If you thought the problem of depleted inventory and high pricing was constrained to the U.S. car rental market, think again. Europe isn’t much better. Be prepared for extreme sticker shock.
High Rental Car Pricing In Europe
A reader just wrote me to let me know that Avis wanted 250EUR/day to rent a car in Munich, leading him to cancel his stay at one hotel in favor of a hotel closer to the city center.
His story is hardly unique. Europe is feeling the squeeze too of a surge in demand coupled with a depleted inventory of cars, many of which were sold during the pandemic.
How are rental car prices in Europe? Let’s take a look at one-day rentals (today) in major cities:
My own neighborhood Avis rental car agency in Southwest Germany doubled in price for a weeklong rental last month, but I was happy to pay 400EUR compared to what I was seeing elsewhere.
Then in Spain, I paid almost 700EUR for a six-day rental. It’s not like my family of four could have just taken the train around Las Palmas…
The problem is not just reserving a car, but making sure there is actually a car in stock. A reservation may not mean much when you arrive late in the day and have not prepaid for your car.
High demand plus a critical chip shortage will keep prices high. Europcar is even warning it will not get better.
For Americans, It used to be only be the gasoline prices that were so shocking when renting cars in Europe. Now you get hit with a double whammy of high rental prices plus gas prices which remain quite high by U.S. standards.
For all travelers, the car rental supply shortage does not appear to be going away. Maybe as the summer travel season winds down some pressure will be lifted, but prices are higher than I have ever seen them. Plan accordingly.
How much did you pay for a car rental in Europe this summer?