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Rise of private car rentals in France to beat company prices

Visitors to Corsica have started to opt for rental agreements between individuals to save time and money 

Car hire agreements between individuals are becoming more popular in Corsica Pic: alexfan32 / Shutterstock

People visiting Corsica have begun choosing to rent cars from other individuals rather than sticking with traditional rental firms and their rapidly rising prices. 

The price of hiring a car from companies such as Sixt or Hertz has increased recently because of surging fuel prices and a 30% drop in new vehicle availability due to parts shortages. 

Read more: Second-hand car prices to rise in France amid new car part shortages

Sixt quotes a price of €88 a day for a five door hatchback in Corsica if the customer pays in advance, or €131 a day if not, while Hertz would charge €675 for the week prepaid and €794 for payment in person.

Three Corsican communes – Ajaccio, Figari and Bastia – are currently offering some of the most expensive car rental tariffs in all of France. 

“If we had to hire a car from a professional [company], we would be looking at more than €1,000 per week, which is huge,” one pair of tourists told Franceinfo

However, using a private rental scheme, “we are at €250 [per week].” This is partly because an accident or a break-down will be covered by the insurance policy of the person renting out the car, and so their renters will not be charged extra for insurance.

The financial incentives of hiring from an individual have caused the practice to grow in popularity, with platforms such as OuiCar, Getaround and Roadstr helping to set visitors up with a vehicle.

“I am fully-booked until mid-June, I have 15 days in July and I think I will soon be booked up in August,” one car owner said. 

On private rental websites, the cost of hiring a car varies considerably, with some offers coming in just as expensive as a traditional rental firm. 

However, on OuiCar, it is possible to find a car in Corsica for €230 a week in July, and for about €450 per week in August on Getaround. 

Prices fall considerably when looking at September and beyond, suggesting that some of the cheapest offers may already have been booked up for the summer. 

Renting from an individual also allows tourists more flexibility with regards to picking up and dropping off the keys, and signing the hire contract, which normally happens over the phone.

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