Tourists are cancelling holidays to Ireland because of the ridiculously high cost of renting a car or paying for a hotel room. With ‘Budget Hotels’ quoting charges of up to €500 per night the rip off continues getting worse. Don’t even think of hiring a car in the post Covid madness of 2022 Ireland. Covid was bad – real or imagined – but ‘Post Covid Madness’ is a whole other phenomenon to behold. After a two year Covid car hire famine the car hire industry wants you and every car hiring tourist to compensate them for the lean times. This of course leaves an excellent opening opportunity for a wonderfully enterprising young business man or woman to do for the car hire business what Michael O’Leary did for the airline industry. At this stage it is an absolute necessity as far as Ireland as a tourist destination or a place to do business is concerned.
Buying is Cheaper than Hiring
Tour operators in desperation have resorted to buying cars and reselling them after their tourists are finished with them because Irish car rental prices have become so prohibitive. Some are even hiring buses to save their clients from being ripped off by insane car rental prices. Tourists are now being quoted almost €20,000 for a week’s car rental the price of a good second hand car. Many have cancelled their Irish tours after being quoted €7,000 per week or more.
Calls for a Government investigation into car rental operators price-gouging adding to the ongoing ‘nightmare’ of endless queues, missed flights and missing baggage at Dublin airport last month are being ignored. A government investigation would be as useful as watching paint dry. Competition of the Ryanair variety is the answer.
Michael Vaughan of the Vaughan Lodge Hotel in Lahinch, Co. Clare, tells of a Cork-based tour operator buying a second-hand minivan in Scotland rather than paying the quoted €500-a-day cost of car rental. The tour operator purchased the minivan for €7,000 and resold it after his guests had left. Another group of Canadians coming to the Vaughan Lodge were quoted €7,000 for just over a week’s minivan rental. Instead they hired a bus with a driver, which was far cheaper than car hire. Irish entrepreneurs pay attention.
Rip Off Republic
Bookings for Irish trips are being cancelled wholesale when the price of hiring a car here comes up. Joe Duffy RTE’s Liveline presenter posted a car rental quote from a Dublin Airport operator on Twitter, showing that it would cost €18,703.50 to rent a car for the week between July 30 and August 6. He described it as part of the ‘Rip Off Republic’ mentality. One tourist was quoted €800 to extend their car hire by just one day. People are finding it cheaper to buy a second-hand car and insure it, rather than hire a car for extended stays here.
Renting a car from Belfast airport is half the cost of renting from Dublin airport. Renting a car in Paris, Barcelona and other European cities are all much cheaper than Dublin.
‘Car rental companies in these cities would also have reduced their rental fleets during Covid, so how come they are cheaper than Dublin?’ Tourists who are going to Northern Ireland to rent a car are likely to modify their plans to holiday in Northern Ireland than the Rip off Republic.
A Redundant Business
The Car Rental Council of Ireland’s bullshit excuse is that market forces dictate the cost of car hire. This kind of empty ‘corporate speak’ jargon offers no explanation for what is going on. Dermott Jewell of the Consumer Association of Ireland said: ‘The prices being quoted are outrageously and decidedly unaffordable.’
An Industry Gone mad
The thinking and actions of a whole industry have gone stark raving mad. Its bottom line economics is a short term strategy that will destroy the industry in the long run and that needs to happen as quickly as possible when an entire industry has gone stark raving mad. It’s an industry that looks at figures without realizing that people are required to make those figures realizable. The people look at the figures and see that they are insane and so they make alternative arrangements. They might be caught once due to necessity but they won’t be caught a second time. Those who came up with the figures had soon better start looking for a new job but they would be well advised not to say they are coming from the car hire industry which would make them unemployable.