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Rental warning for holiday months

Date: 24 March 2010

Fleets needing cars during the holiday months may be scuppered by holidaymakers as rental firms continue to operate reduced volume of vehicles.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has warned businesses to book car rental in advance for peak periods following car hire shortage reported in some areas of Europe last year.

"Rental companies always try to look ahead and estimate demand for peak periods, but with finance in short supply and new vehicle prices rising, they can ill afford to have cars sitting around idle," said John Lewis, chief executive of BVRLA.

"This means that there will be periods when demand outstrips supply. You wouldn't go to an airport and expect to buy a ticket on the day you want to travel, and the same should apply to renting a car.

"Cars are expensive assets and you can't turn the supply on and off like an ice-cream machine or printing presses."

BVRLA said rental companies have reduced their fleet sizes since the recession hit and have fewer vehicles with which to meet any bottlenecks in demand that can occur in peak Easter and summer periods.

Government red tape and tax issues that make it difficult for rental companies to move vehicles around Europe has also hampered the industry.

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