We have just set about organising a family sports climbing trip with friends. It will be our 2 year olds first climbing trip so a beach was important. We have been to San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily before (pre Covid) so thought it was the perfect destination. We were about to book flights but checked for car hire first. WOW, I was shocked to find that a 2 week car rental is now nearing £600, I could not believe it with it costing just over £200 last time. To make sure I wasn’t hallucinating I checked Greece around the same time to find it was £200-£300. It’s a real shame as it’s the perfect destination for us. What’s happened? Has anyone managed to snag any reasonable car hire recently in Sicily?
Same issue in Geneva and Nice. I've just avoided hiring this year which I appreciate with a 2 year old may not be an option for you.
I'm not 100% sure what's causing it but assume hire companies haven't replaced stock through the pandemic and now there's a premium on new cars so a supply problem.
Unfortunately, it's the same everywhere. I have friends who cancelled a long climbing trip to Spain because the car hire was astronomical, it turned a cheap holiday into an unaffordable one.
There's a supply problem with new cars for sure (apparently some hire companies sold off lots of their vehicles during the pandemic lockdown just to get some cash) - but also all the companies will have lots millions during the pandemic...and now it looks like they're trying to recoup all those losses.
Car rental prices are through the roof. 2 years back I paid £250 for the cheapest car (Panda) for 9 days in Treviso/Italy. This year, similar car (Aygo) cost me £460 in Bergamo/Italy! At this rate next year, it will be cheaper to buy a car there!
> At this rate next year, it will be cheaper to buy a car there!
It must be close to being cheaper to just hire taxis instead - especially as on top of car hire you've got to add the cost of fuel + the usual nonsense with insurance, etc...
We've just been sussing out a hire car in Sardinia for late August. They want £600 or more for a week. We ended up opting for a taxi from the airport and a bus ride back a few days later, to pick up a hire car for fewer days. Luckily, it's more of a beach holiday.
May be it's time we started driving from the uk to the Alps, just like the old days
Or even make money at all. Hertz went bust in 2020 and was refinanced with about $5 billion (yes really).
I've just had an eye watering quote for Italy (Turin) for the first two weeks of September.
FWIW. I have used Sicily by Car many times and they have always been very good indeed.
A bit off the thread but sort of associated, I was skiing in Aosta in March, the pistes were empty. It was just after end of covid restrictions so not normal but if there is no forecast recovery next year I expect to see major hikes in lift ticket prices as resorts look to increase margins to cover the loss of volume.
Thanks for posting - I was planning to do the same this weekend. Sadly I didn't have your foresight and checked car hire after booking flights to Sicily.
As someone used to paying under a tenner for a weeks car hire in Spain (pre-COVID), the Sicily (silly?) prices are eye watering! The range is £480-800 for end of September. Haven't booked anything yet but the best quotes so far have been through doyouitaly.com. Will keep on searching and post if I find anything.
Try signing up with a cashback site like Quidco, you generally get about 5% back on car hire companies like rental cars, holiday autos etc, but sometimes offers of 10%, as most are free cancellation you can keep checking to see if cheaper deals are available once you've booked. NB check the small print for mileage and cross border charges etc!
> A bit off the thread but sort of associated, I was skiing in Aosta in March, the pistes were empty. It was just after end of covid restrictions so not normal but if there is no forecast recovery next year I expect to see major hikes in lift ticket prices as resorts look to increase margins to cover the loss of volume.
Interesting. I was skiing in the Via Lattea in early January this year and it seemed pretty much as busy as the major resorts typically were - i.e. pre-pandemic - at that time of year. A fair number of the lower runs and the lifts directly associated with them were closed, but that was in large part due to the poor early season snowfall. It was still possible to get all the way from Sauze d'Oulx to Montgenèvre and back towards the end of the week - but without new snow fairly soon some of the connections would have started to become very sketchy.
The coronavirus restrictions didn't seem to be putting people off. Plenty of folks weren't wearing masks on unenclosed lifts unless there was a carabiniere at the bottom telling people to put them on. You didn't need a mask in bars and restaurants so long as you had a valid record of vaccination. The only places apart from enclosed lifts where we regularly wore our masks was in shops, and the circulation i.e. non-food-and-drink-related areas of the hotel. And then I tested positive for Covid on the last day of the holiday...
I don't know what the snow conditions were like later in the season this year, and how that might have affected the uplift businesses. If the snow conditions remained poor through the peak season then that would have made life difficult for them anyway, Covid or not.
My (possibly somewhat hazy) recollections from my days in Torino in the mid-1980s are that, depending on where you went - and outside of the weekends, half terms etc - the Aosta ski areas were usually fairly quiet anyway. Even Cervinia could be surprisingly non-busy on a weekday when the sun wasn't shining. Things might have changed since those days, though, and you seem to have much more recent local knowledge from which to speak, so please don't think I'm saying you're wrong, I'm just adding some further context based on recent (and not so recent) experience.
My experience of Sicily was that they were expert in trying to extract every Euro by the optional extras , that they tried to whizz through in Italian , so if the basic prices are now relatively astronomical, one could easily find a monstrous credit card bill.
> Same issue in Geneva and Nice. I've just avoided hiring this year which I appreciate with a 2 year old may not be an option for you.
> I'm not 100% sure what's causing it but assume hire companies haven't replaced stock through the pandemic and now there's a premium on new cars so a supply problem.
I think UK car hire firms suffering similar supply issues. We use hire cars sometimes for work, but currently need to provide a 2 week notice period to hire a car, whereas before it was about 2 days, and cost has gone up.
Chap from hire company said new cars very hard to come by, and they tend to renew stock every year or so.
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