Car shortage in car rentals

15.07.2021 - 10:41
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 Mynd: Ólafur Göran Ólafsson Gros - Rúv
As the tourist industry is returning to life and the visitors wish to travel around the country, the demand for car rentals is growing. And it is growing at a pace that causes problems to car rental companies.

As both the demand is high and there is a global shortage of new cars, the car parks at the car rentals are empty.

Last summer, when there were no tourists in sight, car rental companies decided to put their fleet for sale, to limit the loss. Now, when the need to rent cars is growing faster than accounted for, most of the companies withdraw their cars from sale agencies and rent to the clients once again.  

One of the companies, Höldur in Akureyri, which owns a car sale and a car rental called Bílaleiga Akureyrar, is trying to satisfy the clients’ needs by transferring all their fleet from the sale part to the rental part.

What adds to the problem is the global shortage of new cars. In the pandemic, many of the factories had to shut down. Now the manufacturers have trouble fulfilling the orders. At the end of June, a third of the cars that the car rental companies have ordered, have not arrived on the island. The Icelandic car dealerships have not had such low stock of new cars ever before.  

Steingrímur Birgisson, CEO of Bílaleiga Akureyrar, is hopeful and believes that even if the situation in the world changes again the car rental companies will not be left with too big a fleet. “We are accustomed to sudden changes; the tourist industry is always on alert. We hope that this won’t be needed this time though” adds Steingrímur.

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