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A tourist puts their luggage in a hire car after arriving at Malaga Airport. SUR
Car hire boom on the Costa del Sol, with the highest demand on the Spanish mainland
Tourism

Car hire boom on the Costa del Sol, with the highest demand on the Spanish mainland

Rental vehicle bookings are at an historic high this peak summer season

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Friday, 25 August 2023, 17:40

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The demand for rental cars on the Costa del Sol is breaking all records. Bookings are at a historic high, exceeding by 2% the 2019 figures which was the best year for tourism on the coast.

Data provided by the National Business Federation of Car Rental with and without driver (Feneval) shows that the Costa del Sol is the top perfoming location on the Spanish mainland.

Juan Luis Barahona, president of the federation, said that in addition to local visitors, the sector has seen a massive amount of international tourism. The main clients are visitors from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Increased costs

The president of the Association of Vehicle Rental Service Businesses (Aesva), Ana María García, said that the entire fleet is being used to meet the demand. García said that while rental prices have risen, they are less than last year, and stressed that the sector has a problem with profitability because, apart from the increase in energy and personnel costs, the vehicles are up to 30% more expensive. “The challenge this season is to cope with these increased costs," she said.

Juan Luis Barahona said that "it seems that this summer will undoubtedly be the one of a clear return to normality, at least this is what the latest available data show in terms of occupancy levels and booking rates. This is something we greatly welcome, as we must not forget that the car rental sector is one of the most important activities within the tourism ecosystem.

"At the moment, we are moving around 650,000 cars, between passenger cars and commercial vehicles, when in 2019 the circulating fleet exceeded 800,000 cars."

Feneval, which includes more than 800 companies with more than 20 million services per year, has recently asked the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism that 20% of all new vehicles in Spain be reserved for rental cars.

Costa del Sol demand

Ana María García highlighted the strength of the local destination and pointed out that between 80 and 85% of car rentals throughout Andalucía are concentrated on the Costa del Sol. "The demand is very high at the airport and at the main railway station, but we are also noticing this summer that more and more people are renting a vehicle to explore new corners of the province or the region.”

García highlighted the tourist service provided by the car rental sector and called for it to be taxed at the preferential rate of 10% in line with other tourism activities.

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