Rental car this summer? Beware of the car crunch. Because of shortage of chips, this summer the machines available they will be much less than in previous years and tourists risk being left on foot. The micro-processor crisis of recent months has caused several factories around the world to shut down, slowing down vehicle production and, consequently, reducing the flow of new cars added to short-term rental companies’ fleets. The alarm was raised byAniasa and also from some rental companies. According to the National Association of the Car Rental and Automotive Services Industry, the risk for operators of not being able to satisfy the requests of those who will move only at the last moment and the advice, therefore, is to hurry to book.
Fleets, a third fewer cars
The automotive industry for six months struggling with an unexpected shortage of chips (essential components of modern vehicles) globally and analysts do not expect a return to normal before 2022. Among the sectors most impacted by this new phenomenon is the short-term rental, fresh from a 2020 that recorded a halving of activities due to the pandemic and also because of the fear of having less demand, many companies have reduced the volume of cars ordered. Europcar – reports Bloomberg – says that customers book on average only three days in advance, so there is little visibility on future demand. When the company places an order for vehicles, it usually takes about three months for the cars to be delivered. This is why most large operators have around one third fewer vehicles compared to a year ago and some international fleets have shrunk further.
The supply problem
This year, in the face of a summer that looks almost normal thanks to greater possibilities to travel, procuring new vehicles has become much more difficult due to the shortage of semiconductors. Some car manufacturers give the priority on deliveries to retail customers rather than rental fleet buyers. According to Bloomberg news agency, rental companies are trying to catch up by buying second hand vehicles or by keeping their existing fleets longer.
The risk of a price surge
The risk of pre-pandemic-like demand in the face of a decline in supply could be reflected in prices. There are already reports of rental rates rising a Majorca, where the Germans have been able to travel since March. To get an idea of what might happen, you can look at the United States, where vaccinations have started earlier and the soaring prices of rental cars are already underway.