Corfu rental cars in high demand
CORFU. The huge demand in combination with the reduced availability of about 2,000 vehicles, has led to rental cars being difficult to find.
Rental car companies in Corfu are seeing huge demand for vehicles despite the difficult tourist season. The huge demand in combination with the reduced availability of about 2,000 vehicles, has led to rental cars being difficult to find and at higher prices.
According to the President of the Rental Car Association, Spyros Vassilakis, this year the fleet of leased cars numbers around 7,000, when in 2019 it was 9,000.
He explained, however, that demand has surged since this month, whereas previously it was limited and rental costs would start at even €5 for small cars. “Because of Covid-19," Mr. Vassilakis said, "people are choosing to use rental cars rather than tourist buses to travel around, as they feel safer."
Need for liquidity
Ms. Vlaserou from a car rental company pointed out that there had been an increased need for liquidity previously, which led to many companies selling a part of their fleet, which was then not replaced. “The problem that can be observed in Corfu is a phenomenon that is being seen all over the world,” she said. “Because of Covid-19 and the need for liquidity, many companies have sold a part of their fleet and then not replaced it and since the car factories only sell cars with orders and orders were not placed, the market was left without cars. The demand at the moment has been satisfied even though we do not have the British market. Under other circumstances no one would have been able to find a car because of the British tourists.”
She went on to say that the problem is aggravated by the fact that low-cost companies will not be operating this year, which further limits the availability of vehicles.
Prices on the rise
But even if someone finds a vehicle to rent, they will have to dig deep into their pockets, as the cost for a small vehicle is €40 – €70 per day, while for bigger ones it could reach up to €100!
“There is a huge demand and at the same time a huge increase in prices, as the demand is not matched by availability,” says Eftihia Moutsou, from a car rental company.
While the car rental sector is experiencing increased demand, according to the President of Corfu Association of Tourist Coach Owners, Nikos Tsagaris, things are completely different in his sector. “The situation with Covid-19 has affected us badly. Mass tourism has shrunk a lot, while at the same time family tourism with rented cars or mini-vans has increased. Although buses are not at a permanent standstill, they aren't operating as much anymore,” he said.