rental from Dublin Airport at the end of July, a small car – a Citroën C1 – will cost around €1,545.
For those looking for more space, a VW Golf Estate sells for over €5,700.
For the same period departing from Kerry airport, a small VW Up costs just over €1,500.
According to the industry, the crux of the problem is the lack of supply.
Inventory levels in 2022 would be 50% of what they were before the pandemic. There are also many new car supply problems.
Paul Redmond, chief executive of the Car Rental Council of Ireland, said he had no data on car rental prices and did not comment on it.
In a statement, he said global car production had slowed significantly during the pandemic and there was now a huge backlog of new vehicles.
He said underfunded car rental companies will need to rebuild their capital and added that it will take time.