Tourist quoted €51,350 for nine-day car hire in Ireland

Car hire rates have rocketed since the travel slump of the pandemic – as one tourist found out on a recent trip to Ireland.

One man says his brother-in-law was quote in excess of $50,000 (£43,000) for a nine-day vehicle rental.

Local councillor John McCartin told Irish radio station Ocean FM the price was an “embarassment” to the country.

“He’s coming to Ireland and decided that he would book a car to bring him and his family around the countryside and he was charged something like €51,350 for a car – the use of which he’ll only have for nine days,” McCartin told presenters.

“You could buy the same car for around €45,000, so clearly, we acknowledge that there are supply chain issues and there’s a scarcity of cars at the moment, but clearly these companies have the policy that they are going to charge the maximum they can get from anybody who is desperate for the use of a vehicle.”

Mr McCartin did some research on the “extortionate” fare and found that his brother-in-law could have rented a helicopter for less.

“I googled to see if you could charter a helicopter and discovered that for around 200km a day it would be in the region of €3,500, which is a far cry over nine days from €51,000 my brother was quoted for the use of a nine-seater car.”

He did not reveal the location or name of the rental company.

Car rental rates shot up during the pandemic, as firms slashed their fleets and sold off cars at knock-down prices. As demand has risen for rentals in recent months, fewer old cars are available and fewer new cars can be delivered due to ongoing pandemic restrictions.

Recent Which? research showed that the average per-week rental rate had shot up from £119 (March 2019) to £280 (March 2022), a rise of 135 per cent from the pre-pandemic rate.

Researching Easter breaks with car hire, the consumer brand found quotes of £764 per week for a Ford Escape in Florida and £734 per week for a Skoda Octavia in Rome.

It’s not the first time this has happened in Ireland this year.

In May, an American tourist was quoted €10,000 for a three-week hire. “Honestly you could ship my own car there and back (for the same price),” Oisin Hayes, from Philadelphia, he told RTE One’s Claire Byrne Live show.

Meanwhile, in early June, a Turkey-based woman travelling to Dublin shared her quote of €18,703 for a week’s hire, telling reporters she’d initially assumed the figure was in Turkish Lira.

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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