Car hire companies in Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands have decided not to buy in cars for the 2021 summer season because of the uncertainty in the Tourism Industry, according to Ramón Reus, President of the Rental Business Group of Vehicles, with and without Driver, in the Balearic Islands, or Aevab.
“We are all very aware of what happened last year when some 50,000 cars were ordered from manufacturers on the Peninsula and foreign countries,” he said. “The Covid crisis took us all by surprise, ruined the Easter season and the beginning of summer and we had to return most of the cars because of the plummet in tourism.”
With coronavirus still raging across Europe and the UK, the arrival of tourists from the main markets is looking doubtful in the short term.
“Tourist uncertainty has increased this year, especially for Holy Week and the beginning of the summer season,” he explains. “Hoteliers and other Sectors are forecasting that tourism will begin in June, but the car hire trade is not so clear and we have to ensure the future of companies.”
Risks & Returns
Large, medium and small car hire companies want to have all business risks under control this year.
“2020 was disastrous because we all thought that tourists would arrive at the beginning of July and the market would be reactivated, but then quarantine was introduced in the United Kingdom and Germany advised nationals not to fly to the Balearic Islands and that forced us to return thousands of cars,” says Reus.
“There will not be more than 50,000 rental cars in the Balearic Islands in 2020, which is a drop of 60% compared to a normal year because companies have been left with winter fleets and exported the rest of the cars that were inoperable,” he adds. “It's going to be a very complex season because there are so many unknowns."
Car manufacturers say they completely understand the situation that car hire companies in the Balearics are facing, but point out that they could be caught off guard if there’s a last minute boom in tourism, as some German Tour Operators are predicting.
"There will be a shortage of rental cars because it will not be possible to meet orders that are received for May and June,” they said.
Aevab says having less cars available “should not mean a rise in rental prices."