Recession hits car hire
Car hire is not immune to the credit crunch following news of increased rental prices and car rental firms axing jobs.
The Bath based English car hire company Helphire Group plc has had to lay of 130 of its estimated 3,000 staff members who work at about 30 locations across the country. The company sends rental cars to people who have been in accidents for which they were not liable.
Chief executive Mark Adams said: "We are seeking to make a limited number of redundancies across several of our group's companies."
This process will involve a consultation which should be completed sometime during the middle of the summer. Most of the jobs lost will be in the South West region.
Meanwhile another British company, Economy Car Hire, has said that car hire prices will increase over the summer due to a lack of availability made worse by the recession.
Rory Sexton, managing director of Economy Car Hire, said: “Every year we have problems with availability at peak times, and this year it will be much worse - car hire prices will definitely increase.”
This stark warning is being made amid fears that car hire companies may have to reduce their fleets of cars by around a third in the summer. This is due to the reduction in the manufacturing of cars and a big decrease in car sales.
As summer is traditionally the busiest time of year for car hire, this in turn will drive up prices.
And economy Car Hire was not the only company worried about 2009.
Stuart Nassos, managing director of car hire firm Holiday Autos, said: “We have found the start of the year tougher than usual, primarily in locations where the British pound has seen decline verses other currencies, such as the US and within the Euro zone.”