RENTAL companies may not have enough cars to meet demand during Semana Santa, industry chiefs have warned.

Feneval, the association of car rental companies in Spain, said there was a dearth of vehicles available because of a general lack of supply of new cars from manufacturers in the wake of the pandemic.

Rental companies were forced to sell off fleets of vehicles when tourism ground to a halt after coronavirus stopped travel in March 2020.

“During the pandemic rent car companies had to sell a lot of cars due to the lack of tourists,” Juan Luis Baraona, the head of Feneval, told the Olive Press.

Global production of new cars also slowed during the pandemic and there is now a huge backlog on orders of new vehicles compounded by a problem in the supply of microchip and other components needed in the manufacture of cars..

Coronavirus Sat Aug 1, 2020
Tourists trying to rent a car in Ibiza airport. Image from Cordon Press

“The crisis in microchips and car components has slowed the production of cars and it has affected us a lot because we just do not have enough cars to rent,” said Baraona.

But with tourism expected to boom this year returning to the sort of visitor numbers that came to Spain prior to the pandemic, the rental companies may not be able to meet demand.

He added that rental car companies across Spain needed at least 2,000 new vehicles in order to meet demand at the height of the summer season.

But he predicts that private sales of new cars may slow given the current hike in fuel costs, meaning it will be easier for car rental companies to buy up stock.

In the meantime it is advisable for tourists to book early if they want to guarantee a rental car without paying exorbitant prices.

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