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Car hire prices soar in France due to effects of Covid

Shortages mean renters are reserving vehicles on average 57 days in advance this year compared to 30 days in 2021

It now costs on average €48 per day to rent a car in France Pic: Supavadee butradee / Shutterstock

Car rental prices rose by 49% in France between 2019 and 2021 as a result of the Covid pandemic, with prices now on average €48 per day, up from €39 in 2021, a study from the car rental comparison site Carigami shows. 

Jean-Philippe Côté, head of Carigami, said he expects prices to remain high throughout 2022. 

The reason is that many of the car rental companies reduced the number of vehicles in their fleets in 2020 given significantly less demand due to the series of lockdowns.

Business returned in 2021 but with more demand than the companies expected. This, coupled with the fact that it has become harder to get new cars due to supply chain issues, has left many companies short of vehicles. 

This shortage has pushed prices up, French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir states

In summer 2021, it cost on average €464 to rent a car for one week in Biarritz, €430 in Nantes and €416 in Nice. 

The pent-up demand and lack of supply is also causing renters to book further in advance. 

On average they are now reserving 57 days ahead of schedule, compared to 30 days in 2021. 

Over the winter period in the Alpine regions of France, renters were booking 104 days in advance, compared to an average of 45 days in previous years. 

UFC-Que Choisir recommends anyone planning to rent to book well in advance and also to not pay for superfluous extras, such as expensive insurance add-ons or in-built GPS if you plan to use your smartphone. 

France is not the only country where car rental prices have shot up since 2019. 

They increased by 62% in Croatia, 85% in Spain and 104% in Italy.

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