Cost of renting a car soars by almost 40% after global microchip shortage squeezes supply of new vehicles
The cost of renting a car has soared by almost 40 per cent after a global microchip shortage squeezed the supply of new cars.
Logistical headaches and increased demand for semiconductors from the gaming industry have led to a dearth of new vehicles.
Car makers have prioritised selling to dealerships rather than rental firms, which typically buy in bulk at cheaper prices.
That has left rental firms scrambling to find stock to meet demand and replace older cars.
Shortage: Logistical headaches and increased demand for semiconductors from the gaming industry have led to a dearth of new vehicles
Research for The Mail on Sunday by comparison website Rentalcars.com showed that hire costs for some models had spiked by almost 40 per cent since the spring, leaving holidaymakers facing higher bills this half-term.
The cost of hiring an SUV for a week in Britain has risen by 38 per cent to £381 from £277 in April. For tourists heading to France, the average car rose 6 per cent to £251 a week, although that is down from summer season highs of £280.
The average UK hire car now costs £45 per day, compared with £35 six months ago, while van hire has risen to £87 a day from £74.
Auto Trader director Ian Plummer said: ‘The microchip shortages have led to unprecedented shortages of new cars.
‘The rental companies update their fleets every six months so now are struggling to find new cars to replace the old ones, which are more costly to run. Expect prices to stay higher for some time.’
Europe’s largest listed rental firm Europcar warned in July that the squeeze on the industry was likely to be prolonged.