Shortage of Hire Cars in Europe

car rental companiesA terrible threat looms this summer – 2009 may become known as “the year of the great European car hire shortage”.

Check up to date car hire availability across Europe online

An unexpected side effect of the economic down turn this year has resulted in early reports of a car hire shortage throughout Europe. Places most likely to suffer most from the shortage of hire cars will be popular holiday destinations in Europe especially Spain where car hire companies have cut fleet sizes to reduce operating costs.


Popular locations and airport car hire companies all expect demand to exceed supply but are resisting the temptation to buy in more cars for rental during the busy summer months because they fear that a falling second hand car market wont allow them to sell on the used hire cars in the volumes they are used to.

Car Hire Shortage.

Whilst many of the leading car rental companies have no solution other than to turn away customers who haven checked car hire availability there are some businesses who should do well from the shortage of hire cars – car rental brokers.

Car hire brokers don’t actually have any vehicles – instead they specialise in finding cars for their customers from other third party rental companies. Brokers have excellent relationships with many small independent car hire companies throughout Europe and are confident that they will be able to secure cars even at short notice.

Car shortages in Spain

By far the most popular European destination for UK holiday makers is Spain and the fact that people return year after year makes the market for car hire in Spain one of the biggest in Europe.  Although the public transport system in Spain is adequate – see previous post about Malaga Bus Station the attraction of hiring a car to give you the freedom to explore is high.

If you are planning to visit Spain and don’t want to be disappointed by either lack of choice or indeed lack of availability due to the hire car shortage then consider checking various websites to secure an advance booking.

Car Hire Price Increase?

In fact there have been suggestions that if the demand for hire cars cannot be met rental firms will hike the prices so it may be worth considering booking now even if you haven’t got the full trip details worked out.  When we last looked the prices offered on the main websites were still cheap – Spain has enjoyed cheap motoring for many years – but with the current exchange rate abd the threat of price increases it may be worth buying now  – if the hire car shortage takes hold  it is unlikely that any better deals will come along.