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Wednesday, 30 March 2011 08:51

Increasing rental fleet sizes – good news for customers

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An article in the Irish Times caught my eye earlier this month, as figures for the Irish car industry and new car sales have reportedly increased by nearly 5% on the previous year. What’s more, these numbers have been buoyed by large sales to the Irish rental market with sales to Irish rental fleets accounting for nearly 17% of all new car sales in February alone.

This is good news for tourists to the Emerald Isle, at exactly the same time last year the same paper was reporting a drastic shortage in the rental fleet and expressed grave concerns that this would lead to drastic car hire price increases as demand outstripped supply. In fact, a reported halving of the supply of hire cars in the Irish rental fleet between 2006 to 2009 was estimated by the Department for Arts, Sport and Tourism to cost the Irish economy over €1billion.


We’ve heard similar complaints from customers renting across Europe last year. As the grip of the recession worsened rental company fleets contracted leading to inevitable supply and demand imbalances. In fact, in the first half of 2010 the UK European Consumer Centre reported that complaints were up by over 30% on previous years. Two of the main causes of complaints were customers being charged in advance for vehicles that were not available and also customers being charged for damage to the vehicle that they didn’t believe they’d caused. Both of these complaints may well be symptomatic of ageing rental fleets as the squeeze on finances took hold across Europe.

If these latest reports from Ireland are anything to go by, the worst could well be over for car hire customers who may now be able to access better deals and enjoy more choice when renting vehicles for their summer holidays this year. Complaints about availability may well be a thing of the past, and of course incurring charges for damage that you haven’t caused can be easily avoided by taking out a car hire excess insurance policy from


Useful Links

This blog references articles from the Irish Times which can be found on the following links

February sales up thanks for car hire” – 2nd March 2011.

Car Rental Shortage could affect tourism” – 3rd March 2010.

Tourism sector fears rise in the cost of car hire” – 3rd March 2010.

It also references a report by the UK European Consumer Centre published in July 2010 which can be downloaded here.

It also mentions great value hire car insurance policies, which can be purchased on!

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 12:55
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